Sacramento Street

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Blooms in Season: August

Blooms in Season by Natalie Bowen Designs for Sacramento Street

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!


Blooms in Season by Natalie Bowen Designs for Sacramento Street

Flowers used in this arrangement:


Sally Holmes (rose with single petals)
Crocus (peach rose)
Romantic Antique (coral rose)
Pieris
Cabernet Grapes


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.


Blooms in Season by Natalie Bowen Designs for Sacramento Street

Blooms in Season by Natalie Bowen Designs for Sacramento Street


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.


Blooms in Season by Natalie Bowen Designs for Sacramento Street 

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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Blooms in Season – Late July

Blooms in Season - July 2014 | By Natalie Bowen Designs for Sacramento Street 1This 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.


Blooms-in-Season---July-2014-_-By-Natalie-Bowen-Designs-for-Sacramento-Street-2


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.


Blooms in Season - July 2014 | By Natalie Bowen Designs for Sacramento Street 3


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.


Blooms in Season - July 2014 | By Natalie Bowen Designs for Sacramento Street 4Blooms in Season - July 2014 | By Natalie Bowen Designs for Sacramento Street 5


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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Blooms in Season: June

Blooms in Season | By Natalie Bowen for Sacramento Street

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.


Blooms in Season | By Natalie Bowen for Sacramento Street


Flowers used this month:

Fig

“Symphony” rose

White scabiosa

“African bride” Love in mist (or nigella)

Geranium leaf

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.


Blooms in Season | By Natalie Bowen for Sacramento StreetBlooms in Season | By Natalie Bowen for Sacramento Street


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.


Blooms in Season | By Natalie Bowen for Sacramento Street


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.


Flowers by Natalie Bowen Designs | Photos by Claire Giffen

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Blooms in Season: May

Blooms in Season | Sacramento Street

 

Every single month when Natalie comes to me with an idea for her arrangement, I’m blown away by the flowers she wants to pair together. This month she mentioned berries and beautiful bright clematis, which blew my socks off when I saw them in person. I love the way Natalie is able to design such an organic bouquet that looks stunning and effortless at the same time. Read on to see her tips on using blueberries and strawberries in your own arrangements!

 

 

Flowers used in this arrangement:
viburnum berry
chocolate cosmos
icelandic poppies
sonoma garden roses
clematis
blueberries
woodland strawberries

 

Blooms in Season | Sacramento Street

 

I’ve never seen blueberries in the Bay Area before. I know they are common in the North East, are they easy to grow in California, too?
The blueberries in this arrangement are from the garden at my studio in San Francisco. It was a complete experiment to plant them. I had a bush left over from a project I was doing, and I just put it in the ground. I have learned that blueberries love acidic soil, which my studio garden is full of, so I think this helps them do OK. My husband grew up in New England and he has fond memories of going blueberry picking in Maine as a child. I don’t think we’ll ever achieve that blueberry abundance in California, but it was fun to try.

 

I noticed that you used strawberries in the arrangement, too. How did you do that?
We grow woodland strawberries in our garden and they have long stems. These stems allow us to put them in a vase. I love them when they are green, as they actually last in the arrangement for a few days. I love including unexpected


Blooms in Season | Sacramento Street Blooms in Season | Sacramento Street

 

The size of that clematis is amazing! Where did you find it?
I was at dinner at a friends house in Berkeley and they had an amazing garden and this clematis was in it. They generously let me snip a few stems from their garden to bring home. Clematis is a very delicate vine, but it can grow very well with the right environment.

 

Why are Chocolate Cosmo’s named that?
Chocolate Cosmo’s actually smell like chocolate. It is so cool! They are actually a native of Mexico and once grew wild there. I love their deep dark color and delicate stems. But, I love their scent the most!


Blooms in Season | Sacramento Street


Both Natalie and I hope this inspires you to create something beautiful this Memorial weekend!

Flowers by Natalie Bowen Designs | Photos by Caitlin Flemming
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Blooms in Season: April

Blooms in Season - April | Natalie Bowen for Sacramento Street

I have to be honest, this time of year the flower market is billowing over with all of my favorite flowers. It truly feels like heaven when I step inside. The beautiful blooming branches that we wait so patiently for have arrived.


This month Natalie and I decided to bring you a few flowers that we adore. They each have a little trick or cool trait to them that we wanted to share with you. Read on for more details on these beauties.

 

Blooms in Season - April | Natalie Bowen for Sacramento Street
Blooms in Season - April | Natalie Bowen for Sacramento Street

Sometimes my lilac wilts. Do you have any tips to keep it alive longer?
Lilac can be so finicky. Lilac have woody stems, so one technique to open their stems to access more water is to literally pound the ends with a hammer. You can also cut up the stems, but I prefer to hammer them. Most importantly, they need a lot of water. When you buy or cut them, put them directly in deep water. Find a tall vase and fill it to the very top and refill as needed. Keep the vase out of direct sun and in a cooler space. This should really help the lifespan of lilacs.

 

Blooms in Season - April | Natalie Bowen for Sacramento Street

On the other hand, sometimes my peonies don’t open. What should I do to push them along in developing?
If your peonies are not opening up quickly enough, I have a few suggestions. If they are a very tight, hard ball, nothing other than time and patience will help you. If the ball is a little larger and the size of a very small apricot and not as hard, then there is some hope. Cut the stems (always cut all flower stems before you put them in water) at an angle, put them in warm (not hot) water, and put them in a warm space that is not in full sun. You can delicately start to peal the petals back to encourage them to open. This should really help.

Blooms in Season - April | Natalie Bowen for Sacramento Street

Dogwood is so pretty. Why does it sometimes last a long time and sometimes die so quickly?
I think that this is one mystery I have not solved. I always make sure I put my dogwood directly in water, as it is much more sensitive than any other blooming branch. Even when doing that, sometimes it lasts for weeks and sometimes for just a couple of days. I think it is sheer luck! However, I do welcome any tips from readers, if anyone has any.

Blooms in Season - April | Natalie Bowen for Sacramento Street 3Blooms in Season - April | Natalie Bowen for Sacramento Street

What is the fuzzy fruit on the green branches?
Those are almonds! I was raised in Northern California where almonds were one of the largest local agriculture crops (other than rice). California grows 80% of the worlds almonds, so you see a lot of nut orchards when you drive through the farm lands of the central valley. Almonds are one of the very first branches to bloom in the springtime, and by this point in the year they have sprouted their leaves and are showing the nuts. I think they are so cute!

 

This month’s features has me running out the door for a fresh arrangement for the house. Thank you Natalie for getting me inspired by what’s in season!

 

Flowers by Natalie Bowen Designs | Photos by Claire Giffen
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