Zinnia party

 

lefty-fitzgerald

dsc_0355

mina-and-goats

 

This time of year there is such a wonderful cacophony of color and texture in our studio and at the farm! It is the finale display of the entire year, a time when we say good bye to our urban goat neighbors, ( they live on a farm downstate in the winter) and begin cleaning up the farm and bedding it down for the winter with manure mixed with straw from the goats.  These cuties dine on produce donated from our local Whole Foods and manure from their stalls enriches our soil with nearly magical results.

I always say bouquets should have plenty of movement, and these white astilbe are a great way to add a little flounce, along with these stunner ranunculus in oxblood. One of our MVPs this year were these heirloom Persian Carpet Zinnias, also called Mexican zinnias or narrow-leaved zinnias. Having bicolored single and double flowers in gold, burgundy, cream, red and orange and blooming throughout the summer, we found them irresistible along with these Giant lime zinnias in green.

persian-carpet-zinnias

fitzgerald-sample

fitzgerald-green-and-white

 

Eau de lime basil

saad sample close up

lambs ear at the farm

DSC_0580

 

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

saad sample

blue and yellow bouquet

farm pix

Foxgloves and thistle

crogahn whole cp shot

We are a bit late planting at Five Row Farm this year, but I say you are only late planting your first flower farm! And, we have the most fantastic PH balanced soil and meticulously tilled beds courtesy of our farmer friend John Tong. However, our seedlings are already bearing many blooms, see foxgloves, dahlias and thistle wedding below…

Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 7.14.42 AM

foxglove close up
croghan sample

Flowering at the Thompson

Hazel working

This week we had the pleasure of flowering with the lovely Molly Guy,  creative director of Stone Fox Bride on the inaugural party for Guest of a Guest at the Thompson.  We designed a Stone Fox flower crown bar replete with antique baskets of calendula and chamomile from our farm. The event was packed with genius babes and we had a blast seeing all the gorgeous crowns they came up with. Hazel is pictured here wearing a crown of her own design, available at Hazel Baek…..

close up siragusa

Siragusa centerpiece

cointreau centerpiece

Bouquet Siragusa

Sweet Pea Madness

coral peony and needlepoint

gift arrangements en masse

gold and coral cpSpring has arrived in Chicago, as have some exquisite projects for our studio! Gilding foliage, waves of gift arrangements for fashion editors, and samples for some brilliant clients whose taste and vision have yielded really lavish and original results. Oh, and just incase you ever wondered what 170 stems of “Misty Apricot” sweet pea looks like, now you know!

peach sweetpea

gilded coral foliage

les nereides gift arrangement

Festive Elegance

 

holidaycover_w

Last December, we had the honor of decking out this incredible home for the holidays decorated by legendary interior designer, the late Nora C. Marra of Nora Marra Interiors. In deference to her brilliance and the understated splendor her work, we kept the adornments to silvers and aquas with dashes of gold, citron and fuchsia.

sincliar 3

Early on in the process I got my heart set on securing a blue spruce… the perfect shade of silvery blue to compliment Nora’s dreamy drawing room design. Blue spruce are a very slow growing tree and a 7ft one was so difficult to find I almost had to go chop one down myself… luckily John Beffel at Christmas Farms in Michigan came though and fed ex’d us this glorious tree overnight!

IMG_9780_Snapseed

sincliar 1

We employed the families hunting tartan in custom silk and wool ribbons we had woven in Scotland, which you can see here on this sweet rhino footstool along with material native to the Scottish Highlands such as thistle and Ponderosa pine….

IMG_9983

sincliar 4IMG_0089

Fall Wedding at the Ivy Room

bray bridesmaids bouquetstall bray

As we are hurtling into winter at what seems to be hyperspeed, I wanted to take a moment to share this ultimate fall wedding. The bride was so unbelievably sweet and lovely that everyone working on her wedding outdid themselves, including these superstar flowers from our the farm. Best of all were these absolutley wild tall centerpieces that took over the Ivy Room,  french tulips and dinner plate dahlias wreathed in a million different types of fruited branches…

closeup bray flowers

tulips and hazel

bray escort card

Alfred Caldwell’s Lilly Pool

DSC_0188

Designed in 1936, Alfred Caldwel’s Lilly pond is my very most favorite spot in all of Chicago. Giving you  the impression that you are the only one who knows about it, this enchanted sanctuary is definitely one of the most sacred spaces in the city.  When I was little, I remember finding a massive pair of swans nesting there who later returned every spring.

DSC_0274closeup yellow bouquetDSC_0201

yellow bouquet

This fall has been so outrageously lovely!  Pictured below are wet, wild clematis puffs… and in the bouquet above are astilbe, ranunculus, craspedia and akebia vine for a perfect fall bridal bouquet.

DSC_0282

Magical deliciousness

DSC_0094

DSC_0014

bigtable chefs

Last weekend was a double header/ town AND country farm dinner weekend! We had the honor of bringing flowers we grew to Green City’s last Big Table dinner of the season celebrating urban farmers in Washington Park. We brought vermillion dahlias with lacy touches of  Cottoneaster berries and lemon basil. Pictured above are chefs Sarah Stegner of Prairie Grass and Jared Batson of the Nomad Food Co. who, together with chefs from Farmhouse and Dream Cafe, prepared produce grown in the city with mind-boggling brilliance.

nasturtiums!

washington park fieldhouse

fiverowfarmdinner

Out at Five Row Farm, our dinner was a little less polished, but we made up for any rough edges in ambition and enthusiasm! Hazel, our bartender par excellence, served guava fresca-ginger-mint cocktails while guests cut their own bouquets,  enjoyed hay rides, made ice cream and toured the farm.

DSC_0003

KP!!

farm table with flowers

Neva's bouquet

hazel on hay

True Romance

malibucloseup

When I tell people that I do flowers for weddings, many times they wince and say “Oh, but you must have to work with such awful Bridezillas!” It’s funny, I explain, but on the contrary we are lucky enough to somehow attract some of the most wonderful, low-key, chic clients and their eyes widen.

farm workers

What’s more is that I often get to witness, in such vulnerable and intimate moments, irrefutable evidence that gorgeous, breathtaking, true love actually does exist!  Yesterday,  we got to watch a couple in their 50’s nervously practice their first dance before guests arrived. It was electrifying. The groom was so intent of getting it right: quick-quick-slow…. quick-quick-slow…while holding his bride so close.

dahlias tipped

We have been “tipping” the dahlias at our farm,  taking off the uppermost, first and burgeoning blooms to encourage lasting, stronger, taller ones.  Jessica who farms the plot adjacent to ours and her husband Nick helped us tie up our dahlias last weekend. Seeing him work to support her dream of farming, as she successfully farms an entire acre of land is awesome in the real sense of the word.

tying up dahlias

malibu centerpiece

homolla arch