May 30, 2012

Garden to Table

My wedding from earlier this spring wanted a simple, rustic, just-cut-from-the-garden look for their wedding at Greystone Hall.  My bride and her mother are both very creative and had a distinct vision for their look – it was a pleasure to help it come to life!

The bride’s chosen flower was anemones, and their dark-eyed, pure perfection could have been enough on their own, but we finished the look with the daintiest maidenhair fern, ranunculus, spray roses, and hydrangea, all loosely gathered and placed in trios of mason jars atop burlap cloths. Other tables were arrangements of peonies, roses, hydrangea, anemones, and lotus pods in vintage wooden boxes. The mixed vintage dining plates completed the old-fashioned vintage look the bride was going for out on the terrace – lovely!

The garden-y, natural theme continued throughout - mossed initials of the bride and groom were hung on either side of the huge double doors into the Hall, pomanders of kermit mums and moss hung on chairs down the aisle, and enormous vintage milk cans overflowing with flowers and reeds stood on either side of the wedding arch on the lower terrace/garden. Inside, I used my vintage English watering can to create a whimsical placecard table arrangement. I thought the creams, whites, and greens contrasted so well with the velvety, black-centered anemones and I truly loved how everything turned out – especially the bridal and the bridesmaids’ bouquets. The anemones were spectacular.

Simplest is often best in terms of color, texture, and arrangement, especially as we move into late spring and early summer – and nothing is better, in my opinion, than the beauty found in one’s garden. 

Flowers pictured include: hydrangea, anemones, ranunculus, dusty miller, lotus pods, maidenhair fern, vendela roses, hypericum berry, Duchesse peonies, kermit mums, vivienne spray rose, reeds, salal, Israeli ruscus, and fresh green moss.

Bridal bouquet

Bridesmaids' bouquets - smaller versions of the Bridal

Pomander of kermit mums, moss, and burlap ribbon

May 25, 2012

The Barnes, Take 2: An Evening in the Garden

Within 24 hours, we were back at the Barnes Foundation - this time for a seated dinner for 200 guests.  Our challenge was to create an atmosphere of intimacy in a vast space; we did this by placing all of the farm dining tables at one end of the Court while letting the other side be used for dessert after the gallery tours.

When I first started brainstorming about the design for this particular evening, I knew immediately I wanted it to invoke the garden and the grounds of the Barnes Merion campus. We designed over 80 arrangements in a dizzying number of sizes and styles in a variety of garden containers - cement, antique wire and metal, mercury glass, stone, antique ceramic, glass, tin - in the jewel tones of spring: cerise, purple, cobalt, yellow, orange, acid green. On the rustic farm tables (squares and rectangles), the flowers looked completely at home and natural. The effect was spectacular.

Because there were so many arrangements across the seventeen tables, I wanted the visual impact to be effective both from a distance and up close.  To do this, I created a series of solid color arrangements of a single flower to line the longer tables on either side of the enormous multi in the middle. As I have said before, one flower used en masse is terribly effective, especially when working in large spaces. For the square tables, I used four different types of containers and I created huge, round centerpieces that I placed on a piece of slate in the middle.

I simply loved it!

Flowers pictured include: ranunculus, agapanthus, hybrid delphinium, skyline roses, larkspur, stock, belladonna delphinium, white navonna lilies, brunelo lilies, Sarah Bernhardt peonies, Kansas peonies, Festiva Maxima peonies, craspedia, yarrow, dusty miller, white hydrangea, curly willow, voodoo roses, lime green hydrangea, myrtle, bells of Ireland, Lady's Mantle, bupleurum, seeded eucalyptus, salal, pittosporum, fresh green moss.

The 17 tables - setting up

Cocktail tables for the Terrace

Cocktail tables ready to be placed

A square farm table arrangement

A shot of 3 of the 10 long farm tables

One of six vase arrangements that flanked the antique wire basket

Long tables had three arrangements of a single color and flower on either side - a total of six

Orange ranunculus

Blue delphinium

Green hydrangea and lady's mantle

Purple stock and bupleurum

Kansas (cerise) peony and Sarah Bernhardt (medium pink) peony

Yellow skyline roses

View towards front courtyard entrance and reflecting pool

Registration table and flats of wheatgrass for placecards

A view of the head table at night - see the interior garden through the glass