Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Front Yard - Before & After

Everyone loves a good before and after shot right??  This is a project I've been working on in phases for a few seasons now.  We developed a plan for each area of the yard and as time and budget have allowed we have been working consistently on each space so my customer's have a yard they can use and are happy with.

Here was the front foundation before:
There were some overgrown hollies "eating the house" and some boulders just arranged, I use that term loosely by the front steps.  Also, those downspouts needed to be less visible and were buried with pop-up drains so the water is now used in the planting bed instead of running off into the lawn.  Why waste water???

And here is the after:
We have actually made some changes to even this plan, the laurel in the middle has since died (it is right below the dryer vent) gotta love builders!!  So we have removed it and are waiting to see if it's something that can be moved or diverted.  If not I will have to come up with something else!  The camellia by the steps is even bigger now and has bloomed!  The holly on the right corner anchors the house and is a great evergreen screen to buffer the neighbors.  Perennials have filled out and are really looking good.

It's so wonderful to see projects over a few year time span, you can make changes if necessary as things fill in.  I am lucky to have these great clients who trust me and let me do what's best for the site while still working within their parameters.

Do you have projects you follow-up on?  I find checking in is another great opportunity to get more work, people love to add on as they see their yards fill in and grow.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Journey Chic - Guest Post

Through blogging I have "met" some amazing women.  One of them being Laura of Journey Chic.  She and her husband just welcomed their first bundle of joy into the world and she asked for some bloggy help doing some posts while she transitioned into mommyhood, kinda like bloggyhood only WAY harder I'm sure.
So I was thrilled to help out and do a post on freshening up your containers for fall (like this one above), so stop on over and check out my post along with many of her posts and lots of great guests bloggers.

Thanks again for including me!

Images: all my own

Whirlwind Weekend

Wow, how did it get to be Monday already??

One of my good friends (actually both the bride and groom) got married on Saturday, this is wedding #2 of the season!!

Since I was in charge of the flowers, Thursday was spent doing prep work with one of my awesome co-workers (also a florist-comes in super handy!!).  Friday was spent getting the bouquets, boutonnieres and corsages ready!!

This is reason I had NO blog posts, sorry guys, but wedding flowers take priority!!
This was the bride's bouquet, white satin ribbon wrapped as the first layer, then hot pink organza ribbon corseted around the white satin.  Everything was secured with white pearl head pins.
These were the wrist corsages for the mom's, hot pink spray roses, orange wax flower, pittosporum, hypericum berries and a little bear grass in the back.
These are the boutonnieres for the groom, groomsmen and dad's, mini mango calla lilly with hypericum berries, salal leaf and bear grass in loops. 
These were the bouquets for the bridesmaids, orange and pink roses, orange wax flower, pittosporum and salal leaves, orange dahlia's, pink and orange gerber daises and hypericum berries.
Here are all the bouquets DONE!!  The bride's is in the middle, she LOVES white daisies so they were worked into her bouquet as well as the swags that went on the arbor they were married under.
Here I am putting up the swags, they were REALLY tied on there with floral wire, Greg and I shook the arbor to make sure they weren't going anywhere.  Haha pay no attention to my shinyness, this was before I showered for the wedding, as you bloggers know, we keep it real, no fake photos here!
This is the reception room all ready for the ceremony!

All in all it was a beautiful day for a wedding and we're happy our friends are married!!
Oh yeah, and what would a wedding be without a little ELVIS??
Happy Monday everyone!!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fall into the season

So it's Fall, already??

It had to happen sometime or another, and apparently this weekend was the first rustle of the cool breezes.  When we were down in Wintergreen (near Charlottesville for Labor Day weekend with friends-photo above) we actually lit up the firepit Saturday night! As much as I like Spring and LOVE Summer, I also really enjoy Fall. Maybe because it's when Greg and I got married, or perhaps it's because I'm not so DANG hot at work anymore, or maybe it's because I get to wear sweaters and boots and scarves??

Greg with Bauer (our friends dog-he thought it'd be awesome to take the sticks we had rounded up for the fire)

Anyone else feel this way about Fall?  What is your favorite season?

Images: all are my own

Monday, September 20, 2010

Bridal Shower!

The last bride of our wedding season for this year had her shower on Saturday.  It was thrown by some of her girlfriends and I was happy to be a guest!

Here are her gorgeous shoes for the wedding, she's been breaking them in so they are COMFY for the big day.
I am doing the flowers for the wedding and wanted Wendy (the bride) to get an idea of what the low table centerpieces would look like, so in keeping with her purple and orange theme, here it is!

Flowers used: Sunflowers, Purple Lisianthus, Mini Mango Calla Lilies, Orange Ranucculus and Variegated Pittosporum.

I used a purple raw silk ribbon to hide the stems, never have liked seeing stems in arrangements so I try to come up with easy solutions to make it a little more interesting.

At the shower my arrangement was set on the dessert table with the yummy cupcakes and cookies.

I also whipped up a corsage for Wendy to wear, she IS the Bride after all!  She looked adorable opening all her presents!  I am so excited for she and Jason, I know they are a well-suited match and will have a long, happy road ahead of them!

Groom & BRIDE!!  Less than 2 months to go!!

What did you do this weekend?


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thirsty Thursday

Today's recipe is courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens.  I have always been inspired by at least one thing in each issue (if not more!) and was happy to find this delicious looking fall cocktail.

2 teaspoons whole cloves
1/2 of a vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 64-ounce bottle apple-cranberry juice
4 medium purple and/or green plums, pitted and sliced
1 750-ml bottle Gewurztraminer, or other fruity white wine*
Ice cubes

1. Place cloves and vanilla bean in center of a double-thick 6-inch square of 100-percent-cotton cheesecloth. Bring corners of cloth together; tie closed with clean string. Pour apple-cranberry juice into a large container or pitcher. Add plums and spice bag. Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours.
2. Remove and discard cheesecloth bag. Stir in Gewurztraminer. Serve beverage and plum slices over ice. (Or omit the ice and heat the juice mixture and wine in a 4-quart Dutch oven until hot. Serve in heatproof mugs.) Makes 10 to 12 servings.
*Nonalcoholic Option: Substitute two 12-ounce cans chilled ginger ale for the Gewurztraminer, and serve over ice.

We love to entertain and often throw dinner parties for 10 or more, I will be adding this to the list of new drinks to try, will you put this on your party list?


Image from: here

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Finding your Niche

Ahh house projects...

They do seem to drag along don't they?

Perhaps it's just us? With five weddings this fall our weekends are VERY limited, typically I work one of the two days which gives Greg and I ONE day to get stuff done together-YIKES!

Lucky for us we are GET IT DONE kinda people (when we are around...)

We usually divide and conquer, I'll dust, swiffer, vacuum and pick up the house, sort the mail, etc...

Greg will throw in laundry and then either get dirty in the garden or build stuff!

This weekend he finished building the niche in our master bathroom:
Mr. Perfection with the level!

Here are the new brackets to hold up the shelves.

And here it is!

And I got to style it!

This is a close-up of the middle shelf, the beach photo is one of our favorites it was taken in Corolla, NC, where Greg's family had a beach house for years and where we got engaged. The footed crystal waterford dish was a wedding present, the fish petroglyph was a present from my mom for Greg's birthday, it's over 4,000 years old. The candle was a recent purchase that is very calming, I light it before I shower and just bliss out and relax.

What do you think?? Spa-like??

We also started a new workout called P90x, very hard, but very awesome! That rain shower is feeling REALLY good these days!

Does your bathroom give you a spa like feeling?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Pink Sky

Have you ever heard the phrase "Pink sky at night sailor's take delight, pink sky in the morning, sailor's take warning?" My uncle is a boat captain and I was lucky enough to grow up around the water, so we do pay attention to nature's cues.

I wish I was sailing this morning, even with these pink clouds! Alas, I have been at work for a few hours already, but this was the beautiful sunrise that greeted me on my way in to work this morning.

Traffic usually raises my blood pressure, so I try to enjoy my commute as much as possible because I want to keep my heart healthy so I am around for a long, long time!

Finding the joy in the every-day things such as a sunrise while I'm in my car is something I am paying more and more attention to. I think the older I get, the more I appreciate the people around me and what a wonderful life I live.

I hope you all take a little time-out for yourselves today. Breathe deeply, smile and know that you are loved.


Images: are all my own

Monday, September 13, 2010

Fun weekend and a Wedding DIY

So this project post wasn't what we did THIS weekend, I'll post on that tomorrow, but it's still a fun project that I thought I'd share. While we were in Wintergreen last weekend with our friends Wendy & Jason (photo below on top of Wintergreen mountain) who are getting married in November we tested one idea for their tall table arrangements.

Wendy and I were pretty tight in High School and somehow managed to drift apart when I headed to Charleston for college. I am two years older and she was still in HS when I went away. We were lucky enough to run into each other one night at the gym, traded numbers and have been back on track ever since. I LOVE it when that happens, so rare, but so wonderful. She was a great friend then and I am lucky to have her back in my life now (here we at the vineyard they're getting married at!)

Wen is a very talented graphic designer so she is not your average bride, she likes the unusual, unique, a little off the wall, so as her "floral and event design helper" we have brainstormed some ways to save some money with not using flowers at every table.

Her mom bought some tall cylinder vases in varying heights which we will fill with green or purple moss and limes and tangerines (I'll show you those one day soon, the photos are on my home computer). We will then add branches, but not just ANY branches, spray painted branches, here is the DIY...

I bought two different types of spray paint, their colors are a rich pumpkin/rust color and a beautiful shade of eggplant/plum. Perfect for a winery wedding in November!

Here is the purple branch:

And here is the copper:

Any thoughts? I promise I'm not crazy to be using branches, and how COOL of a bride to like something that biodegrades when we're done!

I'll post what we ended up with after the wedding in November! Have you done your own tablescapes? Please share! I know you are a talented bunch of bloggers!

Happy Monday!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Planting Indoors

As I'm sure you all know, most of my work is OUTSIDE! But on occasion I am lucky to get a lead for office plants. I love doing these because I know it makes such a difference in the quality of their work spaces.

So yesterday I crammed my SUV (thanks honey for my new ride) full of plants, containers, plant food, a watering can and of course myself and headed over to put it all together!

Here is the front desk now:
A Phalaenopsis orchid on the desk
A Spathiphyllum also known as Peace lily on the floor

Seating area in the lobby:
Dracaena mass cane

Fragrant orchid on the side table

Boss's office:
A gorgeous Fiddle Leaf Ficus

The building is very sleek and modern, here is the lobby:

My client was an aviation planning and management company who wanted simple, clean lined containers to match the style of the building and greenery to enhance their surroundings. I went back today to take these photos and they were thrilled with the results. It's so nice to have people love and appreciate what you do!

Do you grow houseplants, if so what's your favorite? Is it important to you to have greenery around?

Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend!


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thirsty Thursday

With this beautiful fall weather that has started to push in I thought it appropriate to bring back one of my cool weather drinks. No, not this gorgeous Serviceberry...

The Hot Toddy

I thought "Toddy" was a funny word and did a little research, come to find out it may have orginated in Asia or Africa as an alcoholic beverage made from the sap of palm trees. I love the internet, there is all kinds of great information!

Traditional Scottish recipe from Wikipedia

Pour a shot of Whisky into a cup or mug, add boiling water to it. Add a spoonful of honey or sugar. Add a half slice of lemon, 2 cloves and, if you have one, a cinnamon stick. leave it is to brew for 3–5 minutes. I like to take the cloves out when done steeping and keep the cinnamon stick out but close by so I can give it a swirl around the mug now and again.

This is the perfect cool weather drink, it really warms you up on a drizzly day.

Do you have a favorite cool weather drink? Please share!


Images from: my own, here and here

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I'm a guest!

I was lucky enough to be able to participate in THE (Through Her Eyes) Series on the amazing blog Layers of Meaning written by the very sweet Maria Fe and today is the first post of the series, "Your Purse."

I know we are all nosy to see what we carry around with us on a daily basis, so she was clever to think up such a cute way to share some insight into us bloggers out there.

So go on over and check out myself and the other talented ladies I've been grouped with, this is the year end roundup, so we got in under the gun so to speak! Maria Fe and her husband Brad are welcoming their first BABY in the New Year, so stay tuned for what I'm sure will be even more stylish updates on living with a little one!

Let me know what you carry, I know there's something good in there!!

Happy mid-week!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Cardinal Flower Vine

I have a affinity to Hummingbirds, okay, I'll come clean, it borders on obsession! Their tiny little bodies, those ruby throats, uggghh, I just want to hold them and feel their little wings beat-haha, okay I swear I'm not crazy. But I will do anything to attract them to my garden. I'm not really a "RED" person, in my house or in flowers, but they are the easiest color for hummingbirds to see and be drawn in to a garden, so I have compromised BIG TIME to lure these lovelies into my lair, oopps, I mean yard.

Cardinal Climber, also called Cardinal Flower Vine or in Latin Ipomoea multifida is a favorite to Hummingbirds. They love long, tubular flowers that allow them to put their beaks in to retreive the sweet nectar.

This is growing on an iron form in a container on my deck mixed in with my Moonflower (see earlier post), so I get a great show during the day with this and another treat at night with the moonflowers opening up.

In small spaces you have to use EVERY inch! So multi-task your containers for even more enjoyment.

Hope everyone had a safe, happy holiday weekend!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Proven Winners

I spend a LOT of time searching out the right plant for the right place for my jobs. It's a designers dream, much like finding the perfect fabric or wallpaper for an interior designer, we seek to find something that is a reflection of YOU from the outside. This is a container on our back deck with sweet potato vine, geraniums and bidens. They are enjoying the last days of summer, I will be replacing them with fall blooms here shortly (sorry plants, that's your job!)

The plants we choose reflect our homeowner, home, style, taste, lifestyle and are seen from the exterior. Plants are often the first impression others get of your home, that's a LOT of pressure! No one's going to know your kitchen is a mess from the outside, but they will know if there are NO plants welcoming you, or if the holly is "eating the house." Can you even see the two windows hiding behind the holly on the left??

I think the same holds true for container gardening. For people who don't have a lot of space you can really add some drama with containers. I love plants by Proven Winners, a great brand that is owned by three leading US plant propagators I personally think they produce some of the nicest plants in the marketplace. They pay careful attention to trends and bring unique, high performing plants to garden centers throughout the country.

Check out their website, it has great tools on it to design your own containers, or even use their ideas to plant your own!

Have you used any of their plants? Do you change out your containers seasonally? Let me know if you want some tips and tricks for fall containers.

Happy Labor Day Weekend!


Images from: here, both mine, and here