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Monday, May 7, 2012

Fourth Annual Bouquet Day

If you read last week's post, you know that Tracey and I whipped up a batch of fun bouquets for an event at Engaged Wedding Library marking the fourth annual "Bouquet Day." Today I thought I'd share some photos by Stacy Richardson from the day and add a snippet of back-story on why Engaged has such a special place in my heart.

 When Engaged first opened, Lillie's shared an office with the "Engaged girls" in the little sun room at the Engaged cottage on Oxmoor Road. With all-girl tenants in the house we were like a bunch of college roommates -- and even shuffled around once or twice as roommates do.

As business grew, Lillie's moved to a second office at Engaged -- a butler's pantry boasting built-in shelves and sweet glass front cabinets where I displayed all of my treasures. This was the location of the second official "Bouquet Day." 

That first year I made these tiny bouquets to match my tiny office where they all lined up quite nicely on the butler's pantry shelves.

 If you look closely you can see the bouquet descriptions on the shelves.

This year's "Bouquet Day" has grown and so have our bouquets! While the first event featured a handful of local floral designer's, this year the number of designers participating has doubled from the first Bouquet Day.

And though Lillie's has a home of its own now, we still got to spend some time with our friends Katie and Stephanie (The engaged girls) creating this window display for "Bouquet Day 2012" at their wonderful new location on Oxmoor Road in Homewood.

It's always great to see the variety and imagination of the designers. After all, there is no such thing as "one size fits all" when it comes to a bride's bouquet!

Bride's-to-be got to hold and have their picture made with dream bouquets, and there was something for every style and budget this year.  

. . . before you know it we will be planning our bouquets for Bouquet Day 2013!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Local Color : designs using native flora

A couple of months ago Pat Sholund of the always fascinating and stunning botanical garden, Aldridge Gardens, called and asked me to help her with an article on the use of native and local flora in wedding bouquets. Well, of course, nothing could please me more than to brag about native Alabama plants! 

Serendipity! It just so happened we were pulling together a few bouquets for an event at Engaged Wedding Library and were able to share these images as examples. This bouquet we named "Clementine" contains both native and locally grown ingredients such as hellebores, yarrow foliage and wild blackberries.

Bouquet "Charlotte" contains locally grown blueberries, baptisia, hydrangea and lamb's ear.

"Evangeline" bouquet features local Solomon's seal, hosta, waxleaf ligustrum buds, viburnum, the fernlike foliage of yarrow. Though these spring tuberose were brought in, this hot August we will have the most heavenly tuberose in bloom, grown locally in Sand Mountain, Alabama.

Below, a bouquet we call "Elizabeth" is composed of pale garden roses accompanied by silvery artemisia and lamb's ear.

I admit it...I'm partial to local green. Wherever local is.

There is a wonderfully authentic quality to design where the local landscape is considered. It is as true in architecture as in flower design. One of my favorite designers, Francoise Weeks has made her signature weaving the plant life of her Northwest woodlands into every exquisite design.

You see, where many floral designers came in through the front door, I truly came in through the back - the garden gate you might say. 

I was born into a family of prolific gardeners. My Daddy teaches our county Master Gardeners how to grow the perfect tomatoes and my Mama keeps the most exquisite perennial and native wildflower garden. Early on, I logged hours hauling, potting, and creating container gardens at a local nursery, all the while, learning about essentials like hardiness and bloom time from the "ground up." Friends often ask why Lillie's bouquets have a natural look about them. I really believe it is because we include Alabama green in most of our bouquets. I guess my love affair with Southern plants was destiny.