There is something about old vintage houseplant books that strike my fancy. Maybe it is because they are intricately illustrated or done with black and white photography. I am sure the fact that they are full of plants has something to do with it too! I love to collect them.
This weekend I was inspired by fern illustrations in my book The Woman's Day Book of House Plants, 1965:
I designed it using these amazing preserved rock and lutti andianthum ferns with a few dried fiddle head ferns. The buff cockscomb I used reminds me of the rabbits foot in the second fern illustration. The container is a handcrafted Indian lassi cup. A rare find indeed!
The radiant city Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada is all over the media hosting the Winter 2010 Olympics. The city itself is as charming in person as it is on TV. I fell for its charm the moment I arrived on a ferry from Seattle via Victoria (a whole beautiful city post in itself). My trip there was not for skiing the snow capped mountains or touring the unique city but on a horticultural edification!
The Butchart Gardens, Victoria BC via flickrwisdock
Vancouver has an ideal environment for flowers and plants to thrive in. A temperate climate with plentiful rain. It hosts all different types of gardens: Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Winter, Indoor Conservatories and the famous Butchart Gardens in Victoria. I was able to visit many and my chlorophyll intake was at a pleasant max as I witnessed all the beauty.
My favorite stop was to visit the world's second largest flower auction in Burnaby B.C. It was a very early morning when we met and had a tour before the auction started at 6am. What a sight for sore eyes it was! Petals and rainbows of color everywhere as far as the eye can see, in long cart trains. Miraculous.
gerbera's waiting for the auction
Bidders watch large auction clocks from stadium seating as the product is rolled onto the floor on a long procession of wagon carts. As the bidding clock starts and the prices fall, they bid from electronic pads at their seats. Not only cut flowers are sold this way, but potted plants, flowers in flats, flowering branches, moss, leaves and so much more. It was a well oiled machine and I stood in awe at each buyer wondering what they were purchasing and if they were from a wholesaler, large florist or from a supermarket corporation.
Watching large carts of cut Chinese Lanterns move through the process and being sold was my favorite part. Later that same day, I watched as a downtown Vancouver florist took their wholesale delivery of the same lanterns into their shop to prepare them for sale. Talk about fresh!
me in front of my favorite flores del sol!
The flower auction is a must see if ever in the Vancouver, British Columbia area. Although it is not a tourist attraction, you are allowed to view the spectacle but not purchase flowers.
Have I told you that I am astounded with how personal the internet can truly be? This past weekend I had the opportunity to meet the purchaser of my craspedia design when I personally delivered it to her home. Melis was so sweet. We chatted for a while and I wished I did not have a place to be or we would have chatted all day. Her home was absolutely gorgeous. Right out of a page of Domino *sigh*, which I still miss getting in my mailbox every month. She has a beautiful blog full of her fashion picks (which are to die for) and it is now on my daily must reads. a photo of the billy buttons in their new home:
I love that bear print. And she graciously mentioned floresdelsol here and here.
I have recently been on a Jane Austen kick. It seems like it 's the perfect time of year to curl up with one of her books, especially around Valentine's Day. I am currently reading Northanger Abbey and watched the 3 part PBS Masterpiece theater presentation of Emma. I loved it and highly recommend it!
I coveted Mr. Churchill's brown boots for myself and loved Mr. Elton's disheveled hair. I had never before made the correlation between the story of Emma and the movie Clueless, which I admit is one of my all time favorites. "Wait a minute... I love Josh!!!" vs when Emma finds her hidden love for Mr. Knightley.
Jane Austin is perfect for a romantic valentine's post without going overboard on hearts and flowers ;)
It is apparent that the mediums I use are much different than paints on a painter's palette. I love mediums that provide texture, are natural, and sometimes even handmade.
At my local floral wholesaler I was reviewing their dried selection, which to tell you the truth is usually rather obsolete. I came across some interesting palm flowers. It was apparent they have been hanging out there for a while, something I've overlooked in the past. They are long and linear, a style which I normally do not use in my low designs. I figured though if I cut them short at a flower they would look good clustered together.
As I was creating this new design over the weekend and cut into a stem, I realized that these palm pines are intricately handmade. Each dried palm petal is wrapped around the stem with thin thread. After a little research I found out they are handmade in India out of palm fronds. As I cut them they looked rather appealing forming flower shapes that remind me of ranunculus or magnolias. A great new medium to add to my palette.
Today's design inspiration comes from floral grubb. Flora's divine vertical succulent gardens leave me SPEECHLESS. Apparently as per a previous post, I currently have a thing for all things succulents. I love that she is taking the horticulture world into the art realm. Her beautiful blog even has DIY instructions and is now over there to the right under my favorites! How wonderful would it be to wake up every morning and see that?
I love all things green. Succulent leaves, interesting textures, soft moss. I am a professional floral designer who has created a venue to work artistically both with modern dried floral and fresh container plantings and still be home with my little girls. Fresh from the garden state, flores del sol.
Flower aficionado Christina Moreno is part horticulture expert, part floral designer. Her extensive knowledge of the botanical world is evident, from musings on her own botanical finds, to interesting and timely tidbits like the history of the royal wedding bouquet. Drawing on her love of all things vintage, Moreno also creates surprisingly modern arrangements made of dried flowers and moss in her Etsy shop. -elle decor.com