Monday, November 30, 2009

Summer Harsh Botanical Artistry is now on Facebook!

Yes, there is now a page for my work. Please check it out! I have posted many photos and there are many more to come.

Be a fan? ;)
Summer Harsh Botanical Artistry

Thursday, October 22, 2009

"And it was all yellow"

I will admit that if asked a year ago I would say yellow was (to quote a very cute 8yr old) "my enemy color". I am happy to say that we have reconciled our differences and made peace.

I've had the privilege to work with this happy sunny color a few times this year. When paired with the right accents this color can be both chic and elegant while keeping a fun fresh atmosphere.

My favorite was a wedding I did at the Como Zoo and Conservatory. The bride wanted lush large blooms but not a traditional look. We combined the large Victorian blooms in a clean line design in both the centerpieces, cake and place card table.

We did 2 designs for the centerpieces. This low impact piece included Roses, Stock, Acacia and China Mums.

This is a composite centerpiece made up of different shape vases and different yellow blooms such as Hydrangea, China Mums, Roses, Gloriaosa Lilies and Oncidium Orchids

The place card table was accented with a simple line of bud vases and China Mums

China Mums also accented the cake in a non traditional style.

I also designed for the Center of the American Experiment. In this event They Style Laboratory combined a black white and yellow color scheme which we accomplished with amazing linens from Linen Effects, crisp yellow orb centerpieces and bowls of lemons. The McNamara Alumni Center provided the perfect back drop for the style and feel of this event.

Yellow Carnations on black and white damask

Bowls of lemons with yellow Vanda Orchids and below simple black votives also with an orchid accent

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Lime Greenery

This past weekend I had the privilege of working with a great couple at both, a venue that's a favorite and one that was new to me.

Bethany and Rod were married at the Como Lakeside Pavilion last Saturday with a reception at the Campus Club. Green and blue were the color's chosen and the result was a very cool refreshing look that complemented the hot sultry weather...

The stage was set with two garden arrangements of Hydrangea and Bells of Ireland on top of columns that couldn't have matched the columns of the pavilion better if they were custom made.

Bells of Ireland lined the aisle with their squirly shape, making them some of my favorite "pew" decorations yet.

At the reception it was all about the limes. I used 3 different style centerpieces to accommodate the different sized tables. This tall cylinder filled with limes added just enough height to the room with out taking up to much surface space on the smaller round tables.Multiples of these were lined down the center of the long rectangle tables. Side point, the sliced limes smelled delicious in the room!And last but not least, a sea of blue and green. This wide cylinder took up just enough space on the larger round tables and looked refreshing enough to jump in for a swim!Let them eat cake! Provided by Woullets Bakery

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Where is my Season?

With the unusually cool weather, my sickness and stint in the hospital, and just being to busy; I feel that I have lost this Summer completely! I'm feeling sad today because it feels like it's almost over and I haven't even had a back yard BBQ yet! So to cheer myself up and anyone else who is feeling the same way I wanted to post some pictures of the most Summery fun centerpieces I've done so far. Just looking at these amazing photos from LaVie Photography makes me happy!

These were designed for and event last month at Solera. The clients wanted a whimsical garden look but not too messy. It was all based around a red, ice blue, green and white color scheme.

Enjoy and may the warm weather, BBQ's and beach still come!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ouch, 2 months!?!?!

You know that feeling when you need and want to do something but you just haven't gotten around to it and then a little while becomes a long while? Yeah... I started this wedding season with excitement and optimism which is all good, I just wish I would have been more prepared for complete exhaustion and loss of time.

That being said, my sincere apologies for my blogging absence. But boy do I have weddings to talk about!

I'm going to start first with a wedding that kicked off 20 min from my home town of Sauk Centre. How random to get hired for a wedding so close to home!

Beka and Ben came to me by referral from the photographer Ezra James. The couple was very cool and easy going. They knew they wanted to have an interesting wedding, but with enough traditional touches to keep the mothers happy. Ezra did an outstanding job with the photos, giving it the look of a photo shoot rather than just photo journalism.

The colors Beka chose were purples, lavenders and steel blue. I used a lot of interesting texture with thistle and berry's and combined it with the classic calla lily, roses and lilacs. I think we pleased everyone;)

Enjoy the pics!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Summer Harsh Botanical Artistry Fleet

I'd like to introduce you to the transportation for Summer Harsh Botanical Artistry...

First we have the truck...(aka "the flower hauler") This already has been invaluable for it's size and comfort. Only 2 short months into it's position with the "Fleet" the truck safely delivered us and the flowers all the way to Chicago! The outside looks nice, but unfortunately the inside is already full of water, stem and petal stains. And so it goes...

Next I'd like you to meet the newest/oldest member of the "Fleet". Our 1974 VW Bug. It was decided that a more fuel efficient car was needed for all of the short trips around town for consults etc. What a fun way to be "green"!

So if you see either on the road honk, wave and smile! I'd love to say Hi!

Featured in MN Meetings+Events

OK, I'm going to try and be modest here, but I AM SO EXCITED about the article in Minnesota Meetings+Events Magazine Summer 2009 issue!

I really can not believe how well everything is going and I truly feel blessed! Again, this is not something that I could have EVER done with out the help of my friends, family, associates and clients. A huge thank you to MN Meetings+Events magazine for noticing my company and giving me the ink!

I foresee this as being a busy, exciting and exhausting Summer and I'm ready for it all! I've been known to make the statement "fun is fun" and I'm thankful that at the moment "work is fun"...

Could Anything Be better Than Flowers?


"Little Man, Bear and Noodle" -all names are temporary:)

I'm sorry, I don't care who you born baby puppies are adorable! My dogs Jack and Lucy are the proud parents of 3 new puppies. They are looking for a good home, possibly your home???

Here are the stats-
They are Yorkie Poos (Father full blood Miniature Yorkie and Mother Yorkie and Toy Poodle mix).

Parents are small and around 5 lbs each.

There is a boy that will look like Jack and another boy that will look like Lucy only black (sorry the little girl "noodle" is spoken for).

They will be ready to leave mom around July 1st and they are pretty affordable for being such tiny bundles of joy!

Jack and Lucy

The Boys

Any interest or questions please email me at

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Spring is Harvest Time?

Yes it is! It is time to "harvest" the beautiful spring flowers! This past weekend I had a wedding and a corporate party and I was able to include some of my favorite flowers right from my own back yard.

My supply of Plum Blossoms! Ok, so not exactly my back yard on this one...

If it's not your back yard, be sure to get permission! Cutting in the dark can be dangerous:)

I incorporated Lilacs, Lily of the Valley, Plum Blossoms, and Variegated Hostas. It gave me an amazing sense of satisfaction cutting right from the plant and designing away, talk about fresh! It made me wish that I could plant acres and acres of flowers to use all Summer long for my clients. Unfortunately I do not have the time or the resources for such an endeavor so I am looking forward to supporting local growers this season.

It worked quite well that the clients were wanting a very fresh, vintage look. These classic blooms had no problem pulling that off, and of course a venue like the St Paul Hotel doesn't hurt either! For the vases I used a collection of crystal that I've been gathering from thrift stores for the last few months. All together I was extremely happy with the result and received the best complement ever when someone said it was very "Great Gatsby". I adore that book and time period, so much grace and style! Best of all, this weekend we achieved grace and style done in a completely "green" way! Who said this couldn't be done??

Here is shown the collection of vintage crystal and fresh cut local flowers.

One of my favorite details, a sprig of Plum Blossoms on every napkin.

A buffet piece also incorporating green Fern to add to the vintage "Gatsby" feel.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Plants vs. Flowers

A friend recently called me to ask if fresh flowers or a plant would be more appropriate for the birth of a new baby. My answer was fresh flowers for sure...not because this is my main expertise, but for actual practical reasons. New parents are not going to have time to take care of a house plant, they have a brand new human being to feed and nurture! Also, failing at keeping a house plant alive could shake the confidence of the new parents in their ability as care givers. Fresh flowers it is...

This got me to thinking about what is appropriate and when. How about sending something to someones office? Plants are great, but only if you know they have the light for it. If you are sending the gift later in the week flowers might not be the best choice since they will probably bloom out over the weekend.

Plants are great gifts to send when the extra care of them will not be a burden. They can be a sentimental reminder of growth and sustainability. Flowers are a better choice when the situation is busy or high stress. They tend to have more color and fragrance which can do a lot for the psyche. Either way, always remember to send something! Flowers/plants are becoming underestimated as gifts, let them know you care.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Watch the colors change...

Being sick for over a week has made me go a bit stir crazy in the house. So what do I do? Paint the Kitchen, why not!?! Choosing paint colors proved to be much more difficult than I had anticipated. I swear the lighting they have over the paint swatches is designed to make you make the wrong choice, buy the paint, return to make a new choice once you realized you painted your kitchen the most sickening shade of orange, pick what you think is a great shade a green and spend more money on that... UGH!!
It made me realize though how important lighting can be when it comes to colors. When thinking about an event and the flowers, it is important to take that into consideration.

Here is an example of a wedding I did a while back. Just the flash alone changed this rich coral color to an average pink.

Another example of how this linen went from a gorgeous ink blue to black.

This is why I suggest incorporating shades of the same color (ie. Coral...Use tones of peach, salmon, coral, and melon to pull out both the orange and red/pink tones that make up that color). Not only does it add depth to the arrangements but ensures that when the lighting changes one, if not more, of your colors will translate.

I also need to stress to anyone planning and picking flowers-Mother Nature is unpredictable... Getting the right colors is important, but there is so only so much you can control. Communicate with your designer and trust their judgement, they've seen the flowers many times and know how it will all look in the end. Besides things are better when they are not EXACTLY matchy matchy. Coordinating and complementing is key!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Sustainable Wedding

I have the privilege of participating in The Sustainable Wedding on September 5th 2009 and being the first certified green florist in the Twin City area! Tonight I attended my first Green Wedding Training Course at the Live Green Live Smart Institute. I didn't know exactly what to expect, but was very please and impressed with the whole concept.

The 2,200,000 weddings held in the US this year will account for the greatest CO2 footprint and largest single source of waste for any type of event held by individuals in 2009. A one-day wedding can create the same amount of CO2 produced by a family of four during a five year period (outside of the US), will send to landfills up to 1/4 tons of trash, waste up to 38% of the food served and thru the selection of jewelry and clothing inadvertently causes the deaths of 3 or more individuals in 3rd world countries.

Scary and sobering details! To be honest, it kind of freaked me out a bit and was overwhelming... How in the world do we even begin to combat this? I expected the answer to be a drastic "debbie downer"-weddings can't be fun, they can't be pretty and the bride has to wear hemp... I was so wrong!

The main message I took away from tonight was; you don't have to say no to things, this is still a celebration-just rethink things and be responsible! There are many subtle (and some not so subtle) things you can do to help your wedding or event be sustainable. First and foremost, seek out "green" vendors. Because of the efforts of this organization there will be local options for green certified vendors in all areas of event planning. Feel free to email me or visit for more information on how you can make your event green!

Friday, March 13, 2009

A Week and a Day...

Details, details! Green, white, black and pink composed our color sheme.
We created a tiered centerpiece of sorts and incorporated paper flowers with the fresh.

A week and a day ago I participated in The Duel of the Design 2.0. I was paired with Todd Pinzuti of Bungalow 6 Design and Chef Asher Miller from 20*21 and we won!!! I had a blast! I see it as an honour to work with Todd, he is truly a master of his craft.

For whatever reason, I was not very nervous. I think this was for 2 reasons... 1. I've been so busy that I didn't have time to think about what was happening-me in front of 300 people, no idea who or what I'm working with, a mystery item and a tight time line! (just saying it now makes me nervous!) 2. I knew the talent of all involved and knew that however the teams ended up, I'd be in good company. Both of these reasons, along with great food and drinks, an amazing crowd and the support of friends and family made for an amazing evening.

All in all, it was another great celebration for Summer Harsh Botanical Artistry! This year, as young as it is, has been extremely fun and busy. I am exhausted but will not complain! I had a wedding yesterday, I will be participating in the Twin City Bridal Fair on Sunday and then off to Philadelphia and Orlando to design centerpieces for some corporate events. I've always said "have flowers, will travel" and I finally get to mean it! I can't even think about all of this without this strong feeling of gratitude welling up inside. I could not be doing this without the support of my friends, family and colleagues. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

It's Winter, naturally...

In Minnesota, you can't fight Winter... The best thing you can do is embrace it. I learned that on a trip to Reykjavik Iceland a few years ago. That adventure forever changed my outlook on this not so appealing season.

Icelandic people know how to do Winter. They line the snow banks with candles, they actually look good (sexy even) while staying warm and they don't let a few feet of snow stop them from going out and having a good time. So where am I going with all of this? I recently worked on a Winter wedding that made me feel good about my nemesis season. I've dubbed it the "Narnia" wedding because the decor and feel reminded me of that mythical winter wonderland.

The coolest part about this whole process were the bride and groom. They love the outdoors and wanted to keep everything very natural-no glitter, no silver paint and no blue! They went out and collected (fallen) birch wood which we incorporated into just about everything. We also used fresh green moss and rock salt to give it an "icy, yet still alive and fresh" look . I loved the concept and challenge of keeping things rustic but formal. Of course, formality was not an issue for The Landmark Center and the gorgeous chocolate satin chair covers and floor length linens from Linen Effects. The overall event design by The Style Laboratory was breathtaking and I was happy to be a part of it!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

How do you like them apples?

I find myself doing the most random things to accomplish my job... Geri and I recently pitched an idea to a corporate client to integrate green apples in one of the centerpiece options. Little did I know where this would send me. Usually I would have ordered a case of apples from the wholesaler, but it occur ed to me (thankfully) that the apples might be too large to fit into the 3" cylinders we were using. So, where does this leave me? At the grocery store at 9pm on a Sunday night, vase in hand, measuring each and every one of the 120 apples I bought. Needless to say I got a few looks.

All in all, this was just another little adventure to remind me how much I love my job. I think all designers have to laugh at some of the things we do to "make it work". Here are the fruits of my labour. Ha! pun intended;)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Flower Shower

Love's Wishing Well

On Friday February 13th I was hired to do floral for a Wedding shower. We designed a really fun "interactive" centerpiece that I am calling "Love's wishing well". I took a large shallow cylinder vase, creating a pond of sorts, and centered an arrangement of red tulips, white Hyacinth and Bear Grass. There were little cups of pennies for each guest to toss into the wishing well and make a wish for the lovely couple. Cutsie, I know...but we're talking about LOVE here!! In fact the whole theme of the event was red. There was red food, red linens, red votives everywhere, red luminaries outside and of course a ton of red tulips! Thanks to Studio Laguna for the amazing photos. There's a chance this will be featured in a national bridal magazine!! I'll keep you posted...

Now to be honest, I do not get requests for a whole lot of wedding shower flowers. This got me to thinking... What an excellent way to get a preview of your wedding flowers! So many clients ask me if they would be able to see a sample of what they picked out. Here is a win/win situation! Mothers and Maid's of Honour listen up! Have the bride's florist create a sample of the flowers she chose for her wedding to finish of the buffet table. It would be a great surprise and would also allow the bride to make any adjustments before the big day. Ask the florist to put a bit of a spin on the design so that you all will have a "preview" but not take away any attention or drama from the wedding itself. They could use the same flowers in a different style arrangement or even just doing the same color combinations. What I always say...Things should coordinate, not match!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Duel of the Design...Part Deux

The Duel is fast approaching! I hope you all can make it on March 5th to this crazy cool evening. Last year I competed with Todd Pinzuti from Bungalow 6 Design, and our table won! I have to admit that it was a little bit nerve racking to design in front of such a crowd and to not know what I would be doing until the moment of. Once we got rolling and Todd laid out the concept, I had a blast! He created a modern table setting that was elegant and sufficiently funky using greys and yellows. I had joked before going up there that I would probably have to design with yellow, as it was not my favorite color. I designed a tall spouting arrangement featuring delicate Oncidium Orchids and colored water, after that creation I became a believer in the power of yellow! It was a fantastic finished product and it was a complete pleasure working with such a fabulous designer as Todd.
I am looking forward to this year and all of the new added features. There are many new things in store, or so I hear...the designers of the Duel are keeping the surprises just that. I'm still a little nervous about the "on the spot" pressure of designing something fabulous, but it's a good kind of nervous! It truly helps to have such amazing team members. Whether it is Bungalow 6 or Mi Mi Design that I get paired with, the creative process is bound to be a fun one! Come see it unfold!

Our winning table-photo by Greg Jansen

Yellow Roses, Yellow Cymbidium Orchids and White Hydrangea

Our winning table-photo by Greg Jansen

Yellow Oncidium Orchids, White Dendrobium Orchids and Bear Grass