Monday, October 19, 2020

Autumn Inspiration: Pumpkin Art


The vibes your autumn decor gives off depends entirely on what you pair them with. While we typically associate pumpkins with Halloween, they are suitable for so much more. Left whole, they can sit at many angles to give everyone at the table a beautiful view. Cut open, they make excellent containers for flowers when hollowed out. While most popular in hues of orange, white and green, pumpkins offer wonderful options for color schemes, especially when they are paired with protea and other unique botanicals.





Here is what you need to make your own:

  • Fresh pumpkin 
  • Knife 
  • Clear plastic sheet or container 
  • Floral foam (optional) 
  • Flowers, foliage, berries, cones, fruit 
  • Clippers

Make it!

Carve your pumpkin so that you have a wide opening near the center of the pumpkin. Scoop out the seeds and pulp. Line the inside of the pumpkin with a sheet of plastic or container. If desired, cut a piece of floral foam with the knife to fit inside the pumpkin. Soak the foam in water while you prepare your flowers. Choose flowers and foliage with strong straight stems (proteas are perfect)! Insert the floral foam into the inside of the pumpkin and create your arrangement. Start with foliage, then add flowers, fruit, and other embellishments to create a full and interesting centerpiece.



Combining pumpkins with flowers delivers a festive yet elegant take on seasonal decorating: they make perfect porch displays for Halloween, lovely Thanksgiving centerpieces or even wonderful gifts.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

September Articles of Interest

A horticulturist's guide to Australian native plants


Why natives? Well that’s our specialty at the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan and we are here to share what we know about native plants, encourage home gardeners to grow them and celebrate their unique beauty with the world.

The horticulture team at the Garden carefully look after the incredibly diverse native plants that are found across the woodlands, grasslands, rainforests, horticultural displays and new seedlings in the Nursery - encompassing 416 hectares of land.

Read more here.

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CA GROWN proclaims October
as Farmer and Farmworker Month



CA GROWN has announced that the first-ever California Farmer and Farmworker Month will be recognized in October. It is a fitting tribute in a most challenging year.

When COVID-19 hit, farmers, farmworkers and the entire food and ag value chain moved swiftly and effectively to redirect supply lines from foodservice to retail and on-line platforms where possible. They increased contributions to food banks to avoid waste at a time we faced a substantial increase of need. They learned on the fly, securing personal protective equipment (PPE) and implementing operational and scheduling changes to keep workers safe. No segment of our society has handled the abrupt disruptions flawlessly, but through it all, agriculture has maintained an adaptive, creative, can-do approach.

Read more here.

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30 Orchid Bouquet Ideas for Brides and Bridesmaids

Show-stopping arrangements to carry down the aisle.


Orchids are one of the most popular wedding flowers, and for good reason. “They’re versatile and make a big impact in bouquets and other floral designs,” says Drew Rios of Roque & Fox Floral Co. in Los Angeles.

Another reason? Orchids come in a wide variety of colors, sizes, and shapes, making it easy to incorporate them into weddings of every style. That said, some varieties are more popular than others. “Phalaenopsis orchids and cymbidium orchids are hands-down favorites of many brides," Rios says. "Their front-facing forms provide an eye-catching moment in a bouquet.”

Read more here.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Banksia Menziesii


Banksia menziesii, also called Menzies' banksia, firewood banksia, port wine banksia or Raspberry Frost. Because every fall arrangement needs a robust yet stunning bloom like this one! The flower spikes are showy and vibrant, dark pink-red or raspberry in color that become intermingled with yellow as they mature. Other colors like bronze and greenish-yellow menziesii exist as well. Each bloom is composed of up to 6,000 individual flowers (inflorescence) and set against a backdrop of chic twisted grey-green leaves.




It has been said that this striking banksia has a special flower essence or healing energy, a distinctive dynamic inner life force that differentiates it from other flowers. Aboriginal People from all over the world have used flowers in their rituals and ceremonies, aware of their subtle healing properties. Menziesii’s special healing power is “Courage” – the courage to release pain and to move ahead triumphantly, and that “Triumph” over disaster leads to renewed energy. This essence certainly seems to parallel with The Language of Flowers and the symbolic meaning of Proteas which represent… diversity, transformation, daring courage and resourcefulness.

Autumn days deserve a little extra vigor, lots of great textures and interesting shapes. Menziesii combined with an array of other proteas and florals radiate a homey spontaneity and seasonal splendor.




Wednesday, September 23, 2020

American Grown Wedding Inspiration: Taylor and Robin


Protea lovers, delight! We couldn’t be more excited to share some American Grown wedding inspiration with you. Last month, Mel and I put on our flower farmer florist hats and went all out designing and creating the wedding flowers for our friend, Taylor Zumstein. She tied the knot with Robin Reese at her family’s horse ranch on a beautiful summer evening. We just loved the way this wedding combined the elements of soft and strong with lots of gorgeous protea, textural green brunia, delicate pink peonies and wispy white veronica.







The pastoral ranch style setting amidst the oak filled grassland made for the perfect venue combined with sweet guest signage, strong wooden elements, welcoming wreaths and cafe lights. These kinds of specials elements really get our hearts racing and shows that rustic wedding style is always open to fresh ideas and new details. And detail was really where this wedding was at, from a sturdy ceremonial arch, to a custom chicken wire seating chart, to heart shaped wreaths and lush protea filled garlands that garnish the head table. Happy smiles were all round! The talented Logan Walker’s dreamy photographic style captured it all to perfection.























Thursday, September 17, 2020

The Nature Connection


For the last several months, it seems like the world has almost come to a complete halt. Businesses have closed, travel has been limited, and people are working from home to stop the spread of COVID-19. This virus has affected millions of individuals all over the world.

Amidst this pandemic we’ve all learned a few important lessons.

Perhaps the most important lesson learned is that certain things in life are unnecessary and then there are the essentials: family and friends, food, shelter, health, rest; and if you’re like most people, a connection to nature. When life is stripped back to the necessities, we realize we can do so much more with less and adopt a more sustainable lifestyle by reusing and making stuff from what we have right under our noses. Maybe this pandemic is nature’s way of telling us to slow down, to enjoy simple pleasures, to make space for things we really love, to put people and planet first before gain, and to connect with what is most important: ourselves and each other.





Beautiful blooms… with their color, smell, and symmetry provide the daily solace we seek to connect. They ease stress and lift our spirits. Flowers provide that connection to nature, allowing us to feel better, to think better, and to deepen our understanding of ourselves and others. If you’re not getting your daily dose of nature… you’re missing out on something that’s pretty spectacular: the real world!