Book review, books, Flower Designs

Flower Color Guide – Book Review

Since I started designing flower arrangements I have gathered a nice collection of books on flowers. From gardening to arranging they range from instructional to coffee table, I love them each in their own way.

So I thought every once in a while I’d do a little book review and maybe you’ll find one that peaks your interest. And by all means, if you have a favorite please tell me about it. It may be one I don’t have…yet!

Today’s review is of my latest purchase that I bought at the deYoung Museum during Bouquet To Arts. It was a book that kept showing up in my Instagram feed in an advertisement and had quickly been added to my books to purchase list. The book is called Flower Color Guide by Darroch and Michael Putnam.

This book is exactly what it’s named. It’s a guide to flower colors. The pictures are simple and allow you to see details of each flower. In the upper corner of each picture are the stats for each flower: common name, botanical name, variety, category of flower in an arrangement, and the peak seasonal availability.

In the appendix you can find info on how to buy, prep, and cut flowers. They also give a list of color schemes.

Finally, there are the flower “chips”. These are small little perforated chips that have the flower on the front and their corresponding info on the back of them. This would allow you to pull together a mood board or make a set of flash cards…hey I don’t judge. LOL.

My only complaint is that the book is super thick and therefore it’s hard to keep open while reading.

Definitely a great reference book and one I’ll turn to time and time again.

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May your day be filled with flowers!

Classes, Flower Designs, Gardening, Gardens

Garden Chairs

I’m so excited about this project and the final results. I have been wanting to make a garden chair for a while but hadn’t found the “right” chair. Then at the antique fair this year, I found two chairs…already prepped for me! It was fate…or just dumb luck. So purchase them I did…even carried them several blocks home.

If you read my blog about the antique fair you’ll know that I promised to tell you how I planted in them. So here goes…my first ever “how-to”…let me know what you think.

Step 1: Find Chair(s)

You can use just about any type of dining style chair (not upholstered or a recliner). If you choose a wooden versus the metal one I used you’ll need to prep the container portion differently and most likely weatherproof the wood. Check out some YouTube videos on how to do so. In my case I had these great metal bistro chairs which someone had already removed the seats and attached the chicken wire.

I had debated on painting the chairs but ended up leaving them the white rusted look so they were a bit more neutral to appeal to more customers. If you are doing this for yourself you can choose just about any color you want…I had thought about a bright yellow, red or teal which I think would compliment the plants beautifully. Then again that probably why I left them white…I couldn’t choose a color!

Step 2: Gather Materials and Tools

Gather your tools and materials. Here’s what I used but all are subjective to the type of chair and what you are planting. Remember this is for 2 chairs.

  • Green moss – 820 cu. in. or 13.4 liter bag (used about 3/4 bag for both chairs)
  • Cactus Mix – 8 quart or 8.8 liter bag (pretty much used the whole bag)
  • Burlap – depending the size of the chair but I used about a 1/4 of a yard.
  • Gardening or work gloves – I used them only when I was working with the wire, however if you are planting cacti you’ll want to use them for that as well.
  • Wire clippers
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers – this is optional. Since succulents are fragile many people use tweezers to handle and plant succulents.
  • Zip Ties
  • Chicken Wire (floral mesh)
  • Several buckets
  • 28 plants (mostly 2″ pots but a few 4″)
  • Decorations (I.e. driftwood, bark, rocks, fairy garden accessories)

Step 3: Prep for Planting

There will be a lot of water dripping from your chair as you are working, so pick a work area that can get wet. This is also a somewhat messy job so take that into consideration as well.

Some of the chicken wire was saggy and not connected to the chair frame. I was worried that the weight of the soil and plants would cause a problem so I zip tied the chicken wire in a few more places. This is an easy way to attach it if you are starting from scratch. I happened to have white zip ties so they blended well with the chair frame. You may also want to do two layers of chicken wire and cross-hatch them so that the holes are smaller and the moss won’t come out the bottom.

I filled one of the buckets with water and soaked a good amount of the moss in it. You may need to work in small batches. Ring out some of the water from the moss and then start layering it on the chicken wire. I did I nice thick layer of it but not so much that I lost the bowl shape and the ability to hold the soil. I have to admit once this step was done, I was giddy. I knew this would turn out good…just from the layer of moss. Then again ya’ll know how much I love moss.

Next cut your burlap to fit on top of the moss. This is where your soil will sit. The burlap prevents the soil from falling through the moss. A little hint, I placed some soil in the middle of the burlap to anchor it before I cut it. Note: You can use coconut husk fiber or any liner that lets water through. This is really just to prevent the soil from pushing through the moss.

I poured about half the bag of soil into a bucket and wet it throughly and left other half dry in another bucket. I used cactus soil since I was planting succulents and I needed a soil that will drain well.

Fill the bowl of moss and burlap with the dry soil.

If you are using driftwood or something large, then place them now.

This was a piece of bark, so I filled up the underside with soil to keep it sturdier and so I could plant easily.

I also made balls of chicken wire to make little mounds to plant in. This is where the wet soil really helps as it clings to the mound easier. Be sure to fill inside your chicken wire as you want to make sure the plants are fully in soil when you insert them in.

Sorry, not the best picture of my ball of wire.

Step 4: Start Planting

I did a mock layout of where I wanted to put the plants. Basically leaving them in their containers and laying them around the container. I wanted taller plants towards the back and draping or ground cover along the sides or in open spaces.

Make a hole in the soil where you want the plant to go. Remove your plant from their container and discard the old soil. Insert into the hole you made. I used the wet soil to then loosely pack the plant in place. Step repeat until all plants have been used.

Step 5: Moss It

If you like the “bare soil look” then you can skip this step. I used more wet moss to cover the bare soil throughout the container. You could also use rocks, bark, sea glass, or a combination of these. I liked this “forest floor” look that the moss gave.

Step 6: Clean Up

There will be moss hanging down from the bottom of the chair. I just pushed it back up into the chicken wire or trimmed it where necessary.

Step 7: Enjoy

Take step back and bask in the glory of your finished project. Take tons of pictures and brag about it! You deserve it for all of your hard work. And please share those pictures with me! I would love to see them.

These lovelies will be for sale at the Art & Garden Festival on July 14 in downtown Petaluma. Be sure to stop by the booth and say “hey!”

Please follow me on social media:
Facebook: @marmaladeskyfloraldesign
Instagram: @marmalade_sky_floral_designs
Website: marmaladeskyfloral.com
Email: marmaladeskyfloral@gmail.com

May your day be filled with flowers!

Business, Events, Flower Designs

Quick Catch-Up

I had another blog all written but when I don’t post them right away I know that I really wasn’t feeling it. So it’s now erased and I’m starting anew with this quick little catch-up. (Is there not a ketchup emoji? I really wanted one…just to be punny.)

Save the date!

My friend Janis and have signed up for a booth at the Petaluma Art & Garden Festival on Sunday, July 14. This is a first time for both of us to do a show like this. We would much appreciate you coming to see us and spread the word, please! We are very excited and hope this is the start of participating in more events like this one.

SF Succulent Society Show

Janis and I went to this show last weekend and it was cray-cray to say the least. I think they were a little overwhelmed on how many people attended due to advertising on FB for the first time. While it was a zoo and my claustrophobia was very much tested, we came away with some great plants that we will be incorporating into our work. The show was just in time for us to make our purchases before the Art & Garden Festival!

Bouquet To Arts

I love the Bouquet To Arts Show at the deYoung Museum. Honestly I didn’t think I would go this year, but it happened to be the same weekend as the succulent show and both are located in Golden Gate Park. We did not see the entire show but what we did see was spectacular as always. Aaaaand the fact that I had met up with my friends Doug & Ali who were members and got us in under their memberships.

Waterlily Pond Studios did a phenomenal display in the front entrance. It’s called eclipse. It is 14′ in diameter and 1200lbs. There are 10,000 flowers used. AND IT SPINS! My pictures don’t do it justice.

I have to say, the arrangement below is one of my favorites. It’s really simple but it matches the art that it is paired with really well. Now normally, unless your mechanics are decorative you are supposed to cover them up. In this case you can see the pin frogs but I think it adds to the artistry of the piece.

Here are few other arrangements from the show.

Please follow me on social media:
Facebook: @marmaladeskyfloraldesign
Instagram: @marmalade_sky_floral_designs
Website: marmaladeskyfloral.com
Email: marmaladeskyfloral@gmail.com

May your day be filled with flowers!