October 2009

Just  wanted to share this collaborative effort with SK that I had the honor of participating in.  It was great fun! Very few brides ever come into the shop without this magazine in their hands. This magazine does a great job of covering the wedding trends and brides love this magazine!  It was exciting to be a part of the project!



Recently I became aware of this organization which is doing a lot to eradicate poverty and promote trade standards in the agriculture business around the world.  I feel pretty good about what they are doing.  You can read their mission statement  here: http://www.fintrac.com/ You can also ready more about them here too:  http://tradestandards.org/en/Partner.6.asp

Take for example, pesticide use.  I have spoken with many growers, who live in other countries, who laugh at the idea that we can have flowers from the jungle without the use of pesticides. They really laugh when I talk to them about my “green ideas” and how they can put them into practice.  They tell me that I do not understand what it is like to live in a tropical jungle.  I guess I can’t argue with that, since I’ve never lived in a jungle.  :>)

I’ve come to realize that what is most important to me, is how people are treated, and how safe the products that they use are for me and the consumer to handle.  I’ve learned from experience that I have to use something to fight the slugs in my garden, and it’s my responsibility to find a way to do it that isn’t going to harm the environment, or me.

I admire this company for putting so much money into making the global agricultural economy better for us all.

I recently became aware of Laura Dowling on Twitter, because someone posted that she was in the running to become the next florist to the White House.  The Washington Post http://voices.washingtonpost.com/reliable-source/2009/10/rs-florist19.htmlalso had some news stories about her, and said they had heard from a good source that she was going to be the next florist for the Obama Family.  According to the reports she is just one of the floral designers in the running.  I haven’t heard any announcements since then, so I do not know if she was chosen or not. The story did make me curious as to who she was, and what kind of design she does.  You can see her work here: http://www.lauradowling.com/

I do have to say that after exploring her site and reading her blog, I was impressed!  I like the fact that she has a very refined sense of design but it is not overly formal.  I feel like she has a great sense of how important nature is to the design process, and she does a good job of reflecting this in her work.

I’m really inspired by her work, because I feel like it is reflects the trends that  I am seeing in my day to day encounters with brides and my flower loving customers.  One of my clients  just returned from living in France for two years and one of the first things he noticed when he returned was how terrible flowers were here in the US and we had a long conversation about how it could be improved. I  like the fact that the White House is searching for a new look that is less formal. It might just reflect our sense of getting back to the basics.

Since I am a floral designer, I am always looking for new inspiration, heart and soul! I think this designer shows a little bit of all of these traits, plus a contemporary twist that is quite refreshing!

I’d love to hear from anyone who  has fresh ideas about flowers here in the United States or even the worldwide flower industry in general, whether it is with regards to production, distribution, design or growing.

Can’t wait to see who becomes the next floral designer in the White House, I’m sure she will have influence in how the trends develop.

Nov. 20th ……….An Update:

Check out this latest update on Laura Dowling~ I’m happy!


Another updated article, worth checking out…


Well, since I have written the previous post, it has now been confirmed that Laura Dowling is the next florist to the White House.  The above link was interesting reading regarding future trends and the difference between the US and French style to design.  It is a terrific article, with lots of design aspects to think  about & I suggest reading it if you are interested in the subject of floral design.

I’m pretty sure that my link to her blog and website will no longer work, since she has become a world figure,  her  online persona has to now take a step back from the public limelight, which of course I can relate to! The floral business is all about being discreet!

I agree with all the media hoopla,  I can’t wait to see what Laura brings to the state dinner on November 24th. Wow, talk about pressure? Yikes! Having been in similar situations, I am impressed, and also so excited to see her work. I have no doubt that it will be amazing! She is turning out to be a rock star, and a great role model  and she is providing inspiration to the talent that exists in our industry that has yet to be discovered!


Congratulations to Laura!


Amazing Fall Color

Having fun on a sunny afternoon with my camera.  It’s tough learning what all the buttons do.  I’m not that tech  savvy, but it’s fun learning something new.

Enjoy the season!


Shadows on a fall day


Tree on fire!


Catch a falling leaf


The Ample Harvest campaign diminishes hunger by enabling backyard gardeners to share their excess produce with neighborhood food banks.  I recently became aware of this organization through some fellow twitter farmers and of course I promptly looked up my neighborhood food bank to see if they were members. I was happy to discover that they were members. I was excited to see this!

Hopelink  just opened a new facility just down the street from my new location,  11011 120th Avenue N.E. in Kirkland, and I have been hearing some great things about the new facility.  One of the most exciting things I recently heard was that they offer  a whole new format for a  food bank.  They have it set up more like a grocery store.  Research shows that people don’t always eat the way that the food bank gives out food.  So they have organized it like a grocery store, where families can come in and shop just like you would in a grocery store. Each family has it’s allotment based upon need. Families have  more freedom to get food that they actually want and end up eating healthier as a result. You can read the news story here:  http://www.pnwlocalnews.com/east_king/kir/lifestyle/52396417.html I am so excited about this new food bank model, and even more excited about Ample Harvest, it’s  the missing piece to our nations food bank models.

I know that it is the end of growing season, but I wanted to post this so that we could all think about adding an extra 2 or 3 plants of lettuce, beans or tomatoes, or whatever you love to grow, just so that you could know that we can all help provide healthy & nutritionally great food to families through a simple distribution model.

I really did not know that you could donate fresh produce and I’ve just never given it a thought until now.  I always think of non perishable items when I think of giving food to a food bank.  I know that I have always felt bad every time I drive by an apple tree and see the apples going to waste.  My friend Leslie has made me aware of an organization called Fallen Fruit, which is an activist group that is mapping fallen fruit around the country so that it can be put to good use.  It’s a great idea! I think this takes it a step farther by enabling individuals the opportunity to make a choice to donate to a good cause like www.ampleharvest.org which has the connections to get local FRESH natural food into the hands of the families and individuals who need it the most.

http://www.erwinphotography.com/blog/index.php?category=2&start=3 Erwin Wijanto did such an amazing job photographing one of my recent events,  Megan & Bryan’s wedding.  I couldn’t wait to share his website.Take a look around and you will see how incredible and creative he is.   I take pictures of my flowers, but it’s not the same as getting to see them in their setting, seeing the love and laughter! I get to share in the experience and it is awesome to be able to see my work in a new light!  They had a lovely venue, the gardens at the University of Washington Arboretum, everything was beautiful.

http://amberrobertsphoto.blogspot.com/2009/08/married-carol-harry.htmlAmber Roberts did the photography for another of my lovely brides, Carol! Harry & Carol held there special event at the Lake Union Yacht Club, it was a hot summer evening and the perfect place for a romantic occasion.  Amber did a fantastic job of capturing the romance of the evening. I really loved the video at the end of the pictures.  Once again, her fantastic photography skill made my flowers look fabulous.


Donesha & Clyde’s wedding was held at Newcastle, spectacular view, a fun loving group. This was a challenge to plan becasue the bride did not arrive in town until the last minute, but we managed to get the job done, and as you can see Benny Photography did a terrific job showcasing the couple and all the fun! Donesha’s bouquet is by far the most requested loo. Brides always bring that photograph of the chocolate callas and white roses bouquet to consultations and ask for something like it.  How can you go wrong with chocolate and champagne!


Alisia & Andrew were a joy to work with! La Vie Photography did an amazing job. They have a knack for photographing exquisite detail.  We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful location overlooking the water, perfect weather, and one of my favorite bouquets, natural and organic looking.  La Vie of course makes it look like something I might find in a magazine.  This wedding was a joy which shows in all the photos!

Nuts! I was captivated by this little guy today.  I was sitting and watching him go NUTS, gathering food, digging a hole and burying it. He did it about 5 or 6 times, his little cheeks were just stuffed each time, and then he would dig a hole, drop it in, and go back for more!  He was funny to watch.  Guess I’m able to relate, after having been driven NUTS all week from today’s  wedding.  Another Happy Fall shot, too bad it is a little blurry, but this guy was just so fast,  I couldn’t get a great shot.  I missed the craziest shot with his stuffed cheeks, posing for the camera, gotta be quick to catch a shot of this NUTTY guy.  Gorgeous day in Seattle, but I’m  glad my NUTTY weekend is over!

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