the philadelphia flower show

the philadelphia flower show | via bekuh b.

Last weekend I went to my very first flower show, and it just happens to be one of the biggest and oldest in the world- the Philadelphia Flower Show. I’ve been hearing about it for awhile now and when tickets fell into our lap at the very last minute I couldn’t resist going. It’s like a amusement park for gardeners and this years’ theme played right into that generalization. “In the Movies” was sponsored by Disney and Pixar so you can imagine the over the top, child-friendly vignettes that came out of it. Two of my favorites were the Parent Trap and Mary Poppins, with their vibrant blooms and seasonal flair for bulbs like daffodils, tulips, and crocuses.

Sadly the event was over crowded and I didn’t get as many photos as I would have liked, but I did leave feeling inspired for spring. Here are a few images of the gorgeous flowers on display this year:

the 2015 philadelphia flower show | via bekuh b.
black-eyed susans | via bekuh b.
crocuses in bloom | via bekuh b.
mary poppins themed garden | via bekuh b.
pink tulips in full bloom | via bekuh b.
whimsical fairy flowers | via bekuh b.

After we left Ryan and I decided it might be worth taking a day off next year to spend a little more time at the flower show, and hopefully miss some of the overwhelming crowds that come on the weekends. It was still worth the visit, without a doubt. I wonder what next years’ theme will be? - b.

progress in art

flower collage in the making | via: @bekuhb

As we enter the final (hopefully) days of winter I've been spending my captivity on something very exciting, new artwork! I've somehow found myself with a gallery show in mid-May and I have lots to do. Too much to do.

I've always worked best under pressure, in my art school days I'd wait until 2-3 days before a huge project was due to get started. And it seems not much has changed. All of the initial painting has to be done by mid-April and I'm just now getting started. 5 weeks to complete 6-10 paintings. No big deal right? It could definitely be worse.

art in progress | via: bekuh b.

I’ve been inspired to go back to my artistic roots somewhat with this latest series, back to my multi-media roots that is. Each painting in the series is actually made up of a series of paintings that have then been disassembled (cut up) and then reassembled into something new. Collage has long been a part of my artistic repertoire, and my work in the last 2+ years has been sorely missing this piecemeal approach to composition. I so love getting elbow deep into creating again, but don’t worry I haven’t abandoned my floral pursuits. As you see above- its still all about flowers for me. - b.

basic flower arranging supplies + their uses

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As I’ve gotten more and more into flower arranging it’s only natural that friends and acquaintances alike start asking questions about the process. One of the more common topics is what types of supplies you need to get started. Which got me thinking that other people might be asking themselves the same thing. So, I’ve made an easy list of flower arranging tools and supplies for anyone interested in taking their grocery store bought flowers to the next level. In addition to the list, I’ll also show you how to use these newly acquired supplies.

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Name: Flower Frogs

Description: Ever wonder what those spiky, metal, round disks are that you see in antique and craft stores? They’re flower frogs! I was a little suspicious of them at first but now I’m a flower frog addict. Flower frogs can also be made of glass, plastic (I don’t recommend these), and come in flower cages too. They’re a green alternative to floral foam, which I won’t even discuss here.

Use: Place in the bottom of your vase or vessel and push flower stems into the spikes (or holes). The flower frog supports the centerpiece creating a sturdy base and a fuller look for your centerpiece.

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Name: Waterproof Floral Tape

Description: A common misconception for first time flower arrangers (myself included) is that all floral tape is the same. WRONG. There’s a big difference between the waterproof floral tape and the decorative floral tape, mainly that the waterproof tape actually works when you need tape for a centerpiece.

Use: My favorite use for the waterproof floral tape is creating a grid on the top of a wide vase or vessel to support the stems and create a sturdier arrangement. The flowers and greens in your arrangement cover the tape so your secret weapon won’t be exposed.

 

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Name: Floral Shears and/or Pruning Shears

Description: Extra-sharp, specially designed scissors that are better able to cut through the tough woody stems of some flowers. I use both Pruning Shears and Japanese Flower Scissors for different purposes described below. Bonus-You won’t ruin your kitchen shears or office scissors.

Use: You may have heard the tried-and-true tip to cut the stem of your flower at a 45 degree angle (it allows more water to be absorbed) and using super sharp floral scissors is the way to make these precise cut. I use the Japanese scissors for softer stems like those on tulips, mums, and daisies, and smaller fillers. Reserving the larger pruning scissors for flowers like peonies, hydrangea, and eucalyptus. 

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Name: Floral Wire

Description: Typically either dark green or covered in fabric, floral wire is a go to supply for any floral designer or wannabe designer.

Use(s): Pushed through a weak stem to hold a flower erect, scrunched in a ball for a makeshift flower frog, the base of your flower crown, wrapped around the handle of a bridal bouquet to hold it together, and wrapped around the base of your boutonnière to hold everything together. To name a few…

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Name: Vases or Vessels

Description: This is a pretty obvious one, but it might surprise you to know that before I started taking flower arranging more seriously I did not own a single vase. I would use pitchers, and mason jars, and teacups and things from my kitchen to hold flowers but not a vase. There is nothing wrong with this method and in fact it can really add to the arrangement but I also suggest collecting vases and vessels in assorted shapes and sizes to round out your collection.

Use: Low, wide-mouthed vases are great for creating full, wild arrangement. Tall cylindrical vases are perfect for holding blooming branches, tall grasses, and bushy flowers like hydrangeas. Small bud vases are ideal for informal groupings on windowsills or for intimate dinner parties (people can see and talk over them easily). There’s a vase for every arrangement. Tip- thrift stores are a great place to find them.