Sacramento Street

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Blooms in Season: November

Blooms in Season - Sacramento Street x Natalie Bowen Design 1

This week in San Francisco, the weather has taken quite a turn and the air is finally crisp and cold. This is the perfect time to change the look of flowers to a more moody and romantic style for your home. Natalie hit this look out of the ballpark – I swooned when I saw this particular mix of flowers!  I am usually one who buys white flowers or greenery and that’s about it. But lately, the dark flowers that look like the color of a glass of pinot noir are something I’m gravitating towards.  Notice the extraordinary vines creep out of the arrangement – perfection! The use of a stone urn is also in keeping with the season.  All-in-all this is what I would consider the perfect grouping of flowers.

Sacramento Street x Natalie Bowen Design 6

What was your inspiration behind this moody fall arrangement?

I am loving the contrast of light and dark right now and so I decided November was the perfect time to play around with these two ends of the color spectrum. We are moving in to daylight savings and the days are shorter, but the daylight we do have is golden and luminescent. I love the light this time of year! The protea especially captivated me, so I grabbed those first and built the look around them.

Sacramento Street x Natalie Bowen Design 3Sacramento Street x Natalie Bowen Design 4

I love the use of the proteca, are the seasonal or can you find them year round?

The banksia are a type of protea and they are a native of Australia. They actually grow quite well in the Bay Area and since we have a mild climate they can grow during most of the year. Since the Southern hemisphere has the opposite season they are imported at the SF Flower Mart almost year round.

Sacramento Street x Natalie Bowen Design 5

With the weather feeling more crisp, what types of flowers will be in season? Any favorites you love using?

I’m finding that my arrangements are becoming more simple this time of year. I often use a branch and then only one type of flower, rather than mixing a lot of different flowers. In California we are getting the very end of the summer flowers so I find myself tending towards the branches and berries are so pretty that they can easily stand alone to make a statement. It will make the blooms that much more special when they come back in to season early spring.

I love using branches this time of year – what are two of your go to’s?

Pastiche, bittersweet and maple are all varieties I find myself using a lot during this month.

Sacramento Street x Natalie Bowen Design 2

Since everyone is thinking about their thanksgiving centerpiece/arrangement, could you give everyone a few tips on what they should look out for or think about? 

Setting the table was always my favorite part of the holiday meal when I was a child and it still is. I would hand-make my place cards and carefully chose who sat at which place setting. Now, I tend to think about the overall look of the table and while I’ve grown up a bit, I still think there are a few key details to keep in mind when planning the floral decor for your holiday table. My top list includes:

1. Keep the florals low so people can see across the table. If you put your elbow on the table and lift your hand straight up, the arrangement should be no taller than your finger tips at the tallest point.

2. Don’t use any scented flowers. I adore having fragrant flowers in my home yet I know so many people are allergic to scented flowers of all kinds. Be sure to not make your guests unexpectedly suffer and leave the scented blooms for the powder room.

3. Keep the arrangements compact. I find that holiday meals are often family style and even if you have a buffet you may have multiple glasses, salt and pepper or even candles on the table. Keep the arrangements compact and opt for several smaller ones that are movable, rather than one large piece.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


To get inspired by past Blooms in Season posts – click here.

Flowers by Natalie Bowen Designs | Images by Ali Hartwell  for Sacramento Street

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Blooms in Season: September

Blooms in Season: September | Natalie Bowen Designs

One of my favorite things is that we have four distinct seasons to enjoy. I adore the heat and sunshine of summer but I’m just as happy to be slipping into fall with shorter hours of daylight, trees turning brilliant colors, and a briskness to the air. I also love the flowers and branches at the flowers market with the changes of color and varieties. Natalie has created an arrangement of flowers that makes me tickled with excitement. I find the mix of soft blush colors and the vivid colors of the leaves and branches to be a perfect mix to chime in the new season.

Blooms in Season: September | Natalie Bowen Designs


“Cafe Aux Lait” Dahlias
Maple Branches
Rose Hips

I love these berries. What are they?

These are rose hips. I love that this variety is so delicate and not as large as the type I normally see. Rose hips are the fruit from the rose plant and we see them in early Autumn after the summer roses have stopped blooming. Rose hips have medicinal powers and many uses. I often drink tea with rose hips as they are very high in Vitamin C.


These Dahlias are to die for!
These are called “Cafe aux lait” dahlias and they have become really common in the last couple of years. I see them more and more but they are still such a beautiful color. I love that they bridge other colors and in this case of this arrangement they soften the Autumnal colors and make the arrangement seem more appropriate for September when we aren’t quite yet in the full swing of Fall.

Blooms in Season: September | Natalie Bowen Designs


With the seasons changing what foliage branches do you recommend for interior arrangements?
I love to use fall foliage such as this Maple. However, in my home I am always most drawn to the longest lasting blooms and branches so that I get the maximum enjoyment without having the change them often. Fall foliage can last anywhere from three days to over a week, but these rose hips last for a month! I love them for this reason. As the season changes, I look for lichen and moss covered branches that have very few leaves on them. This way I can enjoy them as we transition from Fall to Winter.


A new season brings new blooms, what can we expect to start to see in season that you are excited about?
I love Fall. It is my favorite season and I am so excited to see the leaves change color. At this time of year I start to focus more on non-floral elements of the season. I love Liquid Amber, Pistache and Gingko. I also love heirloom pumpkins and usually get mine as soon as I seem them and don’t throw them out until the day I bring the Christmas tree in.

To get inspired by past Blooms in Season posts – click here.

Flowers by Natalie Bowen Designs | Images by Suzanna Scott for Sacramento Street

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Blooms in Season: August

Blooms in Season - August | Natalie Bowen Design x Sacramento Street

Each month I feel inspired after we shoot Natalie’s creations. Sometimes we plan a certain theme or color but other times I want to be surprised. This month when I opened the door,Natalie had a tons and tons of beautiful grass – the bucket had an ombre look to it. I knew I was in for a spectacular surprise. She knocked it out of the park friends. Not only were the different varieties stunning, but she pulled out the lotus pod and carefully unfolded it. You are in for a treat when you see what it looked like before and after. It’s truly amazing what Natalie creates for us each month. Read on to find out more about this hidden gem of a flower!

Blooms in Season - August | Natalie Bowen Design x Sacramento Street

Flower Varieties:
Left to right: Maiden Grass, Lotus Pod and Purple Fountain Grass


Blooms in Season - August | Natalie Bowen Design x Sacramento Street Blooms in Season - August | Natalie Bowen Design x Sacramento Street

I love these lotus pods. They are incredible. Where were they grown?
These lots pods are so beautiful in their shape, clean lines and simple yet complex form. This may be the very first time in our three years of doing this post, that I have used a flower that was not grown locally. This lotus is an import from Hawaii, however under the right growing conditions you could grow them other places.

Blooms in Season - August | Natalie Bowen Design x Sacramento Street

I love these grasses. Why did you chose them?
I know many people, including myself, have one tall vase in their house where they like to have long lasting branches on display. It’s such a easy and inexpensive way to keep the presence of greens in your home without needing to have a full arrangement. At a certain point in the year I get a bit tired of having branches and want to try something new. That is exactly what happened this month and why I chose the grasses. They are long lasting and have such an elegant look. The same look can be achieved with tall weeds you find on the side of the road. It sounds crazy, but trust me, they can look so elegant when placed in a vase all on their own.

Blooms in Season - August | Natalie Bowen Design x Sacramento Street

Our mother’s were both at this photo shoot, wasn’t that special?
Yes! I loved that unplanned we both brought our mother’s to this shoot. We are both so lucky to have our Mama’s live close and share our mutual passions. Yours for interiors and mine for flowers. I appreciate that more and more older I get.

Thank you Natalie for this incredible feature this month. I’m constantly in awe of what you create for us!

Flowers by Natalie Bowen Designs | Photos by Emily Scott for Sacramento Street

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Blooms in Season: July

Blooms in Season - July | Natalie Bowen Design x Sacramento Street 1

With the exception of a few times a year, flowers in my house are always white. Of course white can sometimes look plain and one dimensional to some. One way I get around this, is to mix the white flowers with other grasses or greens in season. This month, Natalie has succeeded in creating a rich, wild and innovative way to mix the season into my white flowers. I think you’ll agree that these flowers are a winning bunch!!

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What inspired you this month?

I love color so much but sometimes I need a break and to have a  calm arrangement. I think white and green feels so summery and I always think of white as your signature color, Caitlin. While vibrant summer colors are wonderful, there is something about the freshness of white and green that feels so soothing during the hot months.

Blooms in Season - July | Natalie Bowen Design x Sacramento Street 2 Blooms in Season - July | Natalie Bowen Design x Sacramento Street 3

I love this white rose. What is it?

This is an iceberg rose. They are one of the only pure white garden roses and they grow really well in this part of California. They are also incredibly long lasting. My mother has bushes in her back yard and the flowers on them last for weeks! The only draw back to this rose is that they have zero scent. You can’t have everything, I guess!

Blooms in Season - July | Natalie Bowen Design x Sacramento Street 4

I love these little guys you call Love-in-Mist. 

I love those, too! Love-in-Mist can also be called Nigella There are so few blue flowers that I really love and these are one of them. I also have a very special association with them as my husband and I got married in a field of poppies and Love-in-Mist. They can also be called “Devil-in-a-mist”, but I”l stick to the devil reference.

Blooms in Season - July | Natalie Bowen Design x Sacramento Street 5

Looking for more flower inspiration? Be sure to check out the arrangements Natalie has created in the past – I’m always finding inspiration through them.


Flowers by Natalie Bowen Designs | Photos by Emily Scott for 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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