Sacramento Street

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Blooms in Season: June

Blooms in Season : June| Sacramento Street

I’m smitten over the latest Blooms in Season post. The fragrance in summer flowers is like no other season. Natalie will discuss the selection of blooms but in case you are interested, there are two different varieties of both lavender and sage. My wish is that all of you could smell these blooms from your computers (or iPhones)!

Blooms in Season : June| Sacramento Street

 

Have you always loved lavender?

 

I have to admit, this year is the first time I’ve really gone crazy over it. I walked in to the market this week and it was filled with the most exquisite lavender from a farm north of San Francisco about three hours. It stopped me in my tracks and I’ve while it hasn’t always been a favorite of mine, I have a hard time resisting any flower that is showing so beautifully.

 

How many varieties of lavender are there?

 

A lot! Thirty-nine to be exact. I am surprised by how many there are, but when you look at them, they are all so different. Even though the color name “lavender” is named after the plant, they range in color saturation, too.

 

Blooms in Season : June| Sacramento Street Blooms in Season : June| Sacramento Street

 

Does all Lavender have the same scent? 

 

Some varieties have a much more saturated and dense scent than others. Lavender essential oil is extracted from English lavender. If you give the lavender a gentle squeeze, the oil will get on your hands and it can be easily inhaled.
 

 

Tell us a little secret about Salvia (sage).

 

The salvia (sage) is in the mint family. Anything in the mint family has a square stem. If you twirl the stem in your fingers you can feel the shape of the stem and easily identify it as being in the Lamiaceae (mint) family.

 

 Blooms in Season : June| Sacramento Street

 

It sometimes seems hard to design with, since the stems are so straight. Do you have any tips on how to make arranging with lavender easier?

 

I agree that arranging with lavender can be hard. I don’t like the way it looks with the stems are poking out from an arrangement as if they were toothpicks. I prefer to cluster the stems and mass them together. When grouped, they look much more impressive and mimic the way they grow on a bush.

 

Natalie Bowen Designs Workshop

 

Friends, Natalie is teaching a unique floral workshop this summer. Not only do you get to have Natalie’s guidance, knowledge and inspiration at your fingertips but you’ll have the opportunity to pick your own flowers from a flower ranch and then have your arrangement photograph. The spots are going to go quickly so be sure to sign up!

 

Flowers by Natalie Bowen Designs | Photos by Emily Scott for Sacramento Street
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Blooms in Season: May

Blooms in season : May | Sacramento Street

 

It’s peonies season- one of my favorite times of year! My instagram has been filled with them and I’m loving it. What some people don’t know is the beauty that evolves as the peony blossom opens up. Natalie and I wanted to document it and share the incredible transformation it makes over a week. Honestly, while doing this I couldn’t decide which stage was my favorite. I love with the Coral Charm peony goes from pink pink to a soft peach. Find out more details about the evolution from Natalie.

Blooms in season : May | Sacramento Street

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I can’t believe how much these peonies change color. What makes them do that?

 

I just love flowers with personalities and the Coral Charm certainly has one. They start off with a vivid color as a way to attract pollinators such as bees. As the flower ages, they don’t have a need to be pollinated as much, and stop using their energy to produce the color.

 

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Can you time their process? How do you prepare for their color change?

 

Personally, I love the color that they become more than the color they start as, and the waiting process is part of the beauty of the experience. If we have an event where we want to use the softer yellowish color, we buy the flowers almost five days in advance. It’s a very tricky dance and sometimes it works out great and sometimes the color just does not do what we want on the exact day. It’s a lesson in controlling nature.

 

Do you have any tips on getting peonies to open? Sometimes they are in such tight balls when I get them at the store.

 

Some peonies open more quickly than others. If you gently squeeze them, and they feel rock hard, they will take a long time to open. Some that are very small and tight, may not ever open. If they have a little give to them, you know that they will be opening in the next day or so. Peonies will open faster in warm water and if they are in a warm room. In a pinch, we have put them in front of a heater to get them to open. You can even gently peal the surrounding exterior petals off to help release the inner petals. In a single bunch you will have each bloom open at a different pace, as  they are all at different stages of development.

 

Blooms in season : May | Sacramento StreetBlooms in season : May | Sacramento StreetBlooms in season : May | Sacramento Street

 

Check back next month for another beautiful post by Natalie. She’s constantly inspiring me to bring blooms into my home.


Flowers by Natalie Bowen Designs | Photos by Heather Day for Sacramento Street.

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Blooms in Season: April

Blooms in Season : April | Sacramento Street


Spring has arrived, especially at the flower mart. It burst with tons of favorites – blooming branches, lily of the valley, ranunculus, poppies, and peonies are slowly on the way in. This time of year makes my flower heart sing.


This month, Natalie and I wanted to highlight the art of simplicity when it comes to showcasing one flower.


Blooms in Season : April | Sacramento StreetBlooms in Season : April | Sacramento Street


I love the mockorange. Tell me more about them.
These are one of my favorites during this season! They are delicate and abundant and remind me of my own mother’s garden. They are commonly called mockorange because their bloom mocks the buds of lemons and oranges. Their latin name, Philadelphus, is named after an ancient Greek king of Egypt.


Blooms in Season : April | Sacramento StreetBlooms in Season : April | Sacramento StreetBlooms in Season : April | Sacramento Street


Hyacinth are one of my favorites, but I notice they are available in flower shops year-round?

This is true, however this is their actual season. Hyacinth are bulb plants that are easy to transport and ship, therefore they are now grown and shipped throughout the year. Tulips are the same. I find that they are so much better this time of year because this is when they are naturally in season and they are such a sign of Spring. In California, you can find locally grown bunches that are not coming from Holland.


I love Lily of the Valley but don’t see it very often here in San Francisco. Why is that?
Lily of the Valley loves conditions that are much different than what we have here. It grows wonderfully in the mid-west, back east and in the pacific northwest. It can grow here and if it does, it spreads nicely.


Blooms in Season : April | Sacramento StreetBlooms in Season : April | Sacramento Street


I noticed you kept the flowers simple and only used one variety per vase. Why is that?

In my own home, I keep my floral arrangements simple. I like to use a single variety as a way to keep the arranging simple and also really appreciate each individual bloom. I like seeing one variety in a vase as it helps me enjoy the true grace and individuality of each stem. Keeping the design simple works beautifully next to a bedside or sink basin. Anything too fussy just takes over and loses impact.


Blooms in Season : April | Sacramento Street

 

For readers that live in the Bay Area, I highly suggest going to the Bouquets to Art exhibit at the de Young Museum. Natalie is showcasing an incredible piece!


Flowers by Natalie Bowen Designs | Photos by Heather Day for Sacramento Street.

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Blooms In Season: March

 

Blooms in Season : March | Sacramento Street

 

As we enter into a new season, Natalie and I wanted to teach a class together about something that we truly believe in – that “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” As we progress in life, it’s not about the quantity of items we have, it’s about the quality. I’ve mentioned on more than one occasion that the meaning and purpose behind the pieces in your home is something I whole heartedly believe in when designing a home.


At the end of March, Natalie Bowen, Jessie Black, Fullosophie and I will be teaching you how to incorporate and understand the foundations of beautiful bedroom design and styling via:  florals, textiles, textures, and design. We’ll be focusing on the differences in materials and textures, incorporating seasonal flowers and colors, and the do’s and don’ts of styling bookshelves, tabletops, and your bed. Although this is focusing on the bedroom, you can use these tips for any part of your home.


Details are at the end of this month’s stunning post that Natalie created for you. I’m madly in love with the texture of this arrangement!

 

Blooms in Season : March | Sacramento Street
Blooms in Season : March | Sacramento Street

 

Flowers used in this arrangement:
- Liberstar Tulips
- Snow drops
- Ranunculus
- Acacia
- Fritillaria


I’ve never seen these checkerboard flowers. What are they?

They are called fritillaria and they are one of my favorite springtime blooms. They feel like they are the perfect fairy flower with their curved stems and small bell flowers.

 

Blooms in Season : March | Sacramento Street

 

I’ve seen the Acacia before but doesn’t it usually wilt?
This is a stem I use when I don’t need the branch to last more than a few days. The tips wilt immediately, so I snip of the ends and the rest of the branch lasts much longer.

 

How does “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” play a role in your life?
With flowers I always suggest getting king lasting flowers for your own home. This way your money is well spent and you will enjoy them for as long as possible. Then, sometimes splurge on the perfect single bloom and out it on your desk or next to your bedside where you will see it often.


Blooms in Season : March | Sacramento Street


If you live in the Bay Area we’d love to see you at this workshop – pop over to Fullosophie for more information. It’s going to be an evening filled with loads of inspiration!

Date: Thursday, March 26th  |  6:30pm – 8:30pm

Location: Jessie Black SF ( 3252 Sacramento St, San Francisco)


Flowers by Natalie Bowen Designs | Photos by Heather Day for Sacramento Street

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Blooms In Season: February

Blooms in Season | Sacramento Street

 

While the flower market is bustling with florists getting ready for Valentines Day, Natalie and I wanted to bring you a dose of inspiration on what’s in season this time of year. It completely depends on the year and whether it has been warm, cold, wet or dry. This year branches are usually in full bloom, which is my favorite thing to have in the house. It’s a sign that Spring is right around the corner.

 

Over the past few years I’ve wondered which branches come into season first and how to care for them. There are dozens of varieties out there to choose from so I turned to Natalie to get a little more insight into what you can expect to see in the markets when it comes to branches.

Blooms in Season | Sacramento Street

 

The Flowers:
- white liberstar tulip
- almond branches
- jasmine

 

Blooms in Season | Sacramento Street

Blooms in Season | Sacramento Street

 

I see so many blooming branches this time of year, what type are these?
These are almond branches. I love watching the Spring season progress by watching each variety bloom. It always starts with magnolia blossoms and then moves on to almond, quince, peach, plum, cherry and dogwood. I grew up in Northern California where almonds are grown and the look and smell of these particular branches bring back such good memories for me.

 

Blooms in Season | Sacramento Street

 

What makes flowering trees so special?
I love that they represent the beginning of Spring. After a long dark winter, they can be one of the first flowers of spring and represent new beginnings.

 

Do branches need any special care?
Another reason I love blooming branches is that they are so easy, yet so beautiful. Just a couple stems make a huge impact on a room. Simple beauty at its absolute best. The only thing I’d say, is that the mess cleaning them up after the petals fall and they “snow” is not so fun!

 

Blooms in Season | Sacramento Street

 

We hope you enjoyed this month’s inspiration. Check back next month for our next post!

 

Flowers by Natalie Bowen Designs | Photos by Heather Day for Sacramento Street

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