Sunflowers

When you think sunshine and flowers most likely your first thought is sunflowers.  They’re large, bright headed blooms make the sunflower one of the most recognized flower around the world.  Sunflowers originated in the Americas and Europe, and were then cultivated as a valuable food source for centuries.

Artists throughout history loved the sunflower’s unique splendor—those of the Impressionist Era were especially fixated on the flower.  You will often see photographs of wild sunflowers with their tall stalks stretched out trying to reach the sun.  The receiving of a sunflower means the feeling of adoration, admiration, and platonic love towards a person, such as a family member or friend.  It will give the feeling of positivity and strength. It would be a sure way to brighten up their day.  Aside from being beautiful and important symbolically, the sunflower is downright useful. Almost all varieties produce edible and good-tasting seeds with plenty of health benefits.

The sunflower was common in American Indian tribes in North America. It is said that the plant was cultivated by the American Indians in present day Arizona and New Mexico around 3000BC. Some experts say the sunflower was domesticated even before corn! Used in many different ways when it came to food, the sunflower was a significant food source to the American Indians. The seeds where ground up and used in flour for cakes, mush and bread. Some mixed them with vegetables and some ate them as a snack but cracking the shell and just eating the seed (like we do today).

Sunflowers were used for more than food purposes too, such as purple dyes, body painting and decorations. Parts of the plant were also used for medical purposes from snakebites to body ointments. Sunflower oil (from the seed) was used in the hair and on skin and the dried stalk of the flower was used as building material. The whole plant including the seeds was very often used in American Indian ceremonies. Who knew so much use could come from a flower?

Sunflowers are heavily used in wedding decor and personal flowers such as bridal bouquets and centerpieces.

Sunflower bridal arrangements by Leigh Florist

BE a BEE Keeper

Bees are an extremely important part of our Eco system.  Their pollination process is essential for the growth of flowers, plants and trees all over the world.

The European honeybee is the most common species, and the only species kept in America. They are just 1 species of 20,000 worldwide known species. North America is home to 4,400 bee species including social bumblebee colonies, solitary tunnel nesting bees and solitary ground nesting bees.

Honeybees are the only insect which stores food in excess.  The colonizing of bees is called bee keeping.  Tending to bee hives requires a lot of time and knowledge.  General maintenance requires periodic inspections during the warm months to make sure your queen is laying eggs, your workers are building up honey stores, and your colony has enough space to expand.

Bees are directly influenced by their environment.  Their behavior and success varies greatly across climates. Management time and style will depend on your climate, your hive style, and your particular bees. All colonies are unique, and each beekeeper will have a different experience.

There are 3 types of bees in the colony: The Queen, the worker bee, and the drone.  The queen is the most important bee in the colony, there is only one.  The queen will lay all of the eggs for the colony, “deciding” when to lay drones eggs, or workers eggs.  Worker bees are sterile females who do all of the foraging, feeding of young, honey production and storage, wax production, cleaning, and defending the hive against intruders.

The only male bees in the colony are drones. Their only purpose is to mate with virgin queens from other colonies. Once they mate, they die successful bees. Unsuccessful drones return to the hive to eat honey and pollen. Once swarm season is over, drones become a drain on resources inside the hive, and are evicted by workers.  Bee keeping is hard work, but rich in reward.  There are many bee keeping groups and clubs that you can join to learn more about the bees in your local area.

Dress up your Ceremony

The ceremony is usually your guests first impression of your wedding so lets set the mood!  This is where a lot of photos will be taken of this special moment in your life, so how do you decorate? There are so many way to create the ultimate ceremony space.  It is amazing what flowers and a little imagination can do!

  • Doors

If you can find a set of old barn doors or historical weathered doors, you can drape a sheer fabric to soften and create a backdrop.  Have your florist create a beautiful garland or swag of flowers to accent.

  • Draping curtains

Whether you have a cozy indoor ceremony or a romantic outdoor setting, a simple way to create an altar is to drape fabric over branches of a large tree.  It’s romantic, simple, and with some added floral accents it will bring your garden wedding to life.  If you are working with an indoor space try an arch with draped fabric, florals and lights. Eye-catching and romantic!

  • Hanging a curtain of lights

Hanging lights is such a beautiful and romantic backdrop to your ceremony.  It will illuminate your event with a beautiful glow, and the pictures will be jaw dropping!

  • Flower or garland curtain

Create a backdrop with a curtain of flowers or have a simple, minimalistic look with greenery garlands. The things florists have down with flowers to create those soft and beautiful backdrops is amazing.

 

Stephanie & Jarrett at The Bradford Estate

Photos by Tiffany Atlas Photography

 

Roses Flower Curtain by Leigh Florist Weddings

 

Chic Rusitc Door Decor

http://shabbychicmagazine.com/wedding-decor-ideas/

What’s a Corsage?

For as far back as we can remember for occasions such as milestones birthdays, graduations, proms,   weddings and even baby showers there have been flowers involved. From table decorations to personal arrangements pinned to a shirt, or tied around a wrist to fresh flowers placed in an up-do or a flower crown on your head. But where did this floral tradition start? Why were people pinning fresh flowers to their clothing?

The word “corsage” is French and originally referred to the bodice portion of a formal dress. Women used to pin flowers to the bodices of their formal wear which was known as “bouquet de corsage”, quickly shortened to what we use today.

In ancient times, flowers were worn to special events in order to ward of any evil. Hence why weddings and special occasions became the main flower wearing events! Some even wore flowers to simply keep themselves safe. It is said that boutonnieres provide the same for men by warding off evil and preventing disease. Back in the 16th and 17th centuries many people would wear corsages and boutonnieres every day to stay healthy, but as time went on they became more common just for special events.

As more time went on, the placement of corsages changed from the bodice to a strap on a dress near the shoulder. The meaning of corsages also change and was less focused on warding off evil or preventing illnesses and became more of a luxury. When courting a lady, a gentlemen would give his date a corsage as a gift for attending an event or dance with him. This is more like what we know corsages to be for today.

The gentleman would show respect to his date’s parents by presenting a bouquet of flowers and usually would pin a flower from the bouquet to his date’s dress. This was meant to represent attachment to another person. Corsages were also given on holidays, and even birthdays to show love and appreciation.

More presently, corsages are still worn for many special occasions. However, fashions and styles continue to change and more ladies will wear a wrist corsage, flower crown, flower ring, or carry a bouquet instead of pinning anything to their beautiful (and expensive) dresses.

A cordage is meant to make someone stand out from others and signify that she is celebrating something very special. Some will even press and frame their corsages to hold on to special memories.

Corsages by Leigh Florist

Alstromeria

Alstromeria is one of nature’s most exotic looking flowers, also known as Peruvian Lilies. It comes in a variety of shades and colors, making them a perfect choice for any occasion. The Peruvian lily represents friendship and devotion and come in a variety of colors making them an ideal match for any birthday, graduation, or a “just because” arrangement. A few of the most popular colors include shades of yellow, pink, orange, and white.  The Peruvian lily is a very long lasting flower that has multiple blooms on a single stem, making these a popular choice for designers to place in vases or bouquets.

Alstromeria is native to South America, but now grow all over the world.  It was brought to Europe in the 1800’s, by a Swedish Botanist.  Not long after his discovery of the Peruvian Lily, did the flower gain popularity among flower enthusiasts.  With their meaning of devotion and friendship people quickly started giving them as gifts to friends and family.

Tulip Garden arrangement by Leigh Florist featuring Peruvian lilies (Alstromeria). 

 

Wedding Roses

May of 2017 at the Abbie Holmes Estate in Cape May Court House, NJ.

Photos By: Jessica Cooper Photography

The Abbie Holmes Estate is the perfect setting for weddings with its beautifully manicured gardens and natural surroundings it is sure to make your wedding memorable.

The bride’s bouquet consisted of a gorgeous combination of peach and lavender roses in a small cascade shape. Her bridesmaids carried a small bouquet of similar colors consisting of white hydrangea, peach roses and small purplish blue accents. Having more white in the bridesmaids bouquets allowed the flowers to really pop against their dresses and the opposite effect for the bride in her stunning white gown.

Jessica Cooper Photography

Erin & Kevin

Erin and Kevin said their I Do’s on a beautiful day in Philadelphia, PA. Erin’s crystal beaded gown sparkled in the sunlight and was complimented by her bouquet of soft pink and white blooms. Kevin wore a white bloom with greens to match his bride. The reception took place at the Crystal Tea Room in Philadelphia where the tables were decorated in  soft neutral colors with pinks and greens to accent. Floating candles and tealights were added for a romantic candle lit atmosphere.

Photos by: Juliana Laury Photography
Venue: The Crystal Tea Room – Philadelphia, PA

Bells of Ireland

Molucella laevis, more commonly known as Bells of Ireland, are viewed as a symbol of luck.  Their dramatic profiles make them one of the most recognizable flowers.  Bells of Ireland usually grow up to 2ft tall or higher.  It’s blooms, known as bells or calyx, are a beautiful shade of lime green.  They grow up the length of the stem, and help conceal its defense mechanism, of little white spikes, that can be sharp. So, handle with care! It is open to debate whether or not Bells of Ireland are a flower, or foliage. Contrary to belief, Bells of Ireland are native to the Mediterranean coast lines. They are a part of the mint family. These gorgeous blooms help give a modern flair to any arrangement.  They would be perfect in an arrangement to anyone who just bought a new house, or started a new job to wish them good luck!

The Rose

Roses are the national flower of England, and represented two important families in the 15th century. The Lancasters (red roses) and the Yorks (white roses) competed against each other for rule of England in The War of The Roses.

Williams Shakespeare, one of England’s greatest writers was inspired by the rose. Romeo and Juliet has one of the most well-known quotes on roses, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Juliet is reminding Romeo it doesn’t matter that they come from feuding houses because their love is real.

The Rose is one on the most popular and easily recognized flower out there. Many people see them as a gift of love and affection. Well, they are correct, but did you know that different colors and groupings of roses symbolize different things?

A rose’s symbolism changes based on the color and the number of them given. Below is a list of the most popular colors and what they represent.

  • Red roses symbolize love and romance.
  • Pink roses symbolize gratitude, grace, admiration, and joy.
  • Orange roses symbolize enthusiasm and passion.
  • Yellow roses symbolize friendship.
  • White roses symbolize innocence and purity.

Uptown Roses                     Sweet Love                    Cupid’s Arrow
        By: Leigh Florist

Did you know you can send a more specific message with the number of roses given?

  • One rose symbolizes love at first sight.
  • Two roses symbolize shared and deep love.
  • Three roses says “I love you”.
  • Six roses says “I want to be yours”.
  • Seven roses says “I’m infatuated with you”.
  • Nine roses symbolize eternal love.
  • Ten roses says “You’re perfect”.

Modern Gem by Leigh Florist

 

A Spring Wedding

In April of 2017, they said I do in Haddonfield, NJ. Their family and friends gathered at Haddon Fortnightly to celebrate this wonderful occasion.

The Haddon Fortnightly is a beautiful, traditional space with honey colored hard wood floors, white decorative pillars and simple yet traditional gold chandeliers throughout. It was a beautiful day, which made the photographers job that much easier! Carley K Photography captured the love these two share perfectly and we couldn’t be happier for them.

The Bride’s bouquet was a beautiful organic collection of white blooms, accented with a variety of greens including silver dollar eucalyptus (one of our favorites). The groom wore a simple white tea rose with greenery to match his beautiful bride.

Carley K Photography