Flowers To Know

Knowing Your Greens

The greens trend.  Its huge and it's real.  You can't even look at pinterest without seeing a farm table featuring a garland of greens.  In general, arrangements that are more naturally styled have become recently very popular for brides, and foliage plays a huge role in achieving this aesthetic.  From foraged greens to standard varieties of foliage florists are exploring a whole new avenue for design within this trend.  Ranging from dusty blue greens to deep forest green, the world of foliage is a vast one.  Here is the 101 on knowing your greens.

Eucalyptus.  $-$$$

Eucalyptus is the main player in the greens trend, brides are using it in bouquets, centerpieces, wreaths, garlands, swags, place settings... and on.  The dusty blue green color of the foliage pairs beautifully with softer toned blooms but adds a laid back aesthetic to your event flowers.  From varieties such as Silver Dollar, Gunni, Baby, Seeded and a few others, you definitely have options when it comes to eucalyptus.

Ferns.  $-$$

Available in a variety of shapes and sizes ferns are another great element to consider adding to your flowers for a hint of pretty and texture.  Our favorite are the maiden hair ferns which are delicate and whimsical when used in bouquets.  Other varieties work wonderful when used to add an element of interest into centerpieces.  We don't recommend using ferns in garlands or installations without a water source as they can often be water sensitive.

Vines. $-$$$

If your looking for a few vining elements either for a cascading bouquet or a large scale installation you've got a few options.  Locally, in wisconsin and throughout the midwest, you can find hops vines towards late summer as well as a variety of blooming clematis vines for use in wedding designs.  If all your need are greens you can pick the flowers off the clematis and you are left with a beautiful foliage.  Jasmine vine is available year round though not always blooming it's tendril like strands of delicate foliage are a beautiful addition to any project.  And perhaps one of our favorite but not often used options is called Wild Smilax.  This stuff is huge, cut from the south and delivered in a giant garbage bag (sound pretty huh?) it's available in late summer and fall and is perfect for large scale installations.  Strands can reach up to 10 feet in length with multiple terminations so if you've got a thing for greens definitely ask your florist about these.

Colored Foliage.  $-$$

Thats right, greens aren't always green.  A few of our favorite varieties to use are smokebush, dusty miller and lambs ear foliage, glycerin leaves, nandina, magnolia, begonia and agonis.  So if your looking for the perfect shade of something to bring all those blooms together?  Look to your greens!  In shades from velvety gray, ochre, gold, garnet, chocolate and beyond, there is something for everyones style.


Top 10 Filler Flowers to Know.

Your thinking babies breath right?  The most popular filler flower around and it has recently seen a major come back but there are a plethora of blooms just like babies breath that we use all the time to achieve that something extra.  Sometimes you just need something ... something fluffy or airy or whispy or branchy or delicate or textured.  Welcome to the world of filler flowers.

1.  Wax Flower  $-$$

Wax flower is the new babies breath (for us anyway).  We love to use this flower in place of babies breath.  Not only is it more in keeping with current trends and pairs well with other flowers but it is the exact same price as babies breath (babies breath is great too but works best as an element on it's own in large quantities).  Available in white/ivory, fuchsia, peachy pink, pink and also a wide range of stem died varieties as well.

2.  Astilbe.  $$$

A filler flower with some serious romantic qualities.  If you love texture but want to keep your flowers soft and romantic then this is the bloom for you.  We love to create a mono botanical bouquet of satiable blooms for bridesmaids or sweet flower girls bouquets.  Consider a beautiful cluster of this element for a truly unique aesthetic.  Available in white/ivory, the most perfect shade of blush, and a sangria wine tone.

3. Heather  $$

Most commonly known for its beautiful and vibrant magenta colored blooms, heather does also come in white.  It's not widely used for wedding work but we would love to an all heather bouquet someday for a wedding... any brides out there?  

4. Ginestra $-$$

Heres one that combines airy and whispy and texture all in one.  Ginestra is a lovely addition to centerpiece work when it fits into the aesthetic.  Available in white, pink and also some stem died varieties.  

5. Spirea  $$

Ahhhh, bridal veil spirea.  A personal favorite.  Every year I try to incorporate this beautiful and truly romantic, sweetly arching, slightly branchy bloom into wedding work as much as possible.  Something as simple as these delicate white blooms can make your bouquets feel freshly gathered out of the garden like nothing else could.  Best bet for maximum quality is May, just before the weather really turns from spring into summer.


6. Diosma or Calcynia  $-$$

We have recently been branching out (no pun intended) into the world of filler flowers to really see whats out there.  To be honest, in my previous work experience (Yes, Oprah) I didn't have to use these guys much so it's actually been surprisingly fun to explore some fresh cut varieties I hadn't ever really used before.  Calcynia is one of my fnew avorites for just the right amount of texture in centerpieces or for a slightly desert boho rusticity in bouquets.  A little bit can go a long way with this bloom.  Available in pink and white.

7. Babies Breath $$

What can I say about babies breath?  We all know it.  We all still have a place in our hearts for it.  For me this blooms has to be used in just the right way to make it work.  Generally, babies breath is one of those that I only use on it's own in large scale proportions.   Also, it's not as inexpensive as many people think so I often offer other options in terms of "filling things out" if that is the goal.

8. Astrantia  $$

Another personal favorite is astrantia.  What I love about this bloom is that it is the perfect bridge element to marry the recently popular wedding palette of marsala with blush and ivory.  I find it can be a harsh transition for those colors to come together and I love using a filler flower like astrantia's mauve-y color to make that more seamless. They are available in mauve and white and have a slightly botanical texture to them.

9. Eupatorium  $

Twelve years as a florist and I just discovered Eupatorium recently on a Holland direct list.  I took a gamble on it because it was sooo inexpensive at the time and the rest is history.  Now I order this white filler blooms fairly regularly.  It feels very similar to queen annes lace but what I love most about it is that it looks almost like a field flower so it adds a really natural and foraged aesthetic to arrangements.   It seems to be available year round.

10. Queen Anne's Lace.  $-$$

Otherwise known as roadsidia (roadside - ia).   Some florist humor for you there if you caught it.  Anyway, this bloom is a staple in wedding work.  Though it's delicate blooms can be fleeting it's well worth the effort to incorporate these blooms if your wanting an element of airy and delicate for centerpieces or bouquets.  Available year round.

I hope you found this list helpful!  There you have it, our Top 10 Filler Flowers for 2017! 

Stay tuned for more Flowers To Know posts.  Next up we are covering our top picks for foliage.  How to best incorporating the greens trend into your wedding day! 

Top 10 Complimentary Flowers to Know.

Complimentary but no less important... in our second installment in our Flowers to Know series we cover the secondary blooms that are used most commonly in bouquets.  A few varieties here are actually known for stealing the show and often do.  But even when they don't this supporting cast of flowers can make a bouquet.  They add the special touch, the detail, the texture, the whimsy, the organic or the sweet, the romance and so on and so on.

1. Ranunculus.  $$

Ranunculus are small, petite blooms with a lovely sweet nature that's very popular when paired with other garden-y blooms. It's another bride favorite and comes in a rainbow of colors.  We love using ranunculus for boutonnieres because they are not too big and not too small, especially when paired with a few textural elements as well.  Available year round but with some variation in bloom size.  Best season to consider them for is early spring/summer and late fall.  Special new favorite varieties include the huge "Cloony" and delicate "Butterfly".


2.  Anemones.  $$

White with black centers, perfect for a classic palette, black tie affair or as a fun addition to a more colorful palette.  These blooms are available in white, purple, plum, red and fuchsia but are most commonly used in white.  The black centers are what make this flower so special.  Available year round.

3.  Lisianthus.  $$

We love using lisianthus for brides who want a delicate touch to their flower bouquets and are looking for just a hint of texture.  The airy yet delicate petaled blooms of the lisianthus make it a perfect complimentary flower for a gardeny bouquet.  Available year round but locally towards the middle to end of summer months and comes in lots of soft white, ivory, pink and purple tones.  A new dusty mauve toned variety has seen recent popularity as well.

4. Spray Roses.

Spray roses are small roses clustered with four to five blooms per stem.  They are available in a variety of colors year round so their versatility makes them a florist and bride favorite.

5.  Hellebores.  $$  

A spring-time favorite for many gardeners, hellebores blooms in the early spring and comes in white, ivory, green and plum tones with lots of in betweens of those tones.  They are natural, gardeny and sweetly organic looking, we highly recommend including some in your bouquets or centerpieces.  It's flowers like this that add a special touch to arrangements.  The blooms are fleeting so proper handling is a must for these beauties. 


6.  Stock  $-$$

A pretty flower with a not so pretty name.  We tend to use stock similar to a filler flower, however the almost hydrangea like blooms on the long stems can help to create a lush factor in centerpieces or bouquets without adding a lot to the end cost.  Available in white, peach, pink, lavender, purple, fuchsia and buttery yellow year round for an affordable cost.

7.  Hydrangea - White $-$$ or Color $$$

The well known hydrangea.  We are talking square footage here.  These blooms are huge and for their relatively inexpensive cost they can really pack a punch in terms of those tall and lush centerpieces you may have your heart set on.  Stick to the ivory blooms for the budget.  Available in a huge range of other colors throughout the year but for a hefty price tag.  For a splurge incorporate some of the "antique" varieties in fall or winter for the most perfect bit of seasonality.

8.  Poppies  $$-$$$

Certain flowers have a personality that is all their own.  Poppies are definitely that flower.  Their ultra delicate, crepe paper type petals, gentle stems and whimsical shades of peach, pink and yellows make these a truly special choice.  As pretty as they are they are also extremely delicate and very seasonal.  If you love them, ask for them, but don't get your heart set.  Remember, florists are only people, they are not mother nature ; )  If you must have them then shoot for an early spring wedding date for your best chance.

9. Tulips  $-$$

The colors, textures and shapes of tulips are so vast it is truly incredible.  Though they are not widely used for wedding design we love when it's tulip season for their extremely affordable and delightfully springy quality.  Our favorites are dutch and french varieties.

10. Lilac  $$$

Every year when the lilac bushes around Wisconsin start to bloom I just look around in envy of these lovely blooms.  Lilac are quite expensive on the wholesale market but when in bloom locally there is something so special about these sweet smelling flowers we almost want to go rouge and cut down a whole bush just to make an arrangement and fill the studio with the essence of spring. 


I hope you found this list helpful!  There you have it, our Top 10 Complimentary Flowers for 2017! 

Stay tuned for more Flowers To Know posts.  Next up we are covering our top picks for "Filler Flowers".


Top 10 Focal Flowers to Know

The world of flowers is a beautiful one; full of amazing shapes, sizes, textures, shades upon shades of colors and lots of impossible sounding names to pronounce.  So where do you start when looking into flowers for your big day?  Pinterest is a great resource but they usually don't list the names of all the blooms you are seeing in each bouquet so it's easy to get overwhelmed.  Thats why we wanted to provide you with a list of the Top 10 Focal Flowers to Know when planning your wedding.  We will include lots of the key players in the world of wedding blooms as well as some of the more unexpected, novelty and "filler" blooms that are available for the brides who are thinking outside the box.

1. Peonies.   $$-$$$

By far the most asked for flower on the market.  Available in a range of pink and white tones most commonly.  Also popular are the "Coral Charm" peonies and some lesser known varieties include japanese tree peonies, and garnet peonies.  Due to their huge popularity, the flower market has made these luscious blooms available from November through June, but may come with a hefty price tag, unless in spring when they're available locally.

2. Garden Rose.  $$$

Not your average rose, these beautiful garden style rose blooms open like a peony and are often mistaken for them as well.  Elegant and classic with soft, opened petals, they really bring the romantic element alive in bouquets.  Although they are available in a wide range of tones, garden roses are becoming extremely popular with brides who are looking for the perfect shades of peach and blush tones.  Our newest favorite variety is the "Romantic Antik".  Available year round but at a cost of almost four times the price of a regular rose be careful not to fall in love with these beauties too quickly.

3. Dahlias  $-$$$

In late summer these blooms can't be beat. Available year round and in a plethora of colors from vibrant tones to soft and romantic and even rich, dark shades.  They are a perfect element to consider for brides who like a little texture.  Readily available and at their best locally in September-October through local growers including farmers markets.  Just be careful if you are DIY-ing with these beauties, they are fleeting when it comes to heat and processing.  Best to get the day before your event and keep cool.

4.  Standard Roses  $-$$

Not all roses are made equal.  Just as some flowers are more special than others, some roses are more special than others.  The diversity in shape, size and colors when it comes to roses is pretty outstanding.  Thats what makes roses such a versatile element to consider when planning wedding flowers.  Over the years we've come to know our favorite varieties, roses that have the pretty to stand up to a peony or a garden rose.  For white, you can't beat "Polo" roses and for blush, try "Sweet escimo" or "Faith" roses.  Just a few of our favorites.

5.  King Protea. $$$

I love these flowers because they pack such a punch all in one bloom. Used as a singular flower, they can be quite impactful.  They are not for the faint of heart.  Their organic, botanical, almost desert-like presence paired with the velvety dusty pink shade of their petals make them quite romantic and very in keeping with the current bohemian-inspired wedding trends we are seeing today.   Available year round.

6.  Orchids.  $$-$$$

I think the most common misconception I have experienced with clients over the years is that orchids are too expensive to consider so many people count them out right away.  The truth is that in general, flowers are expensive, some more than others yes but orchids are by far and away not the most expensive bloom out there.  First of all there are different varieties which vary in price.  Next it's always important to consider how you want to make an impact in your bouquets?  It through sheer quantity and size or through impactful thoughtout design elements that come together to create a stunning arrangement.  I've always been a big fan or incorporating orchids into arrangements even if it's only one or two they make such a huge difference.  They are available year round in such a huge variety of shapes and sizes.  If your thinking about it ask you florist what they think about incorporating some into your flowers.

7.  Amaryllis  $$$

These beauties are well known for being a favorite blooming bulb plant used during christmas time but they are usually available year round as cut flowers.  With four large trumpet like blooms coming off of just one stem they have a wonderful dramatic effect.  Available in a variety of colors and even a few unique shape petals you'll have access to blooms in white, deep garnet red, pinks, coral and even some variegated varieties.  Although a little more expensive than other blooms they are well worth the cost for the sheer volume of these blooms is quite large.

8.  Football Mums  $$

Most brides don't dream about daisies for their wedding day but the football mum is a type of chrysanthemum that is aptly named for it's dramatic size.  The blooms are fluffy and really fun for a bride who wants a laid back and casual feel for her wedding day.  The are wonderful all on their own but also pair nicely in a bouquet with other accent blooms.  Recent popularity has fallen away from these flowers so availability is a little less than normal but should be available year round but especially in the late summer and fall.  Available in white and yellow.

9.  Calla Lily  $$$

In my experience this flower is one that people either love or hate but in general it has recently seen a drop in popularity as the current trend towards flowy gardeny blooms have taken root.  The clean and vertical shape of this blooms lends itself well to being all on it's own in a cluster or used in a modern centerpiece design.  Available year round and in a wide range of colors check it out and see if you like it.

10.  Gardenia Bloom  $$$

I couldn't resist including this very special bloom because of it's truly timeless quality.  I often hear from brides that they may want to include this bloom for sentimental reasons or as a family tradition.  And what a great tradition!  Fragrant and luscious, the gardenia blooms are not necessarily a popular choice for many brides but for those who love it or for brides who want to infuse a timeless elegance into their event these blooms are worth incorporating.  I once created an entire bouquet out of all gardenia blooms for a bride.  I recall a florist friend of mine thinking I was crazy for working with such a sensitive flower... it was a little stressful, I won't lie but totally worth it!  The bouquet was stunning and the bride was beyond happy.


I hope you found this list helpful!  There you have it, our Top 10 Focal Flowers for 2017! 

Stay tuned for more Flowers To Know posts.  Next up we are covering our top picks for what we call "Complimentary Flowers".