The beauty of blue and white

There is some indescribable perfection about the colors of blue and white together- some kind of boundlessly serene, clearing and calming vibration there. Living near such a large body of water as Lake Michigan, I always eagerly look to see what shades of these two are at play when I get on the outer drive, and always get a thrill when the water is paler than the sky.

Of course, green is a huge trend these days for weddings, with lots of brides wanting only greens or just greens with a touch of white. I always believe that my brides are ahead of the trend with their choices of wedding flowers and decor and that the direction their tastes move in always dictates design trends in fashion in home decor as well. It is their passionate focus on planning their weddings that makes them so attuned to whats next, and it’s fun to see the culture at large catch on to a color, fabric or pattern a few years after we’ve been working with it already! Chicago wedding flower trends are so similar to New York weddings in this way.

However, there really can’t be anything more classic than blue and white. Carolyn Rohem has an entire book on it! Although I have many of her books already, I don’t have this one yet. I’ll order it now and report back soon! In the meantime, we’ve been planting lots of white flowers on our Chicago flower farm, with dashes of blue in the mix.  Aren’t these white ranunculus to die for!?

Prairie Chic Wedding

As a proper Chicago girl, I’ve been raised to revere Jens Jensen, the Scandinavian landscape architect who designed so many of the city’s treasures- Garfield Park, Columbus Park, the fern room at the Garfield Park Conservatory. His ethos of celebrating the prairie’s own native loveliness, working with the native landscape rather than against it, was one which I followed in designing this remarkable wedding, ( that, and Kate’s Moss’s wedding in Southrop in the Cotswolds of course!) I suggested that the bride and groom exchange vows beneath the natural canopy of two ancient willows whose boughs were intertwined. We then constructed two, 20ft “hedges” of foraged cattails to create what looked almost like a naturally occurring path from around the pond and neighboring swales, with plenty of frothy delphinium, Queen Anne’s laces and fragrant lime basil from our farm. As the wind moved through them guests were treated to wafts of delicious fragrance.

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Fall Wedding at the Chicago Club

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Some weddings fall together effortlessly, and this was one of them. With every passing year, my business attracts lovelier and lovelier clientele and this gorgeous bride was no exception to this happy trend. She chose the Chicago Club in part due to the mega glorious new roof top they’ve unveiled with stunning, supervillain views of the city, and her palette of champagne with touches of merlot, cappuccino and aubergine was perfection. For a wild, gestural look on the tables, we employed Japanese anemone, Cafe au lait dahlias and Caucasian scabiosa from our farm, as well as fruited quince branches, foraged sumac and boughs of pistachio.

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Eau de lime basil

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lambs ear at the farm

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Our farm’s theme this year is fragrance, we are growing lime basil, chocolate and pineapple mint, lavender and the like. I like to bring old fashions back in floral design whenever possible, and these days people rarely encounter scented flowers. There is no aromatic luxury quite like working out there after a heavy rain, the wind kicking up wafts of tuberose, wild sweet pea and chocolate cosmos! The bouquet pictured below is wildly fragrant with grape hyacinth, cheerfulness jonquils and muscari…

frontal blue and yellow bouquet

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Notes from the Flower Field

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Midsummer is here and we are dividing our days between hyper-manicured floral photo shoots and the wild imperfection of our flower farm.  Sunstroke can be mildly exciting but today I had my first, “let’s-find-the-car-keys-in-the-field-day”.  Thank goodness that game only lasted 15 minutes!  We’ve begun battling pests organically and I applied my first super batch of compost tea today…hopefully the insects will find the fragrance an unappealing as I do.

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up close rose of sharon

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