With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, here are a few tips for getting the freshest and most beautiful flowers from your local florist.

  1. TRUST..the floral designer to do what they are trained to do.  Let your designer be inspired to bring out the natural beauty in each flower. Encourage them to be creative and design a unique bouquet for you.  Some of the worst bouquets come from trying to make flowers that look like a photo.  Photo’s should be used as a general guide for style, but NOT used to make an exact duplicate of an arrangement.   Flowers are art..so let your designer be an artist.  It’s what they love doing!  Floral designers love giving flowers a voice!
  2. Give your floral designer your general guidelines, the color palette, your style preferences, and any favorite flowers of the recipient, and your budget.  Remember that delivery and tax are always added on after the flower price, so make sure you clarify the bottom line.
  3.  Always ask what is FRESH and IN SEASON this week.  Flowers are grown by farmers and farming is seasonal.  Farming is dependent on weather, supply & demand, transportation issues. Flowers are grown all around the world, and there is nothing that adds stress for a florist more than having their roses stuck in the airport on Valentines week, due to a winter storm somewhere in the country.  Be flexible, have patience, and plan on ordering extra early to make sure you have choices and options. Remember it’s winter, and many types of flowers are not available in the winter, unless you are willing to pay for the OUT OF SEASON price.  Most florists are happy to order out of season flowers in for you, but you need to plan ahead in order to have it available when you want it.  Allow at least 10 days for your florist to bring in your “out of season flowers” for you.


If you want to buy flowers in a box…then I think they should look like art! Here is one of our more recent examples of boxed floral art!

Capturing the reflection on the river

More reflections on the water, capturing the sky

The willow tree reflection in the water at sundown

The boat and dock reflection in the river

Love how the willow tree is upside down in this reflection

What I was actually looking at

How ripples on the river, distort the picture in the water

Dock reflection

































































I spent last evening watching the sun go down, and playing with my camera with reflections on the water.  When I was first learning floral design, a Japanese teacher told me that design should encompass the negative space as well as the positive space.  I had a hard time learning that concept.  Sometimes a floral design is as much about what’s not there.  Her other bit of advice was making sure that each flower had a voice, by giving it room to speak and a space to shine.

It turned out to be good advice, and I have continued over the years to try to improve those techniques.  Ikebana design is so mathematical and complex, that I had a hard time learning the principles but I do understand the concept of  a Zen presentation.

I was thinking about this concept while playing with the camera to try and capture a different view of something that I see everyday.  I’m usually busy looking a the actual flowers that I forget to notice the ethereal qualities that are also there, similar to the reflections on the water or the ripples in the waves.  It was fascinating to play with my camera and look at the water with a different eye.  I think the exercise helps me be a better floral designer.

I have to say that I noticed another very interesting thing that happens when you pull out a camera~ people want to ham it up.   So many people going by in boats, thought I was taking their pictures, or making a you tube video, and they responded really funny!  Lot’s of hoots, dancing, thumbs up, and acting up and showing off for the camera, but I honestly did not photograph a single person, nor did I make a you tube video, it was purely a selfish of relaxation for my own benefit.

The  experienced and skilled floral professional is able to create the most beautiful displays  but  you do have to pay for their talent.

The answer to what you pay for is pretty straight forward.  The cost of flowers reflect the following,  supply v. demand, availability, overhead costs of suppliers, shipping, geography & seasonal availability, and rent. So many things factor into the cost!

If you want to save on flowers,  just try to find a floral designer who has the best design experience,  & someone who’s work you trust.  Ask them to buy what is best this week at the flower market. (this is  the place where world wide growers bring their goods to market, rather like a farmers market ).   But remember that if you just have to have that special flower, designed a special way, delivered tomorrow  then you may have to pay for the service of that level.

Give me a bit of notice, and a bit of flexibility, & I  may just be able to save you a bit of money!

Flowers Galore!


Really excited to be participating in the upcoming Design Contest in September and then having the opportunity to relax at the BBQ,  California style of course!  Looking forward to mingling and spending the day with fellow florists, and sharing a whole lot of creative brainpower with our other floral industry professionals!  Skyline Flowers has been an exciting addition to the Seattle marketplace both for the consumer who are getting the benefit from the freshest flowers available and the floral business community who now have access to fresh California grown flowers as well.

The first Kirkland Home show was held last week.  Thanks to all the people who worked so hard to put it on.  My Home Wholesale opened their beautiful store up to vendors and deserve a big thanks as well.

Our table was decorated for the holiday season. We wanted to show how you can be festive, add unusual color, and mix it up a bit for something a little different.  We decided to go with peacock colors because they work so nice with browns and coppers.  A big thank you to Tiffany at www.sealitwithlove.com for the beautiful menu cards, place cards at all of her beautiful paper If you’re looking for beautiful invitations or planning an event, check out her website to see some of her awesome items.  The photography was done by www.laurenkahanphotography.com it does a nice job of showing off our flowers and our table.  The idea for using unusual  color came from our  floral designer Tamara, who really wanted to show that the holidays aren’t just about candy canes and red flowers.

Peacock Holiday Table

holiday table

Flowers & table setting

Flowers for the table

The room setting

Sherwin Williams just released their forecast for design trends for 2010  which you can read about here: http://www.ddimagazine.com/displayanddesignideas/search/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1004014057

I found it interesting to read because I have already begun to see some of these new trends showing up in weddings.  Since we are working on weddings for next year, it stands out as very different from the past few years of bling and over the top design.

Let’s talk about Sherwin Williams 2010 design trend forecast and how it is already showing up in wedding trends for 2010~

The first trend is called ” Rooted”

I’ve been seeing many brides who want to add an element of family tradition into the wedding. Family heritage is playing an important part in the wedding.  Brides are wanting to add a special piece of Grandmothers jewelry to the bouquet.  I’ve even had some brides ask about using flowers from their Grandparents or Mother’s garden and they are even bringing me antique photo’s of  wedding bouquets and asking me to recreate the look with a fresh twist.  I’ve even see the guest book table lined with historical family photos in old fashioned frames. something different, but a cool way to included loved ones who are either gone or can’t attend.  I think we are at a time in our history where we are trying to get back to our roots, but we are trying to transform history into a fresh,  new, and revitalized look. It will be exciting to see what kinds of ideas brides dream up!

The second trend is called “Simplified”

I’ve certainly been seeing a trends towards simplifying  in weddings.  Everyone is on a budget, and they are willing to make do without some things, just to simplify the process.  They are looking for floral decor that they can reuse elsewhere after the ceremony.  Ceremony pieces are being used and then reused on the buffet table, or gift table, etc.  I’ve seen the wedding party bouquets doubling as head table arrangements.  Things like arches have not been as popular because they are expensive and difficult to reuse elsewhere in the event.  Recyling  & reusing are a huge trend right now.

“Treasured” is the third trend:

I’ve done more barn weddings recently! With old Mason jars as vases, lots of branches, curly willow, old weathered chairs with peeling paint, but all with a fresh new twist.   The look is being classed up with lighting, linens and nice place settings. Very sophisticated and elegant, yet natural and rustic at the same time.

When I did a photo shoot for Seattle Metropolitan Bride & Groom magazine  http://seattlemetbrideandgroom.com/ I worked with  Stacy at     http://www.skweddingandeventdesign.com/ and one of the things that surprised me the most when we did the shoot this summer was the criteria we were given by the editor.  It did not really fit my sense of design style at the time.  We did an autumn harvest table that was very simple but elegant which  combined classic styled place settings by Vera Wang, with heavy woven tapestry table linens, old antiques,  and a simple  natural element of  fruits & vegetables.  In just a few short months I’ve seen the trends go this direction.  Just goes to shows you how far out the magazine editors have to be working.  Wow!   Brides are bringing all kinds of treasures to our consultation meetings, and I love it! Withall the budget constraints, it is really an inspiring and challenging time to be a designer.

The last trend is ” Refreshed”

This trend is really showing itself in floral design in general.  Bright, energized colors, with a touch of vintage but with a new refreshed look.  Gingham and raffia and polka dots are all old fashioned, but they are being used in new and refreshing ways. I think we are living in a challenging time of history and we need simple things that makes us feel positive and optimistic and color is one of those things!  Cheery is definitely a hot trend right now!

So while we may be having budget issues,  job worries and economic chaos, and it’s a definite challenge to planning an affordable wedding, I think the trends are in our favor! Here are some of the elegant venues brides in the NW have been looking at that are lovely, historical and right on trend as places to experience our  “Roots”, ” Simplify” the ceremony, “Treasure”the memories and take a “Refreshing” new look at the future.






There are so many wonderful venues, that I couldn’t possibly link to them all, but here is a link to venues in Washington State that may help you in your search for the perfect place to hold your wedding next year.