A Cape May Wedding

Jessica and Andrew headed down to Cape May this past fall to join together in marriage. They began with an evening outdoor ceremony at the Willow Creek Winery, with the reception to follow inside the beautiful rustic venue.

 

The ceremony was decorated with a rustic branch arch (provided by Leigh Florist) featuring an elegant lush garden design including green and gray foliage and garland draped down the front. A larger, long floral design in white blooms sat across the front of the arch. White rose petals lined the sides of the aisle completing the elegant design.

Jessica walked down the aisle with a rounded garden style bouquet featuring white hydrangea, white garden roses, white lisianthus, Queen Anne’s lace, white tea roses and touches of red heart garden roses accented with seeded eucalyptus for texture. The Groom wore a white lisianthus cluster finished with eucalyptus and gray ribbon to match the bride.

 

The bridesmaids held a smaller version of Jessica’s bouquet and the Groomsmen a smaller cluster of blooms to match Andrew.

The Cape May Winery Ballroom was decorated with votive candles, eucalyptus garland and garden box style centerpieces. Each table had a beautiful lush arrangement of white blooms including hydrangea, garden roses, garden tea roses, lisianthus, Queen Anne’s lace and a variety of greenery to create a textured look.

Guests arrived to a handmade chalkboard seating chart (created by Leigh Florist) to direct them to their seats for the evening. A cupcake display made from wooden crates and loose blooms to match the wedding décor sat to one side of the room complimenting the overall wedding design.

Choosing Your Event Florist

Choosing the right florist can be a difficult task. You want to make sure the florist handling all your wedding flowers understands your vision. It will help to have a good idea of what you want your wedding design to be. Do you want to go tradition, classic, modern, or a specific theme? Once you have this decided, look online for inspiration photos and colors. If you have dress or tux swatches bring them along to your floral design appointments. Don’t forget, you can meet with multiple florists before you decide who to go with.

Keep in mind that not all flower shops participate in the wedding industry. Some shops may strictly do retail arrangements and focus on holidays. Then you have floral designers who are more likely to do weddings and special events. These shops are made up of creative individuals who will work with you to understand your vision and help bring it to life.  You are not just buying flowers, you are receiving floral event design and a set-up/delivery service.

You should decide how important your flowers are to you for your wedding in order to budget correctly. Do some research and ask for suggestions from friends or someone who has recently planned a wedding. Sometimes websites like Wedding Wire and The Knot can point you in the right direction with reviews and prices ranges for certain shops. Know that certain flowers cost more than others, being aware of this will keep you from feeling blindsided by the pricing of small bridal bouquet of roses. Pick a few Florists that you think you might click with and make some appointments! The sooner you book the date the better.

 

Wedding Floral Designs by Leigh Florist

 

When you attend your appointments be sure to bring your colors, and photos of any ideas or things that you like. They will most likely have tons of photos of their own work for you to look through as well. Ask about rental items and what flowers will be in season at the time of your wedding. Be sure to explain your vision for your wedding in detail. Ask questions and give/get as many details as you can. If you feel confident in the designer and like what he or she is saying then you may have found your perfect floral fit! It helps if the florist comes recommended by your venue. Chances are they have worked at your venue before and know the ins and outs. It’s always good to have a vendor that knows your venue and the people working there well. This goes for any vendor – venue relationship.

Gonna be a Bright Sun-Shiny Wedding Day

Sunflowers give your bouquet a sunny fresh hand picked look. This Beautiful garden style bouquet contain sweet montecasino flowers and accents of dusty miller and  wheat. The perfect bouquet for summer or fall weddings or for when you need a little sunshine on your wedding day.

Photo Credit: Sophie Xu Photography

 

Photo Credit: Sophie Xu Photography

If you want boutonnieres that look like a sunflower but without the large scale consider using a viking mum instead. The hearty viking mum looks like a smaller version of a sunflower and will match the sunflowers in your bridal bouquet.

 

Photo Credit: Sophie Xu Photography

These rustic yellow and lush green arrangements pop against the navy blue staircase and barrels for a charming rustic scene at the Double Nickel Brewing Company.

FALL in Love

Fall weddings are extremely popular and are giving spring weddings a run for their money. The changing colors of the trees in the fall offer bright colors that will inspire your wedding décor. You will have beautiful floral color options from rich, deep reds to burgundy’s, and bright yellows to vibrant oranges.  Some of the most timeless flowers grow in the fall.  Here are 5 of our top favorite.

  1. Sunflowers

Sunflowers may be available all year round (at a higher cost in the off season) but they grow locally here in late summer and fall at a more budget friendly price.

  1. Dahlias

These lavish blooms are one of our bride’s favorites.  Their blooms range from a small delicate flower to a dinner plate size bloom.  They come in a multitude of colors, to match any bridesmaid dress, or color scheme.

Ashley Gerrity Photography

 

  1. Mums

Mums are a great wall to really bring fall into your wedding.  Having mums planted in a pot and used as ceremony décor is a great idea. They can then be moved and used to decorate your reception space too!  It’s cost effective, and really adds a lot of fall color.

Daisy mums make the perfect compliment to sunflowers.

 

  1. Celosia

Celosia comes in two types of blooms, feathered or coxcomb. The coxcomb bloom resembles coral. Celosia comes in many fall colors.  Very popular are its dark burgundy shades, for bouquets and centerpieces.

Ashley Gerrity Photography

 

  1. Bi-colored rose

These roses are grown all year round but are more likely used in the fall season. Popular fall roses are high and magic, or circus rose.  Its bright yellow and orange petals make them a true show stopper. They would look amazing in all aspects of your wedding.

Jennifer Carr Photography

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

Stockton Seaview Wedding

This Stockton Seaview wedding was full of personalized touches and late summer flair!

We designed the centerpieces with locally grown flowers included sage hydrangea, sunflowers, dahlias, zinnias with lush eucalyptus.

 

Our favorite fall flowers

Fall weddings can be very romantic with the warm color leaves sprinkling down from the trees in shades of burgundy, orange, yellow and rich red.  This makes the perfect backdrop for such an event.  There are very beautiful flowers that grow in the Fall.

Here are 5 of our favorite seasonal Fall blooms:

  1. Sunflowers

Sunflowers grow locally here in late Summer and Fall making them a budget friendly option.  Their bright sunny blooms bring a lovely accent to the deep rich red and orange Fall tones.

  1. Dahlias

These unique blooms are a favorite of many brides.  Their blooms range from small and delicate to a large dinner plate size bloom.  They come in a wide range of colors to compliment any wedding color.

  1. Mums

Mums are a great way to bring Fall into your wedding.  Using mum plants as altar arrangements adds a beautiful Fall touch to any wedding.  These blooms are available as both plants and fresh cut blooms.  They are available in a variety of bold and beautiful colors such as purple, burgundy, orange, copper and yellow.

  1. Celosia

Celosia comes in a light and airy “feathered” variety or “coxcomb” variety which resembles coral in the ocean.  Popular celosia colors are its dark burgundy, red, orange and fuchsia.

  1. Bi-colored rose

These roses are grown all year round, but really got the spot light during the fall. Popular fall roses are high and magic, or circus rose.  Its bright yellow and orange petals make them a true show stopper. They look amazing in all aspects of the wedding from centerpieces, bouquets, cake flowers and other décor.

Sunflowers

Sunflowers are one of the most recognized flower around the world.  They have been cultivated as a valuable food source for centuries. Artists throughout history loved the sunflower’s unique splendor— Sunflower  centers are a prime example of Fibonacci’s sequence – the seeds create a spiral pattern.  Unknowingly it does this sequence to maximize space for it to grow more seeds..  Sunflowers symbolize admiration, positivity, and strength. Sunflowers come in many different varieties, here are just a few of these cheerful blooms:

John Glover/Alamy

John Glover/Alamy

The Teddy Bear Sunflower can easily top 6 feet, while the big puffy blooms grow up to 8 inches wide.

Burpee Seeds

Burpee Seeds

Multicolored Strawberry Blonde – You’ll do a double take when you see that the petals are rose-pink at the base, while the ends seem to have been dipped in yellow paint.

Joe Herbert

Joe Herbert

Moulin Rouge -Do you like dark, bold sunflowers? This one delivers. You can find other red variations, but Moulin Rouge is the most reliable of the bunch. It grows to about 4 feet tall.

 

Muth Flower Farm

Farms are old news. Literally. They’ve been around for thousands of years. My grandparents had one, Old McDonald had one, and New Jersey—the “Garden State” and rockin’ home state of Leigh Florist—has 10,000+ farms according to the NJ Dept. of Agriculture. But farms, especially in the crisp, harvest season that is Autumn, are nothing to be overlooked. Now is the time of year to get together with friends and family and go apple and pumpkin picking. The orange-red views are stellar for walks  and hayrides. And who doesn’t love a hot cup of apple cider? Farms offer this and more to their communities.

A farm we are particularly fond of is called Muth Family Farm and they have something really cool called “Community Supported Agriculture”. This “CSA” program involves people from the community purchasing shares of the crops from the farm’s 16-week harvesting period. This program allows owner Bob Muth to focus less on marketing his crops and more on producing the best quality and most bountiful harvest. Also, the money Mr. Muth needs for the care and maintenance of the farm is already provided to him at the beginning of the season. The CSA program gives members the option of purchasing a mini, medium, or large basket and every week, at a preselected pick-up time, they can come and fill that basket with as much produce as possible. The growers at Muth Family Farms try to produce a wide variety of crops from Arugula to Spaghetti Squash to satisfy all of their members.

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Muth Farm_Sunflowers_Dahlias_Lisianthus_Gladiolus_Thistles_Zinnias_New Jersey Flowers

But this isn’t the only cool thing about Muth Farms. Bob Muth’s work in sustainable agriculture,  soil development, and organic farming have gained him recognition in the agricultural world. His farm even received the 2007 Mid-Atlantic Master Farmer award. Muth Farms was the first organic farm in NJ to receive such accolade.

And the coolness doesn’t stop there. A local bee keeper uses Muth Family Farms as the site for his bee pollination and they are now selling the honey at the farm. And they’re located right in Williamstown, NJ only 26 minutes away from us, 53 minutes from the shore, and 32 minutes away from Philly!

Muth Farms grows a wide variety of blooms.  They provide sunflowers, dahlias, lisianthus, gladiolus, thistles and zinnias – to name a few.

Muth Farm_Locally grown flowers_

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Muth Flower Farm_New Jersey Weddings_New Jersey Wedding Flowers_Philadelphia Wedding Flowers_Locally Grown Flowers_Green Weddings

Muth Flower Farm_New Jersey Weddings_New Jersey Wedding Flowers_Philadelphia Wedding Flowers_Locally Grown Flowers_Green Weddings

Agriculture aside, Muth Family Farm also has some spectacular views. Denise snapped some excellent photos of the beautiful barn they have last time she was there. We are big fans of the old, rustic barn look so this is just another reason why we love Muth farms.

So let’s recap: Muth Family farms is one of the leading farms in NJ with its revolutionary views of agriculture, it’s organic, it’s high quality, it supports other local businesses (i.e. the bee keeper,) it’s well located, and it’s just so darn pretty. If you have some time, go ahead and check it out. I think you’ll be pretty fond of it too.

 

Contact us to find out more about locally grown flowers for your wedding!  For New Jersey, locally grown flowers are available from May to November.

Find out more about Muth Farms – click here!

 

-Lacey Bouchard

 

Leigh Florist

400 Amherst Road

Audubon, NJ 08106

(856)547-1090

sales@leighflorist.com

http://www.leighflorist.com

Harvesting and Drying Sunflowers

There’s more to harvesting and drying sunflowers than many professional growers realize. How soon you decide to harvest them will depend largely on energy costs, temperatures, and whether you prefer them to dry naturally. Ideally, your sunflowers won’t be exposed to insects and diseases, and the temperature will be warm enough to allow them to dry on the stem. However, those circumstances are rare. In reality, most crops will be vulnerable to some level of pests and diseases. And depending upon where you live, the temperature can cause your sunflowers to freeze.

In this article, I’ll explain some of the benefits of harvesting your sunflowers early. I’ll also describe how they’re dried and why the moisture in the air can affect your crops.

Benefits Of Harvesting Early

With energy expenses escalating, you might think that allowing your sunflowers to dry naturally is a good idea. But, there are plenty of reasons why you should consider harvesting them early. First, if the temperature is close to freezing during the evenings, your sunflower crops are not actually drying. The moisture is being sealed inside. But, even if you’re not growing your sunflowers in freezing temperatures, there are still many advantages to an early harvest.

For example, the weather can often be harsh for sunflowers. Rain and strong winds can pummel your crops and prevent them from drying properly. Also, keep in mind that the longer you allow your crops to stay outside, the more vulnerable they’ll be to insects, birds, and other pests. What’s more, they’re more susceptible to mildew, mold, and diseases.

Sunflowers also have to cope with weeds, which can become a problem if they’re not managed. You can use chemicals to control them, but their effectiveness is often limited, depending upon the weather and soil. If you own a high-power dryer that can output high temperatures, consider an early harvest to dry them yourself.

Temperature And Moisture

There are many places where the air has increased capacity to hold moisture during the harvest season (for example, South and North Dakota). When this is the case, your crops will dry more quickly. Sunflowers, because of their ability to take advantage of past crops’ residual fertility, can be especially resilient in this type of weather. And the higher the temperature, the more capacity for moisture the air has. In that case, you might be able to allow your sunflowers to dry on the stem a little longer. Of course, you’ll still need to be vigilant about protecting them from critters, insects, and weeds.

Harvesting Your Sunflowers

Years ago, growers harvested their sunflowers when the backs of the heads began to turn brown. However, many crops today come from hybrids and should actually be harvested when the heads are still yellow.

When your crops have a seed moisture of about 35%, you should consider harvesting them. You can actually wait until the moisture level is approximately 12%, but you’ll run the risk of a fire in your combine. This is another benefit of an early harvest. The damper the seeds, the less likely a combine fire will occur. Plus, damp seeds are less likely to break apart while threshing. When the seed moisture is around 10%, there’s far more breakage.

Even though letting your sunflowers dry naturally tends to cost less and be lower maintenance, it’s no longer always the best choice. Today, the combines and high-temperature dryers we use allow us to harvest early and thereby further protect our crops from insects, disease and bad weather.