I created these softly-colored summer bouquets for a wonderful wedding couple, who decided to do the rest of their wedding flowers themselves using Butternut Gardens flowers.

I created these softly-colored summer bouquets for a wonderful wedding couple, who decided to do the rest of their wedding flowers themselves using Butternut Gardens flowers.

Whether prompted by budget, by the desire to play a greater hand in wedding day design, or other personal reasons, I have been working with an increasing number of brides looking for DIY wedding flowers.  I have to say, I absolutely love it. I welcome all interested in DIY to contact me. In some cases “all” I do is supply the flowers, and the brides or wedding couples, with their families and wedding party, do all flowers from centerpieces to bouquets, boutonnières and ceremony pieces. I say, “all” I do is supply the flowers, but, in truth, quite a bit of planning on my part goes into the selection of a satisfying mix and number of blooms and greens and into conversations with my brides to educate on flower types, availability and design needs. For other weddings, I am entrusted with creating the bouquets and other wear and carry flowers, which will be most photographed, while supplying fresh blooms and greens for DIY table designs.

One of the reasons I find the DIY relationship so satisfying is I know the personal effort put forth by others in creating their floral designs is going to make them enjoy their flowers that much more. From personal experience, I know how absolutely fabulous it feels to share flowers with others. DIYers get to do just this – share their flowers - as well as learn more about their very personal flowers, take great pride in their creations and have a shared design experience to be remembered.  It is fabulous.

Next year I plan on offering several workshops especially for DIYers. I know, from my many, many  conversations to date, that DIYers are eager to take on floral design, but have quite a few of the same questions about how best to go about doing this.  I want to help with flower planning, budgeting and design.  So, please check back for my DIY wedding workshops starting in Spring of 2016.

Lilies always popping at Butternut Gardens

Lilies and other June flowers at Butternut Gardens

Lilies and other June flowers at Butternut Gardens

Lilies are always popping at Butternut Gardens. Can't wait 'til June when all the lilies start. If you want to share in the beauty of flowers all season, why not choose one of my flower subscription services (limited to delivery in Southport, Fairfield, Westport, lower Weston). Then you could have flowers delivered right to your doorstep weekly, biweekly or monthly from Spring to Fall.

Fleur du Jour - Bright Yellow Zinnias in only 4 more months

I feel like all I have doing this winter is staring at spreadsheets, as I plan this upcoming season, and staring at snowflakes. Add in a bit of shoveling to make pathways for the dog, and that just about sums it all up. This is what makes it so hard to believe that in only 4 months I will likely be looking at some amazing rows of zinnias - true summer flowers. One of the hardest things for me to do is to wait to start all of the seeds.  Some seeds, including zinnias, simply do not take very long to get going. Starting seeds too early is counterproductive. There is no benefit to having a seedling waiting unnecessarily for warm enough weather to be planted outside. It is best to be patient (and finish up the paperwork while you still have time to think). Once the season starts, thinking time is all but nonexistent.

Booking 2015 Weddings with Dahlia Love

I thought I would offer up Dahlias as today's fantastic Fleur du Jour as both a way to really make us miss, I MEAN LOOK FORWARD TO, summer and as a way to say I AM NOW TAKING BOOKINGS FOR 2015 WEDDINGS.  

While many people think of Dahlias as fall flowers, which they most certainly are, Dahlias here start blooming at the tail end of June and early July. Different varieties are earlier or later by nature in showing off their remarkable blooms. Some variability also results from how early or late spring arrives and from how "on time" I am with putting the tubers in the field. Last year it was cold longer and I was later. That said, I cut the first flower on July 7. If you are planning a wedding before July, no need to worry as plenty of amazing flowers bloom before the dahlias!

For couples looking for late summer and fall weddings, Dahlias can be a lovely addition to bouquets, centerpieces and other floral designs. As a rule, I like to limit my full service weddings to one a day so as to give the best of myself and my flowers. I will add bulk flower orders for DIY brides who are making their own arrangements and will put together bouquets or other wear and carry pieces for the same day for my "Something In Between" brides if I feel I can do so with the quality I demand.  So, as we wait for dahlias together, please contact me soon if you, or someone you know, are looking for your 2015 wedding florist. Congratulations to all the BEAUTIFUL  wedding couples and their families.

More June Blooms

The bright yellow yarrow in lower right puts real zip into any bouquet. Yellow and orange red hot pokers can be seen in the center of this grouping.

The bright yellow yarrow in lower right puts real zip into any bouquet. Yellow and orange red hot pokers can be seen in the center of this grouping.

In the previous Fleur du Jour I highlighted the bright and smashing red hot pokers, which actually come in many shades from red to orange to yellow as well as mixes of the above.

Today I want to share a lovely pink and yellow combination from June, in which the yellow red hot poker and amazing yellow yarrow work beautifully with the season's pink dianthus, pink larkspur and pink Canterbury bells.

Last year I cut 295 stems of the truly striking yellow yarrow known as Coronation Gold for early summer bouquets, and saved another 125 stems for fall cuts.

By the time I take the fall cuts, the once bright yellow flower heads are a perfectly muted golden tone for the fall palette.

With first cuts of Coronation gold yarrow made on June 10th last year, we have just over 120 days (and much snowmelt) to go to 2015 blooms.

Fleur du Jour for Post Blizzard 2015 hope for spring - Anemone

Anemones from Butternut Gardens enjoying the company of Scilla.

Anemones from Butternut Gardens enjoying the company of Scilla.

Everything outside is white. Except for the leafless trees. How patiently they wait for spring. A lesson to teach. Blizzard 2015 has come and gone, leaving less snow than predicted, but a sizable cover nonetheless. Nestled among the snow I have five low tunnels harboring Anemone and Ranunculus. Today's Fleur du Jour - Anemone - should be coming along by mid-April, if not sooner.  Sometimes when it is frozenn outside, the soil under the plastic low tunnels is still in the 50's. Last year I only planted red Anemoe and red and white bicolor Anemone.  This year I have added some more subdued colors as well - perfect for weddings. Enjoy the snow, if you have it. Only 70 days to Anemones. Not long at all. 

Fleur du Jour for a snowstorm - Peony

While new peonies are introduced every year, some of our garden favorites, and most popular cut peonies, were introduced in the the late 1800''s and early 1900's. Sarah Bernhardt, a favorite pink variety was first introduced in 1906, while Duchesse de Nemours was introduced in 1856 and remains a sought after white. Some of the popular coral varieties were more recently introduced - Coral Charm in 1964 and Pink Hawaiian Coral in 1981. I am sure they will remain popular for centuries to come. This spring I expect to offer another very interesting old-timer called Gay Paree. It is a pink and white two-toned peony, which I think will be absolutely spectacular for event work and everyday bouquets and arrangements. Gay Paree was first introduced in 1933. Imagine the changes our world has seen. If peonies could talk! Only 120 days, and many, many snowflakes to peonies 2015!

As the snowflakes shush to the ground here with a soft chorus and our Blizzard 2015 unfurls, I call upon Peonies for today's Fleur du Jour and thoughts of spring. It is magical watching peonies develop from the tightest round buds akin to pin heads, to hard, marble-like buds, and then slightly-open marshmallow buds, which finally burst open into breathtaking blooms.  

Throughout, it is common to see ants marching up and down the stems to garner the sweet sugars, which peonies secrete as their buds develop. Peonies can live for decades, and some for even more than a hundred years.

Fleur du Jour - Hyacinth - to loosen winer's grip

For those of you in the New York metro region, which includes me, who are prepping for 1 to 2 feet of snow, I can't think of a nicer Fleur du Jour to highlight today than Hyacinth. I will sit here and just dream of Hyacnth's sweet, sweet fragrance. I did, for a number of years, force Hyacinths into bloom for winter farmers' markets, but have since decided to grow seasonally only. I must say, I do miss the forced bulbs.  Between hyacinths, tulips, grape hyacnths, paperwhites and narcissi, you really can create a stunning midwinter show to boost the spirts. For outdoor growing, based on last year's first cut date of April 10th, we have only 82 days to fresh cut Hyacinths. When the blizzard expected during the next few days passes by, it will undoubtedly seem like an eternity to these fragrant beauties, but let us enjoy the wonderful winter snow cover while we have it, for it does indeed help the plants in the ground, and let us find patience within us for the grass and flowers to appear once again.