Hi friends! Happy friday! So I’m finally on the mend— they say 7 to 10 days for a sinus infection to clear up on it’s own, ya? I guess thats pretty accurate. Fever gone. Body aches subsiding. Still got a good amount of green stuff coming out of my nose— but it’s down about 70% I’d say. Things are looking better. And thats your weekly snot forecast? Thats what it sounded like, right Gross. Whatever. Have big plans this weekend? I’m thinking of buying a new computer– Alex’s got robbed when our house got broken into this year– but I think we’re finally going to invest in a new one. Maybe, I’ve been debating for a while (since we got an alarm system, haha) but I have yet to pull the trigger. Maybe though. If I’m feeling well enough we’re heading down to Fairchild garden this sunday. I’ve just always loved that place. I think Alex and I first became members— 7 or 8 years ago! You can see our last visit HERE. And how cute is this two year old Marlowe at the gardens? Love her.
Anyway, I’m hoping for a good and flower filled weekend. BUT speaking of FLOWERS, I’ve got the most gorgeous post for you guys. I’ve been following Emma on Instagram for quite some time now– maybe two years? Maybe more. Her photos are always so stunning— so I asked her if she would like to write up a little post for you guys. She said yes. (YAY). So her and her friend, The Monkey Flower Group came together to offer some simple tips on making foraged flower arrangements. I hope you love it– and go out there in nature to collect some flowers (legally, haha) and make beautiful arrangements! Alright– I’m off to heal a bit more. But be sure to check out Emma and Jaime on instagram, I’m sure you’ll love both of them 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend, friends.
Spring in the Napa Valley is a vibrant time of year — a period of growth, renewal, and evolution in nature. At the first sign of spring, most local vineyards are covered in a blanket of bright yellow mustard, and soon after the trees and vines start budding out and the birds begin to chirp just a little louder. So when Drea asked me to do a guest blog for her, I immediately knew flower foraging and arranging would be my subject matter! Here in Napa, the best source for local florals and plants is my dear friend, the outrageously knowledgable and talented Jaime Giorgi, who owns The Monkey Flower Group. Her company is a certified Bay Area Green Business that offers arrangements composed of exclusively locally-grown flowers and plants. The “buy local” mentality is hugely important to me on many levels, but most of all supporting your local community while simultaneously enjoying infinitely fresher products — can’t beat that!
Jaime and I met up just after sunrise in hopes of capturing some always-welcome fog. It’s also important to begin foraging early in the morning when plants are cool and least stressed. She had a small box in the back of her truck containing some gorgeous exotic-looking red tulips, daffodils, and freesia that she’d collected from her own cutting garden earlier that morning. These would act as building blocks for the many beauties we foraged throughout the morning. And so the journey began…
Our vases were made up a simple shapes, all small and shallow. This variety of bud vessels and vases allowed Jaime to create visually intriguing arrangements that highlight Northern California’s unique seasonal landscape. When foraging, it’s important to place the newly cut stems into water immediately after cutting and to protect from extreme sun, wind, and heat until ready to use.
Next, taking into account all that was foraged, plus the stems from Jaime’s backyard garden earlier that morning, we made the call on bouquet color palette, texture, and shape. This is the MOST exciting part!
Using one or two base florals as the inspiration, Jaime decided to create three distinct arrangements. The first included: freesia, ceanothus, dwarf daffodils, onion weed, vinca, polypodium fern, and vetch.
The second arrangement was bold and wild — my personal fav. It was made up of ever-striking rococo tulips (total watercolor vibes!), black oak, and silver bush lupine.
The last arrangement was small but mighty! Bright yellow, white, and green are just such a happy color combination. The arrangement is sitting on my desk right now making me smile, as I type this! This one is made up of scotch broom, ceanothus, vinca, vetch, onion weed, and polypodium fern.
Oh…and did I mention there were alpacas? Yeah. As luck would have it, we came across these gorgeous creatures while foraging. I’m telling you…magic happens when you forage!
A few quick tips from Jaime:
- When foraging, watch out for poison oak and poison ivy. Not just at your feet, but all around. Be aware of your surroundings as these nasty guys can look different as seasons change.
- Plant some easy-to-grow species in your yard or growing box to create your own easily-accessible “cutting garden.”
- If you can’t swing the cutting garden thing, buy locally-grown flowers from farmers or florists. To find the good ones in your area, here are some resources: The Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers and Slow Flowers. Supplement with foraged textures for a wild, fresh, and seasonally appropriate look!
- If you’re designing for a party, the more neutral you keep other design elements, like linens and service ware, the greater flexibility you have to embrace whatever beautiful color palettes nature suggests to you. Let the landscape be your guide!
“I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.” —Claude Monet
All photographs and words by Emma K. Morris, a Northern California-based Creative Director, Brand Consultant + Photographer. Check out her website here. Instagram: @emmakmorris