Friday, April 18, 2014

A February Wedding

We were thrilled to be able to provide flowers for this beautiful February wedding.  The bride wore a gorgeous vintage dress and the colours for the bridesmaids were apricot, peach and orange.  

Pink Ice Protea and Fountain Pincushions were the main flowers.  The Fountain are a later flowering pincushion and are at their height in January and early February.  They have a soft purplish tinge when they first begin to flower so they really went well with the apricot and peach colours.  I added some bright pink Kangaroo Paw, Brunia Albiflora, some gorgeous purplish silver eucalyptus foliage and some blue green conifer foliage.  As a highlight, I added some gorgeous summer grass seed heads.  The bouquet was bound with jute ribbon and I added a bow which was removable.  The bride opted for removing the bow and I think it really worked.  The colours worked so well with her stunning ivory coloured vintage dress.

Photo by KS Photography
For the bridesmaids, I used Pink Ice Protea, Brunia Albiflora, Pink Kangaroo Paw, Geraldton Wax and  more of the native foliage.  Each of the bridesmaids dresses were different - all variations on the vintage theme so keeping their bouquets all the same was important.

Grevillea foliage, and the same blue green conifer foliage also tie the bouquets together, with the summer grass highlights also added.  Again, the bows were removable.  

In keeping with the idea of the different bridesmaids dresses, the bride decided that the boutonniere should all be different.  What fun!  Using different combinations of the flowers and foliage from the bouquets, I created the button holes to be all different, but "matching".  

The groom's boutonniere stood out by being slightly larger.  You can see a dried leucadendron cone, single Brunia Albiflora, Kangaroo Paw, Banksia, conifer foliage and summer grass.

And lastly, the corsage for the Mother of the Bride - a combination of Kangaraoo Paw, Grevillea, Wax flower, foliage and summer grass.  

Photo by KS Photographers
The photographers for the wedding took this beautiful photo of the brides bouquet.  KS Photographers have won the Tasmanian Wedding Photographer of the Year for 2014 and their website is well worth a look.  They are so creative and their catalogue is stunning.  

Photo by KS Photographers
It was such a treat to work on this wedding!  And so nice to see some photos of the day taken by such a great photographer!  

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A January Wedding

Summer in Tasmania is a popular time for weddings.  The days are long and lazy, with daylight savings and the twilight giving beautiful lingering light until almost 10 pm.  Over summer 2013-14 I did a number of weddings and so I thought I'd share some of the highlights.  

An early January wedding, had an Australian theme with lots of colour.  "Orange, red and yellow" were the colours chosen, so I used the gorgeous range of summery Pincushions.  The varieties were "Scarlet Ribbons" for the red, "Mardis Gras" for the yellow and a Cordifolium hybrid for the orange.  

For the bride's bouquet, I teamed them with gorgeous Risdon Peppermint foliage, Geraldton Wax and the lovely Leucadendron Pisa with its cheery yellow bracts and silvery green cones.  Some Leucadendron Christmas Cones and a few Leucadendron Safari Sunset were added for a bit of red, and for to highlight the Australian theme, gorgeous dried gum nuts.  

The grooms boutonniere carried the Australian theme with a gum nut too.  Colour was more subdued but matched the bride with the use of the yellow Leucadendron Pisa and a red Christmas Cone.  Tasmanian Myrtle foliage and some popular Button Bush or Berzelia completed the arrangement.  I used jute twine to provide the rustic, country style but added a highlight with a ribbon matching the brides dress.

For the bridal table at the reception, a big splash of colour.  The fresh smell of the eucalyptus and the honey of the Geraldton Wax would have added to the atmosphere. 

Each table at the reception also carried the bright summery colours.  White ceramic pots allowed the foliage and colours to make a real statement.  

Summer is a great time to go wild with colour!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Banksia Occidentalis

Banksia Occidentalis is a Western Australian banksia from the coastal areas around Esperence.  Its natural habitat there is low lying sandy areas that are sometimes inundated with water for a period of time, giving this gorgeous flower the unflattering name of Swamp Banksia. 

 This makes it stand out from the crowd though, as it can tolerate more moist soils than other banksias which usually prefer very free draining soil.  Banksias, like many Australian native flowers, are part of the protea family.  As a "protea grower" I was keen to try some banksias to see how they would fare on my Tasmanian hillside, so I did a test plant of some of these stunning flowers. 

The bushes were tiny tubestock when I planted them out into the paddock just over 3 years ago. I have been really surprised at how vigorously they've grown.  I hate to think how tall they'd be if I hadn't pruned them regularly each spring and autumn - they are between 2 and 3 metres high as it is.  This coming year will be the test of whether I can keep them small enough to pick, or whether they'll get away from me.

I've been really happy with the amount of flowers they've produced this autumn too.  Some of the flowers are unusable as they grow out from the base at odd angles.  I'm still learning about training the plants to produce flowers where I'd like them to be ... and unsure if that's even possible!  The flower spikes in this picture are just reaching the stage of development where they begin to turn red.

In this picture you can see flower spikes at different stages of development - a green spike at the bottom middle of the picture is the earliest stage, then the spikes begin to thicken and "puff" out, creating the familiar tidy rows of stamen.  The red flower spike still has a few days to go before its ready to pick.  I've found that the colour needs to develop on the plant, so I let the colour intensify before I pick.

In this macro shot, you can see the structure of the flower which produces seeds prolifically.  

Most of my plants produce entirely red flowers but one bush makes these two-tone blooms with yellow at the base and red on the outside.  

A macro shot of the two-tone flower reveals how the colours are produced.

Flowers that are left unpicked continue to open.  In the final stage of maturity, the previously neatly folded stamen pop out creating tunnels that bees love to bury themselves in.  Flowers picked at this stage won't last as long in a vase but if they're picked before the unfolding process begins, you get to watch it happen.

Their colour and structure are really eye-catching in an arrangement!

Look out for them during the late summer and autumn months!