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It’s officially the heart of Dahlia season. You’ve probably been seeing a plethora of instagram photos of stunning Dahlias in an array of colors, sizes and textures. But have you ever wondered about the different varieties? Every year I’ve always wondered if each variety had a name. One afternoon, Natalie asked me to go on a walk to the Dahlia Garden in Golden Gate Park (if you’ve never gone I highly recommend it!). As we walked around the garden I was in awe of the name each of them had – not to mention how different some can look from one another. That’s when we had our ah-ha moment of what we should focus on for this month’s feature. We wanted to bring you fifteen different dahlias, which doesn’t even make a dent in the varieties. Since there are so many out there some Dahlias don’t even have names, but we found as many as we could.
Read on to learn about this flower that brings so much joy to peoples homes and gardens.
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As we celebrate the close of our summer season, Natalie and I wanted to bring you an arrangement that depicts the epitome of summer to us. Honestly, I couldn’t think of a better arrangement to say ta-ta to summer. Read on for Natalie’s tips on roses and more!
I see that you used Grapes. What inspired you to do that?
I have been getting grapes in my veggie box every week lately and was inspired to use them in the arrangement. I love using fruit in my designs and grapes have a lovely drape to them that look so pretty over the vase line.
These roses are so delicate. Tell me about them.
I am in love with the “Sally Holmes” rose. It is an heirloom rose that grows on a bush. There are clusters of blooms on each stem and each blossom has a single row of petals. I love how delicate they are and that with the few number of petals their yellow center is really visible.
Are we in rose season? Where are these from?
All of these roses are from Sonoma, which is about an hour north of San Francisco. Roses have two cuttings which means they bloom twice each season. We are seeing some beautiful varieties right now, including the soft feminine Crocus that I also used in this arrangement.
If roses wilt, is there any way to save them?
Yes! Roses should always be cut at an angle and put in plenty of water. Some people even suggest that you cut the stem under water so that the air never seals the skin. If a rose is soft and wilted but not dead, you may horizontally submerge the rose in warm water for thirty minutes and it will revive!
Both Natalie and I hope this i
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This month Natalie had warned me before meeting up about the bright colors that inspired her for this month’s arrangement. I told her the brighter the better! It’s summer, why not add a pop of color into your home? Especially when your home all white. When I saw this beauty for the first time I couldn’t believe the assortment of blooms. Honestly, I kept finding different flowers she had used and was in complete awe of how it came together. It just goes to show you that Natalie is one talented gal. Read on to hear about her inspiration.
These colors are so summery. What was your inspiration behind the color palette?
The bright red and soft pink reminds me of summertime fruit and peaches and berries. I love mixing bright tones with a hint of white to soften the overall feeling.
I love this vase! I have seen you use it once before and wonder what it is the material?
This vase is one of my favorites and it is by Martha Sturdy. They are based in Canada and make beautiful hand-made cast resin vases. I love the feeling of the vase to the touch and how it almost feels like marble.
I’ve started to see a lot of blackberries on the side of the road and in the wild. Is that were you got these?
These blackberries are actually from Oregon but we do get them from Northern California at times, too. If you happen to have some growing in your yard, I encourage you to snip a stem when the berries are green (so you don’t stain anything) and put them in a vase!
Natalie and I hope this inspires you to bring a little pop of color into your home!
Flowers by Natalie Bowen Designs | Photos by Caitlin Flemming
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In June, the flower market is bursting with an array of blooms – dahlias, the last peonies of the year, garden roses are slowly coming into bloom, and so much more. This month I wanted Natalie to surprise me with the arrangement. Little did I know that she actually had a hard time selecting what to put together (you’ll hear more details below).
As the arrangement came together in front of my eyes it was hard for me to believe that she had had a hard time selecting each of the flowers. It felt effortless and the combination was stunning. I love the mix of white, yellow and I’m a total sucker for fig branches. Learn more about how this month’s arrangement came together through Natalie’s eyes.
Flowers used this month:
“African bride” Love in mist (or nigella)
Acidanthera “sword lily”
What inspired you this month?
Some months are easier for me than others. The market is filled with pretty flowers, but sometimes there is that special something that launches the whole creative process. This month, I didn’t see that special bloom right away. We are in between seasons and with peonies being behind us and most of the garden roses ahead of us, I felt that I didn’t know what the obvious choice was for this month. When I saw the figs, I decided to go with that choice.
I love this pretty leaf. What is it?
The leaf is a variety of geranium. I love geranium and find the scent so soothing. It grows really well in San Francisco and I feel inspired to grow some in my own garden.
I love the black and deep purple center two flowers. It seems unusual to find that in a flower, is that true?
Few flowers have such a deep and rich tone in them, that I am drawn to them every time I see it. I love the Love-in-Mist and while it is most commonly seen in blue, I love this black variety. It is delicate but the black touch makes it feel more substantial and strong.
Using figs in the arrangement is a good idea. Do you have any tips for doing that?
I would suggest that when using anything with a thick stem, such as the fig, you should always put it in the vase first. This way you can build your arrangement around the thickness of the fig stems. It really help the structure of the arrangement to have these large stems in first.
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