Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Perking up your soggy hydrangea ...

I know, I know...

Sad but true - those once gorgeous hydrangea, when left out of water too long can look like an old fashioned kleenex flower at a rainy wedding! They are afterall called hydrangea for a good reason...
hydro - water - get it ?

Here is the rescue plan:

Step One:

Cut the stem - at least three inches from the bottom.
Why cut so much? The flower head is getting no water - the water cannot get up the stem - because it is the nature of the plant to form a scab at the bottom of the stem to lock in what ever moisture it can to keep it alive - seems rather counter productive
But! It is what it is !

Step Two:

Turn the scissors to the bottom of the stem - and slice up the stem - this allows more of the interior of the plant to be exposed to the water...

Step Three:

Place it in a vessel with room temperature water - not cold and not hot - with water deep enough to immerse nearly the full length of the stem - I have seen the hydrangea perk up once hydrated only then to wilt again as the water source reduces below the slit in the stem - dah ! of'course because it drank all the water!

Here is what that soggy hydrangea looked like twenty minutes later:

And Voila !!!

Here it is at the forty minute mark:

 Sometimes, even for the seasoned gardener, this still doesn't work - for the life of me - I have no idea why - "it's all in the way you hold your mouth" my Grandpa used to say for the unexplained!

To review - the main trick is cutting up to slice the stem.

...And these scissors you ask?
Fabulous Joyce Chen florist scissors we bring in from New York - a must have ! $39.95


Sisters in the garden...

My two sisters and me - spring in the 1960's - it was fairy like - growing up in a garden....

Like most folks this winter - I am longing for spring!

I can't wait to get out there on the bulb patrol - that is what we used to call it - looking for those first few bulbs up - peaking through the melting snow - my sister usually found the first ones - she knew the sunny corner with the micro climate -

The snow drop is my first love - in the woodland where I currently live in Blair - there are double ones naturalized like blankets in the woods - gorgeous ! Tucked there lovingly I imagine, some many years ago. The stone house I am fortunate enough to call home, was built in 1842 - who knows when these snowdrop beauties were planted?

This spring - (say it ever ever comes along) - we plan to restore an historic garden here - maybe you will come see it - like a before shot !

It is so beautiful - inspiring really, I am very blessed ...


Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Antique Garden Roses...

Antique Garden Roses look terrific in Bridal Bouquets. Their beautiful blooms, unfolding with ruffled petals, are often mistaken for peonies. This is great news for Bride's who love that peony-look but are getting married in a month when the fav flower is not in season!

As you can see - the garden rose is available in a variety of colours.
At From the Potting Shed, we have found over the past year that White O'Hara has proven to be the most popular - however; don't let its name fool you! It is not really white - more ivory with a beautiful blush centre - and perfect for weddings with a champagne pink/blush colour theme.

These roses are very fragrant - the way roses used to be - before they were overly hybridized!
They are most beautiful when fully open. But !!!  It can be challenging to get the rose to this stage just right - for the moment of a wedding - so here is a trick or two:

                  ....bring the bloom up close to your lips - and blow - hard! - into the centre of the flower.
Like magic ! - the flower opens up! Then gently pat the rose in the centre to encourage it to open to the stage you like  - think of the phrase "full blown rose"

                   ....a clean cut to the stem - about 2 to 3 inches from the bottom - can help also - to hydrate the rose - place in tepid water  - not cold and not hot.

This year's trend prediction ?

....a colour combo we see on the horizon is soft warm yellow, ivory and grey
 so we are expecting roses in ivory, banana yellow, straw, and soft gold to be popular!



P.S.  Heads up ! We need 3 weeks minimum, to order these beauties in from our greenhouse growers !

Monday, 25 November 2013

Love Evergreens !!!

I love this time of year! All the beautiful evergreens are available  to create wonderful decoratives that bring that joy that spreads happiness everywhere.

An Evergreen arrangement should be watered - just as you would a precious indoor plant. If you are diligent about this - your centrepiece should last you well into the New Year! You can simply change the flowers as they wither - keeping the evergreen base.

My fav flowers to use at this time of year are - amaryllis cut short - an interesting play on scale!, antique garden roses (my fav being White O'Hara), and at this time of year I enjoy forced tulips - it seems exotic to me to have tulips at this time of year - just as tangerines were for me when I was little.

Instead of berries - which are not always kind to animals and children  - and heavens ! I have had them burst overnight and make a mess ! - try rose hips - they are full of vitamin C so if your kitty nibbles it won't hurt - and the rose hip will dry - so they continue to look terrific for seasons! ...also I like the berry-look of the seeded eucalyptus - and blue-berried juniper (the main source for gin actually!).

There are some evergreens that work better indoors - as they do not go brown nor do they drop their needles so you are not sweeping up throughout the holidays - here are some of my favs:

Nobe Fir, White Pine, Coned Cedar, Incensed Cedar, Blue-berrided Cedar, Boxwood

also try: Seeded Eucalyptus, Magnolia, Oregonia & Red Huck 

Natural Birch Branches, Elder, Golden Curly Willow  & Yellow Dogwood are my fav branches

Try co-ordinating the subtle colours of the greenery (some are a blue green, some a yellow green etc), with the berries, flowers and twigs - much as you would co-ordinate your fashion outfit - selecting things that go together to start with - make for a gorgeous arrangement. Later this week I will share some of own fav combos!

and my last bit of advice is - place or nestle the flowers into the interior of the arrangement as though they are growing on a plant - and set the same blooms together as a grouping  - this has much more visual impact than dotting them around willy nilly !

if you have questions - send them to me elaine@fromthepottingshed.com

and Happy Holidays !!

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Winter Weddings are so Romantic !

Today is our first real snow fall here in Cambridge - and I am remembering some of the Winter Weddings from last year - here is Adrienne with her Bridesmaids at Hockley Valley Resort - it was a rare January thaw that day - so these gals are not as cold as you might think!
I love the matching Sorels Adrienne had for them all to wear ! Very fun !!!

Teaching folks how to make this wreath !

It was 1989 the very first year I held a class on how to make an Evergreen Wreath - where did the time go ? So this will be the 25th year ! How did that happen ? 
some folks have made it an annual event - the kick off to their Holiday Season - I am very thankful to get to do this for a living !

It's that time of year ! LOVE !!!

We are getting excited about our Evergreen Season - photo worthy!