“I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.” ~ Ruth Stout
Stowe House, Buckinghamshire
Despite the rain we’ve been having, Mother Nature is slowly but surely giving birth to her buds and our gardens are beginning to show signs of awakening. We have a ways to go before the lush flowers of summer take over and we can entertain our friends on the terrace. In the meantime, we resort to the pages of flower magazine and marvel at the works by designers like Carson McElheney, Lancelot “Capability” Brown and Brooke and Steve Giannetti.
Gardening for the Senses
The current issue is filled with inspiring landscapes that delight and capture the essence of what a garden should be – a place to rest, to recharge and to dream. Rarely have we lingered so thoroughly with a magazine and we’re so glad we did. It was like taking a little vacation in the middle of a busy week.
Here’s to spring!
Cothen Tulip Garden
Given our love for tulips and our Belgian upbringing, it’s no surprise that when we came across the work of Antwerp-based, Dutch-born artist Ronald van der Hilst, we had to get to know his work. Though originally from Asia, the tulip has played an important role in European history and its rich heritage captured Ronald’s imagination at an early age. For years this simple, yet iconic, bloom has become an endless source of inspiration for him.
Museum Plantin Moretus
“Falling Drop” – Cothen
But not all of Ronald’s gardens feature tulips. The landscape he designed for a Dutch businessman in the east of Holland was inspired by the music of Gustav Mahler, filled with drama and a sense of rhythm. A garden should be beautiful every day of the year so Ronald included water features to reflect the sky and surrounding landscape, adding interest even in the dead of winter.
Dijkerkoek Water Feature
With our gardens waiting for the first signs of spring, we’re so looking forward to seeing our tulips bloom!
Fall in Love with BHG!
Leave it to Stephen Orr, flower fanatic and garden guru, to brighten our gray February days with a beautiful March issue of Better Homes and Gardens. It’s easy to fall in love with color and we’re especially fond of springtime hues like pinks, yellows, purples and blues. And nothing gets our spring fever going than flowering bulbs that we can grow inside while Old Man Winter overstays his welcome.
Hyacinths, Tulips and Pansies
Stores like Terrain and Trader Joe’s are bursting with potted bulbs which you can transplant into pretty vases and vessels. Line them up on a windowsill or down the middle of your dining room table and dream of spring days to come.
Tulips and Muscari
And while you’re getting your hands dirty, why not try a craft project? We think these DIY marbleized terracotta pots are charming when paired with daffodils and would make great Easter presents for family and friends.
DYI Marbleized Pots
How are you counting down the days ’til spring?
George and Michael
What do you do when Margaret Russell from Architectural Digest calls late on a Friday afternoon in December asking for designs for a photo shoot the following Monday? You say, “Yes, of course! What can we send you?” And then, when you hear that the designs are actually for Michael Smith’s makeover of George Stephanopoulos’ office at Good Morning America, you jump up and down and clap! At least, that’s what we did…
George’s Office – Before
George’s Office – Before
Last Friday, the office makeover was revealed on GMA (see the video here) and for once, we got to see the show live thanks to a snow day. The “before” pictures reminded us a college dorm room gone very bad…
George’s Office – After
George’s Office – After
Mini Tea Leaf Topiary
With a bit of Phillip Jeffries wallpaper, a patterned Stanton rug and rich mahogany Ralph Lauren furniture, Michael magically transformed the dank 10 by 16 foot hovel into a serene space befitting a news anchor and former White House Communications Director. We think our lifelike designs add the perfect natural touch and George won’t even need to water them!
P.S. We’re taking a little break from blogging this week as we spend some quality time with our boys – two of whom will be off to college in no time.
Celerie Kemble – The Kips Bay Designer Show House
We were surprised to hear during the Atlanta gift show that the fiddle-leaf fig is the “it” tree for 2016… especially since we’ve been selling our faux version of ficus lyrata since 2010. First seen in Celerie Kemble’s beautiful “lady’s study” at the 2011 Kips Bay Decorator Show House, our faux figs have graced many rooms, as well as the pages of top shelter magazines.
Deborah Martin Designs
Sam Allen Interiors
A native to western Africa, this versatile tree has a fresh, modern look that complements every style of decor and environment. And while fresh fiddle-leaf figs can be quite finicky (note that they are members of the ficus family and we have yet to meet a real ficus that can survive our black thumbs!), ours have the added advantage of never dying.
Designers love our trees, not only for their realism (they’re made with natural wood trunks and branches – only the leaves are faux) but also for their ease of maintenance. If kept out of direct sunlight and dusted often, no one will know the truth! Sometimes faux is the way to go…
study / hall / living room / living room / bedroom / porch
Thanksgiving is just a week away and we know some of you have already planned your table settings down to the flowers… Well, not us! You would think that with the kind of business we’re in, that we’d be color coordinating our china to our centerpieces but we’re more concerned with the menu right now than we are with the decorations. That’s why we’ll most likely order our flowers from a local boutique and not try to do the arrangements ourselves. Then again, we can just borrow one of our faux designs from the studio and call it a day!
Thistle and Berries
Dahlias and Roses
Truth be told, we love fresh flowers on our dining room table and our local Trader Joe’s does a decent job with their seasonal mixes. But, if we lived in Manhattan, we’d be shopping at Petal Design Studio in the heart of the flower market. Corrente’s combinations of blooms are so refreshing and her use of unexpected textures such as thistles and berries make these bouquets the perfect addition to a Thanksgiving table. Even her color palettes are unusual yet pretty. It’s only too bad they won’t last through Christmas…
Hellebore and Roses
Aubergine and Green
Green and White
Are you in full Thanksgiving mode yet?
1 – 6
Bare Bones Boo-quet
On this eve of Halloween, we think it’s a treat to pair some dark and moody blooms with the words of Edgar Allan Poe… “O craving heart, for the lost flowers and sunshine of my summer hours!
The undying voice of that dead time,
With its interminable chime,
Still Life “Boo”quet
Rings in the spirit of a spell,
Upon thy emptiness – a knell. I have not always been as now.”
What will you be on the morrow? Happy Halloween!
skull / pumpkin / blooms / still life / bride / beauty
As the colors in our gardens begin to fade, we know we can turn to Instagram to get an eyeful of beautiful blooms. One of our favorite “grammers” is the lovely Stacy Bass, garden photographer extraordinaire, and her #floweroftheday #365dayproject gives us a daily dose of pretty petals. Fortunately, Stacy’s on day 75 of 365 so we know we’ll have enough colorful corollas to last us through the winter.
Eremerus (Foxtail Lily)
They say that if you take a picture a day, not only do you become a better photographer, but you also see the world in a different light and pay more attention to the details. If you’re not necessarily the creative type, taking a picture every day may even take you out of your comfort zone with surprising results.
While we’re not ready to tackle a 365 Project ourselves, we’re glad that others have (including our blogging bestie Jeanne from I Dream Of who is painting a daily sketch) and are posting their pictures for all of us to enjoy.
Who wouldn’t want to spend time
procrastinating looking at these lovelies?
Style Me Mossy
If you’re looking to add a pop of green to a tablescape or centerpiece, may we suggest mixing in some moss? With over 12,000 species to choose from, floral designers are using these flowerless plants in centerpieces and terrariums, to line vases and to tie orchid stems to branches and stakes. We’ve even seen moss used down the center of a table paired with elegant blooms at a country wedding – rustic but still very chic.
One of the most inventive ways designers are using moss is in vertical gardens or on a wall as graffiti. It’s actually not hard to grow moss and Terrain makes it even easier with their moss milkshake. Just add water, spread the mix on almost anything and keep moist… In a couple of weeks, you’ll have your very own moss garden.
Moss Art We Heart
And for those of you who with black thumbs craving the fresh scent of a forest after the rain, there always a candle. We might just go that route!
Who knows, you might be seeing more moss in one of our collections one day…
Photos: tablescape, bouquet, terrarium, art, milkshake and candle
Carolyne Roehm’s Green Goddess
Labor Day, for most, is the unofficial end of summer… which means it’s time to party and say farewell in style! There’s a wistful feeling in the air – did we do everything we could to capture the effervescence of a bright, sunny day? Did we swim enough, read enough, lounge around enough, spend enough time with our family? Summer is a time to let go, be real,
drink a lot, enjoy the fruits of nature and the warmth of the rays. And sadly, the weeks fly by, unlike the gray months of winter which seem to just drag on and on…
Country Green and White
Backyard barbecues and beach picnics are being planned so we thought we’d share some of our favorite end of summer table settings. We’re inspired by the rainbow hued zinnias and dahlias that abound at our local farmer’s market so you know those will take center stage on our weekend table.
Breezy Blue and White
While we’re saying goodbye to summer, we’re also saying hello to fall and we love this Dr. Seuss quote which pretty much sums up how we feel to perfection: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
Pastels on the Beach
Wishing you all a fun and festive weekend. Let us know what you’re up to!
Photo: green table, green and white table, rustic romantic table, blue and white table, pink table, and pastel table