Friday, April 30, 2021

Best in Show: Brandi dela Cruz

It’s that time of the year when our pincushion fields high up in the hills of Ranibow start to look like firework displays that were pulled right out of the sky and tossed onto the steep hillsides. And when it comes to the ‘Best in Show’ display, there is no doubt Leucospermum Brandi dela Cruz takes the gold for its dazzling carpet of color and texture. A field full of blooms in rich golden-yellow with orange tints and each flower, large with a diameter of almost 6 inches. Breathtaking! This gorgeous variety is mostly a mix of Leucospermum reflexum and lineare parents...quite a stunning conjugal to say the least.

These fanciful blooms atop sturdy stems create colorful focal points not only in the field but when displayed in floral designs.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Awe-inspiring Orange

“Orange is red brought nearer to humanity by yellow.” - Wassily Kandinsky

A delightful blend of red and yellow hues, the color orange oozes with happiness. Overflowing with energy and warmth, orange is commonly associated with sun and outdoor settings. That is why tropical surroundings are often immersed in orange hues. From its playful shade to its inviting comfort, orange emits a calm yet spirited essence.

Orange is considered a fun color with scrumptious and delicious qualities. It boosts the oxygen supply to the brain and kindles mental activity. As a citrus color, orange is associated with healthy food and it fuels the appetite. If you love having friends gather around your dinner table, orange makes guests more social, encourages conversation and extends the mealtime.

In color psychology, orange is hopeful and uplifting. In fact, orange is so optimistic and uplifting, that we all should find ways to utilize small orange items such as a pen or mug in our day-to-day routines to help promote the positive effects of the shade. Orange adds spontaneity + a positive way of looking at life. Representing adventure, freedom, risk-taking and individuality, orange is uniquely its own.

There is so much to LOVE about this color!

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Creating the Perfect Ambience: Flowers & Candles

What do you get when you pair gorgeous proteas and the warm glow of candles? The perfect ambience, of course. Together, they evoke not just elegance and romance, but they unite the powers of the mind, body and spirit. The leucospermum's textural styles and the leucadendron's colorful bracts add an interesting contrast to the subtle lighting created by candles. Plus, there's a seasonal seduction, too. When you use an array of spring proteas, like waratah, isopogon, banksia, leucospermum and dryandra you're celebrating the glories of nature. And spring scented candles provide floral and herbal aromas that enhance your mood and feelings of calm and tranquility.

No matter what season of year… indoors or outdoors, striking candle centerpiece casts a lovely light over the table.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Banksia Coccinea

There are certain things that exemplify Australia, that are true icons of the amazing Land Down Under and there is no doubt that the Banksia is one of them. Banksia have earned a place on this list as they can be found all over the country. Many varieties have names that describe a certain physical characteristic, like the Banksia coccinea… or also known as the Albany banksia, the Waratah banksia or the scarlet banksia. Native to the coastal sand dunes or the southern edge of Western Australia, Coccinea is considered the most picturesque, though by far not the biggest of the banksia flower spikes.

The blossoms of the scarlet banksia illustrate the signature qualities of this protea genus, a barrel-shape inflorescence with hundreds of tiny flowers mounted on a woody cone in corn-cob-like rows. The male flower parts are the white and the longer female ones are intensely red. A general reluctance to reflex keeps these structures or pistels looped back in on themselves until they are finally released at anthesis - the period during which a flower is fully open.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Spring Floral Topiaries

Topiary… the term may sound unfamiliar, but there’s no doubt you’ve seen the art around. Those hedges and shrubs that have been trimmed into amazing sculptures of everything from shapes to animals to people are topiaries. The art is defined as the horticultural practice of clipping shrubs or trees into shapes.

Topiaries date back to ancient Egypt, when rows of date palm were force-cut into shapes of cones. They returned in medieval times as a way of training fruit plants, and then again during the Italian Renaissance. In the 15th century, the Dutch became intrigued with creating topiary that resembled animals while the French preferred creating topiary into geometric shapes. Topiaries have continued to evolve, they’re not only restricted to formal landscaping structures, some are crafted from potted plants, like ivy or rosemary.

Designing a topiary no longer requires that you adhere to live plants, floral topiaries have become quite popular as well. Crating a floral topiary is a simple way to bring a touch of nature indoors. All you need are the flowers and foliage of your choice, floral foam, as well as a tree branch (or stick) and container to act as the support and showcase for your design. For my first topiary, I gathered Serruria, Leucadendron, Phylica, Berzelia, Calycina and waxflower.

As the spring season’s floral options transitioned from soft mute colors to more vibrant hues, I mixed Leucospermum, Isopogon, Leucadendron and sprigs of lavender and Jasmine Vine.

Many of the botanicals I gathered for these toparies will retain their structural design and to some extent their color long after they’re vase-life. Simply put… they don’t die, they dry… Beautifully!

Monday, March 29, 2021

For the Love of Peach

If there is ever a shade that soothes our souls it is the color peach. With its origin in nature, the peach is something of a comfort. It also gives a feeling of joy, although not quite as high-spirited as orange.

The color story is a wonderful combination of a lively yellow paired with soft pink. When mingling the two colors, equal parts of each shade should be used to obtain a true peach color. Adding a splash more of pink produces a peach hue that has deeper red tones, while adding more yellow to the mixture produces a peach hue with more orange tones.

Peach is known to be a superb color for communication, it also has influence on good etiquette and tranquility. It is a shade that gives you refuge, as it does not let you delve into agony or disappointment. Peach brings a wealth of positivity, always invigorating us in the most difficult moments.

The peach palette works well in interior designers, especially when combined with flowers. It is a combination of orange, yellow and coral shades, which allows you to grasp an unlimited number of design possibilities. Peach can be used as an accent or background and combines well with the blues. You can also blend it with mint-green and gold for a chic and feminine palette.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Get Hooked on Fresh Spring Leucadendron

A vibrant, bunch of Leucadendron is a delightful thing: After a quick snip off the stems and a few leaves removed from the bottom, all you really need to enjoy them is a vase. Since they are so simple to arrange, it is easy to forget that they’re basically considered the foliage side of the family of Protea. To honor this genus and some 80 species (who all share the same emphasis: the beauty of their foliage), we have gathered a few of our spring favorites.

Much as we love the traditional greens… eucalyptus, grevillea, melaleuca (they're always in season!), each year we wait for spring when colorful Leucadendron come into season. After all, what could possibly be better than field fresh Leucadendron? These proteas have strong qualities in terms of their feature-game. Their exquisite colors add vibrancy to any design. Their famed longevity means they will be relished for weeks. And who can resist the colorful cones? The petals of the Leucadendron are called bracts or modified leaves, and the true flower is the cone nestled among their bracts.

For inspiration, scroll down for a glimpse this season’s favorites.


Maui Sunset #2




Gold Strike

Rainbow Gold