Styling ::: Local Flowers

A big bouquet of fresh flowers, what’s not to love? Flowers make people happy. Just yesterday a lady called me a “picture” as I carried an armful of flowers through the Farmer’s Market. My love affair with local flowers began about five years ago. I started a catering company and ordered flowers weekly for tastings and events. Every Wednesday I would wait for the flowers to arrive, happily close my spreadsheet, forget my email and immerse myself in beautiful blooms. Using local flowers allowed me to create a steady revenue stream for my business, support local farmers and delight clients.

Fresh local flowers from Heartland Family Farm

Fresh flowers from Heartland Family Farm

This weekend, I had the pleasure of styling a wedding reception for a beautiful couple. I selected a hippy-chic theme full of eco-friendly elements, reflecting the bride and groom’s love of music, local culture and family.

Early Saturday morning I stopped to see my flower guru, Sara McGee of the Heartland Family Farm. Sara has been my local flower supplier for over 5 years, bringing me buckets of lush ruffled peonies, fragrant bells of ireland and everything in between. Sara’s flowers are beautiful and fresh. I also procure flowers from Harvest Moon Flower Farm. Linda Chapman is an amazing artist and I swoon over her arrangements every Saturday. Linda took me on a tour of her farm a few years ago. If you ever have a chance to take a tour, do so! The farm is breathtakingly beautiful.

Here are 3 of my favorite details from the reception :

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1. Arranging the flowers : I worked on a picnic table and my supplies included: 11 large ball jars, a pair of sharp scissors, one overstuffed bucket of fresh local flowers and water.

Technique : Fill the jars with water halfway before placing the flowers. Snip off the ends of the flowers if need be. Start with a focal point flower, here I used the peony. Work in circular pattern adding blooms as you slowly turn the bouquet. My flower style is organic and free form, striving for lush arrangements that aren’t too perfect. The goal is to let each bloom shine.

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2. The table decor : A mixture of tapestries were set as tableclothes. So many beautiful colors and patterns adorned the tables and the designs worked beautifully with the flowers.

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3. The drinks : An infused water bar provided mint & lemon water and blueberry & strawberry water. For more ideas on infused water, see my post here.

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If you have a chance, stop by the Farmer’s Market and pick up a BIG bouquet of flowers. Spend a little time arranging the blooms and spread the arrangements around your house. Flowers are a great way to bring fresh positive energy into every space, delight the senses and make people feel special.

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Taste of Bloomington 2012

It’s Taste Day! The Taste of Bloomington is one of my favorite events. I spent my first few years at the Taste pouring beer for Bloomington Brewing Company in my hand bedazzled “Don’t Worry, Be Hoppy”  pink tank top. Then I moved onto One World Catering & Events and the first year our booth was Hawaiian themed complete with Pineapple Coconut Coolers. We won best booth in 2009 and 2010! I  also served on the Taste Event Committee in 2010 and saw what it takes to pull off this large scale event. This year I will be supporting Oliver Winery and will serve locally made wines and Beanblossom Hard Ciders.

At $6 for a ticket, you can’t afford to miss the event! All proceeds go to Hoosier Hills Food Bank and the Community Kitchen. There are two music stages, one with a country focus. A few highlights from the music line up are the New Old Cavalry, my favorite Bloomington bluegrass band, the Vallures and the Clayton Anderson band.

Chocolate Moose will serve my favorite Grasshopper ice cream AND Herb Infused Cotton Candy! I am also looking forward to checking out Inga’s Popcorn, I hear it is highly addictive. The Big Cheeze, the new food truck in town, will make their debut at the Taste today. I want a crispy grilled cheese, maybe with tomato and basil?

My friend Gene is the artist for the Taste and he comes up with a variation of the American Gothic painting each year. This is Gene’s 30th year on the Event Committee! Congratulations Gene! For more information about the Taste of Bloomington, visit the website http://www.visitbloomington.com/taste/