Flowers for a June Wedding

Lilies (Photo by Michael Lant - Click on image to enlarge)

A table arrangement of peonies (Photo by Michael Lant - Click on image to enlarge)

Life is the flower for which love is the honey (Victor Hugo)

On Saturday, June 18 Cheryl and David were married. The setting for this most important day was at the country home of Cheryl’s closest friend Michele Bailey. The weather was perfect, the setting pastoral, the atmosphere informal. Cheryl and David wanted no pomp and circumstance for this significant event. They wanted simply to have those who were nearest and dearest to them witness their commitment and love for each other in matrimony and to celebrate in a relaxed and unpretentious style. Read More »

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The Daffodil – Spring has Sprung

Daffodils in a rustic container

Daffodils in a rustic container (Photo b Michael Lant - Click on Image to Enlarge)

If you were to visit my home today you would find daffodils blooming in nearly every room. When I see them each morning I smile as they remind me of simpler times when as a child, in early spring I checked daily on the green spikes that grew out of the dark rich earth in my mother’s gardens, anticipating the day when there would be a mass of blooming flowers with tulips in red, pink and white alongside my favourite brilliant yellow daffodils. Spring had finally arrived when these happy flowers bloomed.

Symbolizing rebirth and new beginnings, the daffodil is virtually synonymous with spring. It is the birth flower of March, the same month as the spring equinox. Read More »

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Roses – A Valentine’s Experience

Five Red Roses

Five Red Roses (Photo by Michael Lant - Click on image to enlarge)

The rose is red, the violet’s blue,

The honey’s sweet, and so are you.

Thou are my love and I am thine;

I drew thee to my Valentine:

The lot was cast and then I drew,

And Fortune said it should be you.

Valentine’s Day

Your Valentine gave you a dozen red roses in a long white box complete with green filler and baby’s breath – lovely and thoughtful. Expensive – nearly double the price for the same roses 2 weeks ago. You immediately put them into a vase filled with tepid water and flower food.

Less than 2 days later, a few of the roses are looking droopy. The next day a few more follow suit. You think to yourself  “it’s the thought that counts”, and do your best to not be disappointed. If you’re like I am, this has been your experience with long stemmed red roses at Valentines. I know the florist does everything she can to ensure the roses arrive at their best, but so much happens along the trip from the rose farms in Ecuador to the vase on your dining room table that it’s no wonder some of your buds wilt before they bloom. I’m no expert (it’s still early days wearing my florist hat), but I’ve come up with my own ways to lengthen the life of my lovely Valentines roses. I will share some of my strategy in the recipe in this post, and at the end of the post I will also share some of the expert tips and tricks I’ve learned to help your roses last. Speaking of this post, it is by far the longest one I have ever written, but there was so much to share, I simply couldn’t edit it down to a quick 2 minute read. So pour yourself a cup of tea or a glass of wine and find a comfy corner with your laptop and enjoy learning some cool stuff about The Rose. Read More »

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Elegant Orchids

A statement piece of twisty willow and cymbidium orchids.

A statement piece of twisty willow and cymbidium orchids (Photo by Michael Lant - Click on image to enlage)

I used to be intimidated by orchids. Any flower that looked that fragile had to be difficult to care for, tricky to work with and expensive to purchase. My thinking was changed when I studied floral design at the Canadian Institute for Floral Design (http://www.proflorists.net) last spring where we used orchids for many types of arrangements. Although delicate, this flower is long lasting and easy to work with. As you can see from my arrangements for this blog, a little goes a long way and even the simplest design is a show stopper when using the orchid as the main flower. Read More »

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My First Christmas as a Floral Designer

Four Floral Designs for Christmas

This is my first Christmas as a floral designer and it has been a busy time. So busy in fact, that my blog posts have had to sit on the shelf for a couple of weeks. As I embark on my final week before Christmas I want to share with you a couple of the projects I have been working on.

Contemporary Christmas

Four Christmas Arrangements

Four Christmas Arrangements (Photo by Michael Lant - Click on image to enlarge)

Michele Bailey is a successful business woman. She is the president and CEO of Blazing Design (www.blazingdesign.com), a full service design agency in Oakville Ontario, but her real passion these days is helping other women become successful businesswomen as well. Michele gave me a fabulous floral design project for her home for the Christmas season. She entertains a lot throughout the holidays and wanted something fresh, easy to care for and would last until after the holiday festivities were over. Michele also wanted an arrangement that would be a conversation piece for all her visitors, including many of the successful businesswomen in her professional and personal circles. This design was to fill a key spot in her much used kitchen. Michele is one of the most gregarious and vivacious people I have ever known and I felt the design should reflect her unique and charming personality. I knew I had achieved my goal the moment she first saw my creation. Read More »

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Spanish Splendor: An Arrangement of Carnations in Support of Darling House

Celebro!

Carnations - The National Flower of Spain

Caliente y picante acuerdo - hot and spicy arrangement (Photo by Michael Lant - Click on image to enlarge)

On November 4, the Liberty Grand was awash with the sounds and tastes of Spain, as a gala Spanish themed evening took place in support of the Darling House. I had the great pleasure of creating all the floral arrangements for this event.

The carnation is the national flower of Spain, so it was the obvious choice for the floral arrangements.  This gala was beautiful and sophisticated, so my challenge was to create an elegant look befitting of such a chic affair, using the humble and unsophisticated carnation. Read More »

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Bonnie Heather – An Arrangement With Heather, Chinaberries and Pittosporum – Week 12

A Floral Arrangement Using Heather

An Autumn Arrangement With Heather, Chinaberries and Pittosporum

An Autumn Floral Arrangement With Heather, Chinaberries and Pittosporum (Photo by Michael Lant - Click on image to enlarge)

I was having a conversation with a couple recently and was very much enjoying listening to their lovely Briton accents. One hails from Ireland, the other from Scotland. Inside my over active imagination I could hear bagpipes piping and see kilts swinging all keeping in time with the lilt of those accents. When asked for my ancestry, I quickly replied with great pride that I was Scottish and that no one could doubt that with names like Armstrong (paternal) and Mackenzie (maternal). In truth I’m most proud to call myself Canadian, but it’s always fun to hail back to the “mother land” when in conversation with someone from the British Isles. Read More »

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Two Bridal Bouquets: My Induction Into The Canadian Association of Floral Artists – CAFA

Hand Held Bouquet With Carnations

Hand Held Bouquet With Carnations (Photo by Michael Lant - Click on image to enlarge)

On October 19 I became a student member of the Canadian Academy of Floral Artists. In order to become a CAFA member, I had to complete a test where we were given a bucket of flowers, a few accessories , a theme and 2 hours to create an original, technically accurate floral design. I think that was the shortest, most intense and exhilarating 2 hours I have experienced in a long time. As a CAFA student member, I will be mentored by a full member for the next 2 years. What a fabulous opportunity to take my passion for floral design to the next stage. Read More »

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Alstromerias in a Monochromatic Autumn Arrangement – Week 11

Alstromerias

Alstromeria and Pumpkins

Alstromeria and Pumpkins (Photo by Michael Lant - Click on image to enlarge)

I love alstromerias! It’s so much fun to work with a flower that has such versatility, colour and texture. I use them in elegant and classic centrepieces, compact posies, simple hand-tied bouquets and oversized, flowing arrangements. They are fabulous massed into a tall clear flute shaped vase where the stems become part of the design, and equally smashing when bordering brightly coloured gerbera daisies tucked into a funky striped bowl. Read More »

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Celosia – One Cool Looking Flower – Week 10

Celosia

Celosia and Roses

Celosia and Roses (Photo by Michael Lant - Click on image to enlarge)

In my opinion, the Celosia is one cool looking flower. I like how the curious shape adds interest to a bouquet and how the texture reminds me of a brain specimen with a velvety exterior. The furry surface and deep saturated colours of reds, oranges and yellows, make this flower a fabulous choice for fall themed floral arrangements. Read More »

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