July 31, 2008

from the archives: metal containers

I love metal. No really... I love it in architecture, in jewelry, and especially mixed with soft things like flowers. Some of my favorite containers are galvanized or brushed silvery boxes, shown below at two different events.

For the above event I used hydrangea, tuberose, Casablanca lilies, white orchids, dusty miller and birch branches.

Same containers, used with a fall color scheme: orange pincushion protea, Friendship roses, chocolate cymbidiums, orange speckled mokara orchids, more hydrangea, kiwi vine and lots of moss.

July 30, 2008

textiles: galbraith & paul

Loving these fresh patterns by Galbraith & Paul. So many things to covet... lighting, rugs, fabric.

July 29, 2008

a balcony of potted succulents

What do you do in Texas when it gets so hot you can barely stand the thought of going outside? You make your outside spaces visually cool and refreshing!

This morning I helped my friend Nancy pot up a large pencil cactus for one of her client's balconies that gets full sun almost all day. Luckily Nancy had already completed the plantings in the 2 smaller green pots with succulents, cactus and echeverias by the time I got there. For low maintenance in the Texas heat you can't beat this type of container garden. (Cactus in terracotta pot on table from another source.)

Oh, how I wish I had access to this luxurious outside space, with gorgeous views over Austin... I'd kick back with a Mint & Honey Sweet Leaf Tea, and hope the mosquitos couldn't find me.

July 28, 2008

stylist: matthew mead

Matthew Mead, where have you been all my life? I just found out about his great website, and you simply must go there and flip through the pages of his books. I'm really inspired by the fruit and flower centerpiece on the cover of Entertaining Simple.

Cover image from Matthew Mead website.

July 24, 2008

using vegetables in arrangements

I had the pleasure of playing around with some veggies today for a project I'm working on. Here's a small peek of an arrangement with baby 'graffiti' eggplants, baby carrots, enoki mushrooms, pineapple flowers, roses and sedum heads.

austin: ld design

Some great designers are making their way to Austin... Lauren Dolinsky of LD Design is one of them! Lauren creates 'sustainable botanical couture' that is easy on the environment and easy to care for, using lots of succulents and tillandsias as well as reclaimed and locally produced items. Her beautiful website is full of great ideas, and see her blog for current projects.

July 23, 2008

austin: bigredsun

Continuing yesterday's theme of great Austin garden stores... if you haven't visited BigRedSun on the east side you're really missing something! In addition to creating ground-breaking landscape design, they have a great homewares and gift store (blue house), a pavilion with potted succulents for your patio or coffeetable, and rotating art installations. I'm also in awe of the floral design they create for events - lots of feathers, succulents and unusual rocks. And their website is glorious.

July 22, 2008

austin: gardens

One of my favorite shops to visit for inspiration in Austin is Gardens (they now have a Dallas location too!). The owners and employees scour the globe for unusual and unique homewares and garden items...and the plant selection is unparalleled. The Gardens staff are responsible for some of the most lush and exciting landscape design around this arid town. Check out their website for more great pics.

July 20, 2008

sigh of relief

Last week I finally rolled into Austin, my adopted hometown, to scorching hot temperatures and warm hugs from so many friends. Ahhhh. It's the first time I've been back since Kyle and I moved to New Zealand about a year and a half ago.

I had trepidations about how I would feel - had I built it up in mind? Would I be disappointed in the real 2008 version of Austin? Had all my friends moved on and gotten too busy to find time for me?

The first few days I drove around town visiting familiar streets, shops and people. It was all still there, and better... while I was away Austin had blossomed into a vibrant, cosmopolitan city. The day I left it had just been a town. Sure, there have been casualties and changes, but for the most part exciting opportunities seem to be popping up all over. I've reconnected with friends that I haven't spoken to the whole time I've been away, and tears well up in my eyes when I think about how awesome the community, my community, is here. I've missed you Austin!

So, forgive me if this week is light on posts. I'm enjoying myself so much... but don't worry, I'm taking pictures of all my adventures, and I'll be back soon with so much to share.

Photo from here.

July 18, 2008

inspiration: ellerslie flower show

I dragged Kyle to the Ellerslie Flower Show in Auckland this last spring, and we both loved the interesting garden and floral designs. Here's the winning floral art display.

July 17, 2008

designer: saskia havekes of grandiflora

If you haven't seen Saskia Havekes' wonderful book Grandiflora Arrangements, here are a few delightful pages. The daughter of artists who grew up surrounded by Australian bush, Havekes turned her talent to floral design, with a refreshingly unstructured style. Visit her Sydney shop's website to see more examples of her work.

"I rarely start out with a preconceived idea – I look to what is offered naturally by the floral world and then take my cue from that," says Havekes in a wonderful article on urbanboheme.

Images from House&Garden. All photos by Gary Heery.

July 16, 2008

using unusual foliage

I'm a huge fan of using unusual foliage mixed with flowers... and it doesn't have to be flown in from an exotic place. Chances are you've got some things growing in and around your home that would look stunning either alone, or mixed with a few blooms. Images from MSLiving.

July 15, 2008

heather balliet of amorology

If you read Style Me Pretty, you'll be familiar with Heather Balliet's beautiful work. I was immediately drawn to the details and flowers in this hot pink and orange wedding that's featured on her website. Heather started out her career in a non-profit organization counseling and assisting clients through crisis intervention, which seems like the perfect precursor to starting Amorology, her company in wedding design and event planning.

What an unexpected tie for a wedding, I love it!

"When my daughter Heather decided to turn her passion for wedding design into a full-fledged business and encouraged me to not only do what I love but turn it into a business with her, Amorology Weddings, and respectively Twigg Botanicals were born," says Robin Mathis, who did all the floral design for this wedding.

Don't forget to check out Heather's blog First Comes Love...Amorology. It's filled with behind-the-scenes tips and more Amorology weddings. I'm always curious why people start blogging and when I asked Heather she said, "I decided to start blogging to keep my brides in the loop with what I was doing and also as a type of journal for myself and place to gather ideas. I was really concerned in the beginning that it would be too time consuming to keep up with, amid all of the other planning and things that keep me busy from appointments to being a mommy of two! Any extra effort that it has taken though has definitely been worth it! It has been a wonderful avenue for making connections in the bridal industry and for exposing more of my work as well as that of my vendors too. It has been my best source of advertising so far! I love it!"

Thanks for all the inspiration Heather! All images by Jamie Hammond Photography.