Hardening flowers

Hardening your flowers is something that should be done but not in very case. When I was a kid you would never think of designing with flowers that had not been allowed to drink water and then put in a cooler to harden. My, sister and I along with my Mother use to enter flower arrangements in a local garden club show. One year my sister made a beautiful arrangement and it came back with a note that the flowers had not been hardened properly.

I harden all of my flowers but it really is not necessary to do every time. While you can put flowers in a vase or even make a hand tied bridal bouquet ahead of time, if you keep it in water, they will last, but flowers in floral foam will not last as long. With all of the DIY weddings going on I doubt that they have the proper type of cooler to store the flowers. When designing a boutonniere or a corsage, you really need to harden your flowers and it cannot be done in your refrigerator, before or after. I cut a lot of my greenery that I grow to use for corsages and boutonnieres and you really need to know what will hold up and what will not. Preparing your flowers takes time and knowledge, I’ve been doing it for 30 years and I am always learning.

Being Creative

Designing flowers for a wedding can go in so many directions. I always like it to be something that we have never done before. Brides usually come into our studio with an idea of what they want and sometimes they come with pictures, but not always. When a bride comes with no idea of what she wants, the first thing we talk about is where she is having her event. This can start the process, as every place has it’s own feel and sets the tone as to how we will decorate. This does not mean that our hands are tied, as to how we decorate. If the reception is in a barn, it does not mean that we can not use silver candelabras, it means that we use them creatively and honor the space.

As a professional I know the type of questions to ask so I can find out what she likes and doesn’t like. As the conversation goes a long I start to get a feel of what she wants and I can start to make suggestions. Some people are able to visualize the ideas that we discuss and some need to see it. We usually have flowers on hand but not always the colors or styles of what they want, but we can “play” with all of the props.

We have a table set up and can build on that with everything from, glass ware, silver, pedestals, stands, branches even barn wood boxes. The possibilities are limitless and the process is fun. At the end of this process, everyone is excited and can’t wait to see it, sometimes we set up a time to have them come back to see a sample.

Catching Up

Catching up with some thoughts from last week…

Thursday, May 13th

We were all so glad the sun finally reappeared today & warmed us up after this week’s chilly, damp weather. We were working on lots of arrangements for this weekend’s weddings & the 12th annual show at Steve Snyder’s sculpture garden in Point Pleasant. All the gorgeous roses and peonies filling our galvanized metal buckets were opening and relaxing in the sun outside our barn studio. Inside we were designing handheld bridal bouquets, so fresh & pretty in whites & pastel blues & greens.

Read moreCatching Up

Open Studio Tour

Having grown up on a flower farm, I am use to walking around and picking a little of this and a little of that to bring into the house. Our ever growing organic farm here at Murphy & Klein Studio is starting to feel the same way. Today while looking at my frilly white narcissus and hellebores, I was thinking how I wished I could make a very loose natural bridal bouquet. I went looking for a few different flowers to put together. I found that a lot of my large ferns were just coming up and were at the “fiddle head” stage, which is very early in the season for this. One of my many types of viburnum plants has buds that resemble red berries and I like it best at this stage, but rarely get to use it. My bridal wreath bush has popped open and is at the perfect stage to use before it starts to drop it’s little white centers, but we haven’t any early April weddings.

I would like to use a lot of our flowers for our Open Studio tour and for the bridal food tasting at Hollyhedge Estates in New Hope, Pa. on April 18th 2010. I was just talking to Fred at Max Hanson Catering and told him that we could help decorate the food tables for an art opening called Icons of Costume at the Michener Art Museum in Doylestown Pa. Although we have to buy most of our flowers, it’s so nice to walk outside and pick them fresh. We’ve planted our sweet peas and soon to plant the cosmos and sun flowers. So much to do, and it feels so good doing it.

Perfect Weather

It is perfect weather for cleaning out the gardens and trimming back the bushes. Here at Murphy & Klein Floral Studio, we have worked hard to increase our variety of blooming bushes and plants in our organically maintained gardens. We love seeing our perennials sprouting. All of our peony plants are sending up their little red missiles, luckily we could still rake the dead leaves away without breaking them. Last year we removed some shade trees and our lilacs have thanked us with many big buds.

We spent many hours’ dead heading all of the hydrangea bushes; some of them are looking more like trees than bushes. Our green viburnum bushes are loaded with buds, it’s fabulous how we get a bigger harvest each year. I’m trying to save the hellabores for our open studio tour, but they are in full bloom, however they do last a long time in the garden. Every year our vitex trees look like they didn’t make it through the winter, and we have almost cut them down in past years, but now we know that they are the last to show any signs of sprouting.

Last year Jerry Fritz from Linden Hill Gardens planted a garden for us with new varieties of blooming bushes. We’re excited to use the mock orange with the lime green foliage. We’re crazy about our deutzia plants and last year planted ten more with a few new varieties. We’ll soon be able to use these flowers with the May weddings coming up.

Finally, a Blog…

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