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The Untidy Garden Blog

Filtering by Tag: flowers

Festival of Wedded Bliss


2 weekends ago I rented at booth in a wedding festival. It was a blast.  So many lovely brides came through the Hyatt in downtown Greenville – in fact, way more than I thought would stop by. As I planned the look for my little square of space, I knew I wanted a structure that could be visible from a good distance. I thought a 10 ft pergola would fit the bill, so I enlisted the help of my husband and his brother. After they spent a few days in the woods with a chainsaw, we were able to load the basic workings of a frame into my dad’s 1986 long-bed Ford F150.  The real fun came when it was time to load in and set up - we hauled literal trees into the lobby of the Hyatt downtown. Yes, everyone was staring at us. And yes, there was a trail of bark.


After some planning and talking, they started to bolt all of the logs together. We got plenty of “what the heck are you doing?” looks, but everyone was very gracious, and some of the hotel staff even offered a helping hand (and a broom and dustpan). After a few hours the dust settled and my pergola was standing tall the night before the big show.

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While I planned for the pergola, I needed to do more than just offer a large structure for the brides to look at. We might get people asking us if we built pergolas instead of arranging flowers. I wanted to create a look underneath the pergola – one look. I also incorporated lots of texture with my flower choices (like protea and thistle, and peonies, garden roses, celosia, dianthus, roses and tulips. It is difficult to please everyone with your style and color choices, I understand, but I wanted something colorful and full of texture since my pergola was all so….brown.  I tried out different tables, but none seemed to tell the story I wanted to tell, SO I used my own dining room table. I love it; it has character and visual interest. I did three arrangements altogether. The bouquet I made imbalanced the table, so I did not end up displaying a bouquet at all.

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In addition to my choice of flowers, I also wanted to give the brides something to take with them – for free with no strings attached. Sure they get cake and business cards at these things like there is no tomorrow, but I wanted to give away a different type of calling card – a rose. Nothing design worthy about it really, just a bright, bi-color rose with my contact information attached. Maybe giving them something they could take with them (and take care of instead of burying it in their bride bag) could help them remember me.  I wanted to make this rose distribution look nice, so I thought through numerous ways of doing it. I settled on putting the roses in water picks, sticking them in Styrofoam board and setting that in a large galvanized tub. That worked for about 2/3 of the day until there were too few roses and it looked scraggly. I moved the tub to the back of the booth and grabbed 3-4 roses at a time to distribute. That worked just fine since the crowds weren’t as thick. Seeing my roses being toted around by the brides at the show brought a smile to my face.

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Some of my favorite things about the show were talking to you brides about what your vision was. Some of you asked things like – I plan to have a superman theme wedding, what flowers would you recommend? Or how would you incorporate flowers into a rock n roll vibe, or a Gatsby-themed or an outdoor garden-like feel (for an indoor wedding)? These questions and many more help to fuel my creativity, and I enjoy it so very much.

So thank you for coming to the show; thank you for talking with me, setting up appointments and booking me this year. What an honor to work with you for your wedding.

The feedback from the show has been great so far, and I'd love to hear any feedback or ideas you have for me in the future.

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Wedding: Autumn Begins in New England


I cleaned up from that fun party and packed for another one. This time in New Hartford, CT. My best friend was getting MARRIED. Her name is Julie too or Julie 2 (I’m older by 5 months so I get the numero uno title). I like to travel light, so I didn’t want to check a bag. I hate fees. I wasn’t checking a bag. This meant that my, oh 4-5 pair of scissors couldn’t come along. I have ribbon scissors, flower scissors, multi-purpose scissors, clipper scissors for thick stemmed things, and another 2-3 pair of multipurpose ones in case I misplace a pair under the mound of floral debris. Occasionally, I break off stems and have even bitten off a stem or five, but that is only until I can locate my real scissors.

So scissors are important. (And don’t you ever use my ribbon scissors on flowers - you will be sorry.)

Flowers arrived on Thursday from an online wholesaler. I also made stops at the local Whole Foods, Fresh Market and Bloomington Wholesale Warehouse to supplement my supply.

Caramel, rust, crimson, beige, brown and a little green made up the palate.

Chocolate cosmos, ranunculus, scabiosa pods, roses, mums, seeded eucalyptus and fountain grass were my ingredients. Voila. Wedding. Happy. In Love.

Wedding: Jen and Kevin


BIG congratulations to Jen and Kevin Traynor on their recent wedding! I almost crashed the wedding reception…not really, but I did stalk their reception (at Wyche pavilion) from the bridge as well as from the terrace at The Lazy Goat across the river. What a beautifully candlelit site, live band sound, and incredible smell - Larkin’s can put out a nice spread, folks. Get the bacon wrapped scallops. Whoops, I’m getting side-tracked. How about this for crazy? I was running the Thursday before the wedding around 6:30am ,and Jen and I crossed paths on a park trail close to my house. How coincidental is that?! Jen is a fitness buff though, so I shouldn't have been surprised that she was working out 2 days before her big day.

Jen's vision for her day was all about the aesthetics - which means I got to use pretty pretty flowers. She wanted a southern, feminine look with a slight rustic edge. She offered to do the burlap and lace around the mason jars. Wasn't that a nice touch?  My favorite blooms were the Juliet (peach) garden roses - they were utter perfection. The dahlias, ranunculus, crepe myrtle, stock, lisianthus, ivy, and dusty miller get an honorable mention as well.

I'll post the full portfolio soon, but here's a sneak peek:

Brooklyn Part 3: Brooklyn, Brooklyn, Take Me In (And Let Me Go)


Sunday morning I decided to go to a yoga studio that had an 8am class.

There were 2 people there when I went inside. One lady was so cut. You might think the buzzed head and safety pin belly button ring may have had influence on my opinion, but I swear she was the best yogi I have ever seen. So, after being corrected for walking off the mat in my shoes, instructor Bibi asked me if I was familiar with Ashtanga yoga. Well, what is your definition of familiar exactly?….then she asked if I was familiar with Mysore, and I told her I had never heard of that before. Oh, I forgot to mention, the class was 1 hr 45 minutes long. One hour and forty-five-whole-minutes. It sounded like a long time to me, but it was the only class that worked with my schedule.

I thought musclewoman next to me was just showing off/warming up but there was never an official start time. Bibi informed me that Mysore was a type of Ashtanga yoga where the yogis memorized all the movements of Ashtanga and then built on their knowledge each class. So here I am not able to follow the teacher or blend in with the crowd. Bibi was very kind to walk me through some of the steps, but she used yoga terms, and I don’t know yoga terms. So I would do a set of moves and then just stand at the end of my mat until she assisted me again. After an hour of this she said that was enough for today and that I could go ahead and take savasana. (AKA, you’re done with this session, Yoga dork.) Call me yoga dork for the rest of my life.

So I rewarded myself with an iced coffee at Bittersweet (and a doughnut). Ahem.

After the yoga drama and caloric recuperation, it was time to hop on the subway and head for LaGuardia. I had to get on a couple different trains and buses to get to the airport, and by the time I got there I had 15 minutes until boarding time. I RAN to the kiosk. It didn’t let me check in.

I 100% cut in line to talk to a Delta rep. She told me I was late. Hmmm. (Great observation.) She still printed my boarding pass and told me to RUN to catch the shuttle – I did.

I was sweating it out because I hadn’t even attempted the security line yet….there was an introductory security line before you got to the actual security line. Oh great. I said, “This is not the security line, right?” Wrong.

A kind gentleman said, if it helps, you can cut in front of me, but I would try talking to a TSA agent. I didn’t push my luck. Another gentleman overheard me and said if he were in my position he would beg his way to the front – I did. Even the foreigners who didn’t speak much English understood my pleas. I made it through BOTH security lines in less than 5 minutes and at my gate at 12:25pm. The priority boarders hadn’t even gotten on yet.


Oh the generosity of strangers! I didn’t think I was going to make it.

Here is what I learned most from the trip: don’t be afraid to ask things of strangers. I asked for directions; I asked for floral advice; I asked for food recommendations; and I asked to cut in a 1.5 hour long security line. Be nice. Smile. Talk to the bus driver. Say thank you. And although I don’t do those things for what I could get out of them, it sure as heck doesn’t hurt.

Signed, Sealed, and Not Quite Delivered


Today I went home for lunch, made a smoothie, started a Jillian Michael’s 30-day shred video: level 3, didn't finish, and got a "sorry we missed you" message from the USPS. This is regarding my Willow business cards that I rush ordered so that I could get them before my trip.

Well, I went to the post office to pick it up because that is what the card said to do - not thinking about how my package is still in the post-man's truck. The lady at the post-office is a heartless soul. I take that back. I think she is warming up to me. I plunked down my notice and said, "I got one-a-these today."

This is when I realize that they won’t have it back at the post office yet….so Deb said I could pick it up at 11am tomorrow. I'm leaving town at 8am, so that won't be possible, Deb. So I asked Debbie downer if I could come back at 4:59pm to see if my guy showed up. She said no.

Now, I realize I don’t need my business cards in NYC this weekend. What am I going to do, give them to some New Yorkers in case they happen to come to Greenville and happen to need flowers? No thanks-my new cards don’t want to see the inner workings of Brooklyn’s public waste division. But that's beside the point. I rush-shipped them, as in, paid extra; so I really wanted to get them before I left. just. in. case.

After lunch I had to go to the Big Bank for work. Fortunately, I go to the Big Bank almost every day, so my teller-lady-friends sympathized with my saga and asked for my cell number in case he showed up (I live pretty close to the Big Bank, so I thought they might be on the mailman's route).

Undeterred, I started driving down Main Street looking for him. I was almost back to work when I spotted a vacant postal vehicle, cranked a u-turn and parked close by. I peeked in the windows to read the addresses on the mail to see if this was my guy. A man in a postal uniform started to cross the street a block away from me. He was the driver of the truck, but he was not the one who delivers to my mailbox. He said he did know who delivered to my box, however. I said, “It’s the guy with dreadlocks, I knew it.” Our mailbox is on our porch, and he's on our route, so I've met him several times. So I asked him where I could find my man.

Roadblock: he said he couldn’t give that information but told me that he would still be close to my neighborhood.

He asked where I was traveling, so when I said Brooklyn, he said, well Dreads is a big Yankees fan, so mention that when you see him. Yahoo. I’m on my way. I was on my 5th street when we passed each other (going opposite directions). I u-turned again and pulled in to where he was and said, “Hey you! How is it going?” He said, HEY how ya been, gave me a hug and we caught up. Then he said - hey I have an express package for you. (Saweet! He may not have to find out to what lengths I went to find him unless the Big Bank ladies do what I asked them to do.)

I told him I needed my express package because I was going to Brooklyn (*wink wink).So now I have my business cards and a new friend.

Everyone is a winner today, folks.