Tips for a stunning tablescape for an elegant brunch or dinner party

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Tablescapes aren’t just for weddings anymore. In this age of Pinterest, every brunch or dinner party is an opportunity to design a gorgeous table for guests to admire. A tablescape is the first thing guests see, and will set the tone for any brunch or dinner party. 

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Get Inspired

Inspiration is all around you, in nature, fashion and home décor. Its all about the details from a single serving dish, a favorite flower, or single pinecone can inspire a whole tablescape design. We recommend to choose 2-3 colors, complimenting color hues are easy to work with but keep an open mind.

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Use Place Cards as Decor

Place Cards are a great opportunity to add another interesting design element to your table. Instead of typical folding cards, consider writing guests’ names on stones, leaves, lemons, a mini pumpkin but the options are endless. 

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Centerpieces are the focal of any dinner party

Think outside of the vase and get creative with elements that can be infused into your design. To create a cluster of potted succulents, terrariums with a collection of air plants. Also if you are serving Italian cuisine, you could feature a lemon tree or lemon inspired design as your centerpiece, and serve Limoncello for desert!

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Keep things above or below eye level.

One of the most common table design mistakes is height and scale. You want to have a centerpiece above or below eye level. We love a long leafy garland with a row of small bud vases. They make a chic statement while still leaving plenty of room at the table. For longer tables, play with scale by interspersing a variety of candleholders and votive candles in varying heights.

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Layers, Layers, Layers

 

If there was one rule of thumb for creating the ultimate tablescape and ensure rave review it is a table design with layers. Similar to a cityscape profile, there are objects of varying heights and proportions that give it a natural feel. So as you choose your elements, from tableware, lighting and centerpiece, add height, depth and a mix of materials in varied shapes and sizes.

Venue – The Mutter Museum, Philadelphia PA 

Photos – Ashley Gerrity Photography 

Whats a Zygote?

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The Christmas cactus, also known as a Zygote cactus, is a popular gift for friends and family. Their bright colored blooms make these winter plants a top choice for gifters. They come in a variety of colors: red, orange, cream, fuchsia, and purple. They originated from the mountain tops of Brazil, and now grow all over South and Central America.

The Christmas Cactus, is in fact, not a cactus. It is a succulent plant.  They prefer a more humid atmosphere, grown in a pot, in a bright location (but not in direct sunlight). Do not let the plant dry out, but be careful not to over water, doing so will cause the buds to fall off! The trick to a timely blooming, is to keep them outside just before the first frost, then take them inside. The heat inside will trick them into blooming Just in time for Christmas!

Order a Christmas cactus or shop our holiday favorites here! 

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

The Christmas tree did not become a household tradition in the United States, until the late 19th century. Germany was the first country to be credited with the first Christmas tree. Christians would bring trees into their home, and decorate them. Martin Luther King, was thought to be the first who added candle lights to the Christmas tree, wanting it to look like the night sky. Later, once Queen Victoria placed a Pine tree in her court,(a tradition originally started by her German husband, Prince Albert) it became all the rage in Europe, and still continued today.

The first record of a Christmas tree on display in the US, was in the early 1800’s, by the Pennsylvania Dutch.  The lighting of Christmas trees are now more popular than ever.  Even the white house has a tree lighting ceremony. Thomas Edison’s assistants are credited for making the first string of Christmas lights.

Christmas trees are grown in all 50 states, even Alaska and Hawaii.  7 Million trees are planted every year. The bestselling trees are Pine, Fraser Fir, Douglas Fir, Balsam, and White Pine.  Christmas trees take 6-8 years to fully mature. Decorating the Christmas tree is one of the best times of the holidays. It was a tradition a long time in the making, and we believe it is here to stay.

Order a table top boxwood Christmas tree today, or shop our other holiday favorites here!

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Happy Poinsettia Day!

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Today, December 12th, is National Poinsettia Day! To help celebrate this day, we compiled some care tips and facts.  

The rumors about toxicity of the poinsettia plants can spoil all the  holiday cheer! Is it all just a myth: the genus (Euphorbia) to which the poinsettia plant belongs does contain some highly toxic plants, however the popular poinsettia itself is not toxic. Some sources attribute the rumor about the dangers of poinsettia leaves to a case of poisoning in 1919 that led to the death of a two year-old child. At the time, the cause of the poisoning was incorrectly determined to be a poinsettia leaf.

Although the plant itself is not poisonous or deadly, the use of pesticides and fertilizers during growing could cause an upset stomach.

These tropical plants are native to Mexico – Euphorbia Pulcherrima

Here is how to care for those bright wonders:

Light – Place it near a sunny window. South, east or west facing windows are preferable to a north facing window. Poinsettias are tropical pants and will appreciate as much direct sunlight as you can provide.

Heat – For best results maintain a temperature of 65 – 75 degrees F. during the day. Dropping the temperature to about 60 degrees F. at night will not hurt the plant. However, cold drafts and extreme shifts in temperature will cause the leaves to drop.

Water – Water the plant whenever the surface feels dry to the touch. Water until it drains out the bottom, but don’t let the plant sit in water. If your home tends to be dry and your poinsettia is in direct light, you will find yourself watering frequently, possibly every day.

Humidity – Lack of humidity during dry seasons, in particular winter, is an ongoing houseplant problem.

Easter Flowers and Tablescapes

Easter falls at the time of year when the cold, harsh winter is finally wiped away by the warm, blossoming days of spring. It is a time when a wide variety of flowers begin to bloom again, but one flower in particular is known as the Easter flower: the Easter Lily.

Originally cultivated in Japan, Americans began to grow lilies during the second world war. The lily has roots in the bible as the flower that sprang from the blood drops of Christ. It is also said that the white flowers bloomed in the tomb of the virgin mother, signifying her purity. In depictions of St. Michael telling Mary that she is to bear the son of God, he is often seen handing her a bouquet of white lilies. They are said to represent love and hope and their sprouting in the spring represents Christ’s resurrection, bringing purity back to the land.

Other popular flowers associated with Easter include daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, and irises. Daffodils represent rebirth and are said to have bloomed during Christ’s resurrection. In Germany, they are called Osterglocken meaning Easter bells and in England, they are called Lent Lilies. Tulips represent great love. They aren’t directly associated with Easter but are often associated with the idea of Christ’s endless love. Hyacinths are perhaps most famous for their fragrance; a light and sweet scent reminiscent of warm, breezy days. Just like the lily and daffodil, the hyacinth represents rebirth. The iris, which comes in an array of colors, symbolizes faith, hope, and wisdom.

On their own or mixed with other blooms, these flowers make beautiful gifts for loved ones and can be used to decorate your home during the Easter season. One of our favorite ways to decorate for the holiday is to make Easter tablescapes. They don’t have to be big or flashy or expensive. Flowers in soft pastel shades reflect the gentleness of the season while bright, happy colors are perfect for adding cheer to your table. This is also a great time to display bulbs as centerpieces. If you do want something grand or dramatic, arrangements with long blooming branches or pussy willow are compelling while also maintaining a soft aesthetic. The season of rebirth is full of fresh foods and flowers and we love decorating our homes with them to chase away any remaining winter blues.

While it is officially spring according to the calendar, it never really feels like spring until Easter rolls around. The bright colors and fragrant blooms that are always incorporated into Easter décor are what really make the season come to life. Here are a few of our favorite Easter floral designs:

Sweet and Pretty

Sweet and Pretty

Spring Waltz

Spring Waltz

Spring Bling

Spring Bling

Country Morning

Spring Awakening

Country Morning

Country Morning

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-Lacey Bouchard

 

http://www.ehow.com/facts_5188760_types-easter-flowers.html

http://www.theholidayspot.com/easter/easter_flowers.htm

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/archives/parsons/publications/lily/lily.html

http://www.proflowers.com/guide/history-and-meaning-of-iris

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lucky Flowers for St. Patty’s Day

We all know to wear green on Saint Patrick’s Day lest we suffer from the onslaught of pinches from our peers. We all know that everyone is Irish on St. Patties Day and that there’s chocolate within those golden coins. We all know four leaf clovers are good luck. But how many of us know why the clover is associated with St. Patty’s Day or what it means?

The legends of St. Patrick say that he was responsible for the spread of Christianity throughout Ireland. He is said to have used the clover during his lectures to demonstrate the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. Many depictions of the saint show him holding the clover. The first leaf of the clover represents hope, the second is faith, the third is love and, if you manage to find the elusive four leaf clover, the fourth represents—you guessed it—luck.

Saint Patrick’s Day isn’t a traditional flower-giving holiday, but there are many arrangement options if you want to send someone a little luck. The lovely Stephanotis, the exotic amaryllis, and the delicate azalea all represent good luck. The marigold is also an excellent choice for it too means good luck and it represents the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

Stephanotis flowers

Stephanotis flowers

If you’d rather stick to color than meaning, cymbidium orchids, hydrangea, and chrysanthemums all come in shades of green. Also, using berries and foliage can help add green to an arrangement.

For a touch of gold, sunflowers, black-eyed susans, goldenrod, daffodils, tulips, pansies, irises, day lilies, and the aforementioned marigold can give that sunny pop of color.

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If you want to go for an arrangement to represent Irish pride, A mix of white, orange, and green flowers reflect the colors of the Irish flag.

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Since it is customary for the women and girls of Ireland to wear green ribbon in their hair on St. Patty’s Day, be sure to tie off loose bunches with green ribbon.

Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhuit! (Happy St. Patrick’s Day to You!)

-Lacey Bouchard

 

Source on clover info:

http://www.wsaw.com/seasonal/misc/40129602.html

Vases and Containers

Let’s talk containers. Specifically, I mean vases. But what counts as a vase? We have a whole shelving unit full of vases that are tall, thin, fat, short, fluted, curvy, cube-shaped, and cylindrical. We have vases of different colors and textures, too. We even have this ridiculous bust-shaped vase meant to resemble a corset. But you don’t have to use the typical vase when you decorate your home, office, or wedding.

One container we love is a brass teapot. Placing an arrangement in a teapot gives it a classy and antique vibe. Back in December, made low lush arrangements for the holidays using squat teacups as the vases. Because the holidays are associated with being cozy, relaxing, and warm, teacups were the perfect choice for our design.

Bottles are also great for arrangements. Coke bottles have a fun, nostalgic feel, wine bottles give us that rustic look and cologne and perfume bottles have that sweet, romantic touch. Martini glasses are great for floating flowers and candles. Test tubes make cute displays for single stems. Even a fish bowl can make a great vase. The key is to be creative!

Don’t think that containers are just for flowers, either. Your containers can hold sand, fish, fruit and vegetables, rocks, marbles, beads, and LED lights, to name just a few.

By mixing and matching shapes, containers, flowers, and additional vase fillers, you can customize a look that fits your style no matter what you’re looking for.

If you’re decorating for your wedding, something that a lot of brides have been doing lately is mixing up the sizes of their centerpieces. Some tables have low, lush arrangements while others have tall, dramatic arrangements. By mixing up the styles, brides can still get their large, spectacular centerpieces without breaking their budget. And this is perfect for adding dimension and visual interest to the wedding design.

Aside from the wedding we did where the bride wanted bundles of white roses tied with twine and laid on the tables, vases have been used in almost all of our wedding designs; not just as vessels for the flowers but as additional accents to the wedding’s décor.

If flowers are the picture, then containers are the frame. Don’t ignore them. Choose ones that will really emphasize the flowers and you are guaranteed to get arrangements that you love.

 

-Lacey Bouchard

Flower Meanings

Whether you find the act of giving a rose to a loved one a timelessly romantic act or just a cliché gesture, one thing is certain: the rose is a universal symbol for love and adoration. But roses aren’t the only symbolic flowers. In fact, each flower has its own secret meaning. Now, chances are you have no idea what message you are conveying when you give someone flowers. Depending on the type of flower or its color or how many stems you give, your gift offers more than just a pretty visual. While it’s not likely that the recipient will know anything about flower meanings either, knowing what the flowers mean can help you better communicate what is (or isn’t) in your heart. And hey, it’s always good to get the correct message across just in case the recipient is in fact fluent in flower symbolism.

If you want to tell someone that he or she beautiful, amaryllis or ranunculus will do the trick. Amaryllis symbolizes splendid beauty while ranunculus says you are attractive. Red carnations and chrysanthemums convey the idea of love while tulips are a declaration of love. Beware yellow chrysanthemums and carnations for they represent rejection, disdain, and slighted love.

Also, be wary of the yellow rose. The yellow rose represents great platonic love. To give a yellow rose is to say that you really care about a friend in a way that is not romantic. If you want to give roses to someone you do not have romantic feelings for, yellow roses won’t send those confusing mixed signals that might make for awkward situations. However giving yellow roses to someone you wish to court won’t convey those deeper feelings.

If you wish to present roses to someone you have deeper feelings for, the red rose is the best choice. It stands for love and admiration. Just be careful, a deep dark red can imply sorrow or regret. And the darker the red, the more black the rose becomes which translates to this relationship is over (talk about a huge misunderstanding, right?)

A single red rose says I love you while a dozen roses means be mine. If you really want to go for the gusto, 50 red roses means my love for you is limitless.

If your feelings for the recipient are not yet that strong, a pink rose will let her know that you like her. A single lavender rose means that she enchants you and a white rose means that your feelings are pure.

There are blue roses but they are not naturally made; they have to be dyed that color. Because blue roses are unattainable in nature, the message it gives is the same. Giving a blue rose to someone says, you are an unattainable dream or I want you but I cannot have you.

Valentine’s day will be here before you know it. Follow these guidelines and you’ll be sure to give your girl (or guy, let’s not exclude anyone) the perfect bouquet!

 

-Lacey Bouchard

http://www.theflowerexpert.com/content/aboutflowers/flower-meanings

Preserve Your Wedding Bouquet!

Wouldn’t you like to keep your wedding bouquet forever?  Well it turns out that you can!

We took on this endeavor because we love seeing the look on a bride’s face when she sees her shadow box and she knows she can continue to admire her flowers for years to come.  It is a wonderful keepsake that keeps the memories lasting.

Each shadow box is crafted to work together with your bouquet. We have a wide variety of framing options and we will help you choose from an array of sizes, shapes, textures, backgrounds, and other special touches.

Contact us today to receive a copy of our floral preservation brochure by mail!

There are three styles of floral preservation arrangements that we provide:

1. An 11″x14″ framed shadow box of your flowers arranged in a bouquet shape accented with a picture or other memento from your wedding….starting from $295.00

A bouquet shape design of bright yellow sunflowers, blue hydrangea and blue delphinium.

A bouquet shape design of bright yellow sunflowers, blue hydrangea and blue delphinium.

2. An 11″x14″ framed shadow box of a your flowers arranged in a free form design to frame around your picture, invitation, etc…starting from $295.00

You can create a free form scrapbook style with any little keepsakes you may have (i.e. and invitation, picture, locket, hair clip, etc.)

You can create a free form scrapbook style with any little keepsakes you may have (i.e. and invitation, picture, locket, hair clip, etc.)

 

3. A pressed floral arrangement including your wedding invitation or picture….starting from $145.00

Pressed garden flowers against lace trim.

Pressed garden flowers against lace trim.

Larger custom sizes available upon request

We offer a wide variety of frame colors: black, silver, gold, white ash, cherry, or chestnut.  Stop by our shop to come see our frame samples!

(our beautiful frames are created by Craig Haswell of M&M Custom Framing in Cherry Hill, NJ)

The floral preservation can  be a great gift from your maid of honor or bridesmaids!

Contact us today to receive more information about a custom shadow box for your bouquet!

 

400 Amherst Road

Audubon, NJ 08106

(856)-547-1090

sales@leighflorist.com

http://www.leighflorist.com

 

Flowers for the Home

It should come as no surprise to you that we here at Leigh Florist love decorating our homes with flowers. They’re bright and colorful, fragrant, and aesthetically pleasing. They bring a sense of life to any space. And we can unanimously agree that flowers make us smile.

Recently, Leigh florist owner Denise had a little photo shoot at her home based on the idea of living with flowers. The pictures, taken by the talented Jeff Sabotta demonstrate how flowers can both accent a room and bring a liveliness to it that was otherwise lacking. But not only do flowers make an excellent decoration in any room, studies done at Rutgers University show that flowers can affect us emotionally in positive ways.

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I asked several women why they love having flowers in their homes and the responses only bore slight nuances. The common theme: “they make me happy!” Denise says that flowers are “uplifting,” and they will “cheer you up and remind you that nature is amazing.” Renee B. claims that flowers make her smile because they are alive and beautiful and Madison P. agrees that flowers put a smile on her face. I myself was gifted a bouquet a few days ago from my sister who knew I was having a rough week. All the problems I was dealing with suddenly didn’t seem so bad (although I’ll admit I did cry like a fool because I was so touched by the gesture.)

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When Winter gets here, and trust me it will be here sooner than you think, the flowers will die. Yes, snow is lovely and romantic and Winter has some great holidays. But eventually, we’ll reach the “Brown Period” where all the snow turns brown from dirt and then dead grass starts to poke through and that jerk month March shows up and can’t decide if it wants to be lovely and warm or cold and miserable. And that’s when you’ll really appreciate seeing those sturdy buds pressing up through the soil. It’s so easy to beat winter blues, and any-time-of-year-blues, with flowers.

Flowers for the home_Dining Room Flowers_Kitchen Flowers_Fresh Cut Flowers_Vase Arrangement_Centerpieces

To care for flowers in your home we recommend that arrangements be kept in a cool place away from direct sunlight. Add water to arrangements in floral foam to keep them fresh. For vase arrangements, re-cut 1 inch from the bottom of the stems and replace the water every other day.

Do you have a lot of old vases lying around not getting any use? If you bring 5-10 of your old vases in to our shop, we will give you a fresh seasonal bouquet as part of our “Recycle a Vase” program. Make the trade and bring a breathe of new life into your home!

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The old adage “Stop and smell the roses” should clearly not be regarded as a simple suggestion. It is with lots of personal experience—and now this scientific study– that we at Leigh Florist highly recommend bringing flowers into your home all year round. You’ll be happy you did.

 

For more on the study, go to “http://magazine.rutgers.edu/departments/spring-2010/insights/flower-power

 

by Leigh Florist Blog Writer Lacey Bouchard