Plantscaping – Completing the oasis!

I can’t believe it is Mid-July already!  Time is flying by as I spend my days juggling my daily tasks as a florist and finishing up this amazing dream oasis for Julie!  I have to say, as each stage is competed, I have such a sense of accomplishment and it has been so very rewarding to see how my designs are taking shape – everyday, right on schedule, blooms are appearing, allowing Julie to wander outside amongst her new gardens and discover the new beauties that she will have for years to come – and every day, Julie tells me how very happy this makes her – and that, is what every florist wants to hear!

Throughout this incredible task, I have learned so very much and have met and dealt with some incredible professionals!  I’ve played in composte, ridden in excavators, wallowed in mulch and hauled river rock, ok, well maybe I didn’t haul but here is where I give a huge shout out to my employee Jimmy who undertook the heavy stuff – he worked in both rain and sunshine to get the job done!  All placements were installed based on their ultimate adult size as well as the potential growth that they would achieve – to fill every nook and cranny would have ultimately stunted their growth and more than likely, would have choked out her beds.  So I researched the heck out of every single plant, shrub and tree that I selected prior to determining placement.  I’ve even found myself looking at other yards and such in my travels and really noticing where others, be it builders, homeowners or landscapers have just stuck in items and the end result over the years has been a misplanted mess!  This shall not be the case at this beautiful home here in Chester!  

As news spreads, people are reaching out to me about their yards, and while I hesitated at first, I am loving this new avenue of business that has opened up for me and Lady Sipper Creations!  I’ll never give up my dream job as a florist – I so love my couples whose weddings I design for, all my amazing customers that reach out to me on a daily basis for their everyday floral needs and those I help with their loved ones final farewells, but I think I can fit a plantcaping job in here and there!  

Upon completion, I will do a walk through video to show you all the gorgeousness but until then, here are a couple of pictures of the trees and shrubs that went into the front bed of the house – it’s no secret, I love lots of texture and there is no shortage here!

Plantscaping Fun – The oasis is coming together!

What fun I am having with this job!  Julie’s yard is really starting to take “bloom” with all of the gorgeous perennials we have selected together!  Of course, Mother Nature is the ultimate boss here but I am studying hard to ensure that everything that goes into the ground will receive the proper lighting, soil conditions, fertilizers and water drainage conditions.  Again, I have to give credit to Larry Dillon from Old Dillon Greenhouses as he has been so accomodating with delivering load after load of fresh loam for the garden beds – multiple trips and fabulous customer service are a win/win for me!  I have a great helper as well – Jimmy has worked throughout some pretty hot days here in NH – never a complaint is heard from him and I couldn’t do this without his help!  As business owners already know, it is so very hard to find good help – I really lucked out when I hired him!

In addition to blueberry and raspberry bushes, below are a few of the other pretties that are currently safe and sound in the ground.  We are far from finished – we still have to tackle a front bed that requires some tree removal – thanks as well to Jordan Lighthall for fitting me in to his tight schedule!  I will save updates on that bed for later as it is still in the planning stages.  

A giant floral arrangement indeed – thank you again Julie, for allowing and putting your trust in this flower gal to help you make your home, into an amazing composition of color!

Perennial Hibiscus, Blue hydrangea borders and some gorgeous Madevilla for the partial sun garden!!  

Designing for a Cause – Relay for Life

Cancer sucks! Plain and simple!  Today I am tasked with creating the centerpieces for our local Relay for Life event to take place at Pinkerton Academy in Derry, NH.  

When I was asked to sponsor and donate centerpieces, I immediately agreed to do all 10 of them – this is a cause near and dear to me and I am sure, many, many, many others,  unfortunately!

Social media,  often times, is the means that I hear about someones struggle – various aquaintances asking for prayers, sharing obituaries and simply indicating with that “feeling” button, that they or someone they know and love is fighting this terrible disease!  Another avenue, I have been blessed to honor many of those who have lost the battle by way of tending to their final farewell, funeral tributes – a sad occasion for sure but I find peace in knowing that my work brings comfort during a difficult time.

My story – the big “C” as it is often referred to, has claimed the lives of several people who I love.  A beloved grandfather to my daughters, my amazing sister in law by marriage who lost her battle, which started out as breast Cancer, passed away after a few years of fighting, once the disease made its way to her brain.  Renee was such a light in so many lives and I continue to mourn her passing.  I come from a family of 10 kids – yes, you read that right!  Currently, one of my big brothers is battling stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer!  He is such a good man and it is so difficult at times to get the news of what his current CT scan shows but we continue to hope and pray for a positive outcome and are so thankful that he continues to fight as well!  I can’t not mention my wonderful sister-in-law, Lise!  This gal, my friends and readers, is an inspiration to many!  I believe her cancer surfaced first, in her colon – over the course of many years, the devasting disease has plagued various areas of her body and her words always ring out in my ears “I am too tough for this illness to get me!” She lives a good distance from me but I often talk to her on Facebook or on the phone – her positive attitude and belief truly serve as a reminder that miracles happen!  I have no doubt that she will win this battle!  With so many loving her, and supporting her, the power of prayer and outpouring of love is proving that all things are posible!  

I am due no credit here – I am just the flower gal who believes in giving 110% support to those who organize and participate in events such as the Relay for Life!  The credit goes to all those families who have lost loved ones, those who have lost and those who continue to fight!  May you all be blessed and continue to believe that with these efforts, a cure will be found one day!

The only details I was given was that the event consists of a purple and white theme – designs will include purple, Dutch Hydrangea, white Roses, white Calla lilies, and such but again, the accent isn’t on the flowers, it is on those who are constantly working towards eliminating this devistating disease!  Feel free to comment on this post should you be inclined to share your story.

Prayers to all!

Plantscaping – Making Julie’s dream a reality!

Hello from my land of flowers to everyone!  It has been too long since I have shared news with you and I wanted to take a moment to get you started, excited and following on a fabulous job I am working on!  

I want to start off by stating clearly, I am not, nor have I ever, considered myself, nor marketed myself as any sort of a landscaper and that still stands true!  Heck, I love having pretty toes and fingernails too much to take on that title!! However, when that little message appeared on my laptop via facebook and simply said, “Karen, I want you to design and create the floral oasis I have always dreamed about”, well, I was intrigued and being the lover of flowers that I am, decided to get the details on what this job entailed.  

I want to add something before I continue – in the past 10 years that I have been blessed to do what I love, I have seen many people try to rewrite themselves and their jobs into something they are not – I have seen failing caterers turn themselves into event planners, florists try to turn themselves into event planners, and  bridal shops caiming that they can tend to your everyday floral needs, just to name a few. One simply cannot succeed and  try to be everything to everyone – the only outcome as a result is failure.  Find your niche, learn your trade well, take care of your customers and success will be yours!  Heck, I have a fancy, red Nikon and let me tell you, I have captured some pretty pictures with it – to be told, “Karen, you should start offering that service” – hell no!! My area of expertise lies in creating the most beautiful, and long lasting floral designs imaginable!  I have zero interest in claiming to be an expert in a field I no nothing about!  I threw this little part in just as a reminder that I will not ever be a lanscaper – but man, is this going to be fun! 

Touring Julie’s yard was eye opening!  I was realizing that this task was going to be huge!  In addition to creating 2 brand new perennial beds of significant size, I would also be making over 2 exsisting ones.  The exsisting beds were overgrown, poorly planted and in need of a ton of TLC!  There was a moment when I questioned whether I could handle this – and then it came to me, of course I could because essentially, what she was asking me to do was to make 4 of the biggest, most elaborate and most beautiful floral arrangements of my carreer!  

Did I have all the plant knowledge required? Nope, but one thing I have learned throughout the course of my amazing job is that all one simply has to do is ask the experts!  Enlisting the help of Larry of Dillions Greenhouse here in Chester, NH, and Newton Greenhouses, of Newton, NH, after hearing what I had been asked to do, they were more than willing to work with me and guide me along the way!  Julie’s dream oasis would become a reality and I was thrilled that I was the florist she chose to help her!!

I will leave you with that for now all – below are a few pictures of her yard and some of the areas I will be working in – please feel free to follow along as I show you steps I am taking, sharing my staff that is helping, and other industry professionals who will be a part!  

Oh, and did I mention I am building her a couple of freestanding structure gardens as well?  Showing you these as well!  Just a little downtime June fun here at Lady Slipper Creations – Innovative Floral Design LLC.

Along with Beauty and the Beast, We invite you to be our Guest!

Who doesn’t enjoy an incredible love story?   I know I do! Add in whimsical fantasy and it is a sure win! With the release of Beauty and the Beast on March 17th, one thing is for certain, there are an amazing amount of die-hard fans of this classic tale of Belle and her Beast with ticket sales of 1.6 million dollars reported thus far!  Emma Watson and cast have clearly captured many of the helpless romantics attention with this one! 

Tale as old as time, I watched Disney’s classic VHS (sorry for those who might not be familiar) with my, now grown daughters, over and over when they were little!  Even now, I suspect I could sing all of the songs – it was a favorite for sure!  From the moment Belle set foot into the castle, to her first glimpse of the Beast, to her meeting with all the castle’s “staff”, we sat watching in wonderment!  Who could forget the sweet Mrs. Potts – a teapot full of knowledge and advice who always said “the beast isn’t as he appears” reminds us to always look beyond appearances and offer the opportunity to really look into someone’s heart and soul – We need more Mrs. Pott’s in this world!  Lumiere, Chip,  and friends, are all magically introduced as well.  

My favorite part (remember, I am a florist) is the Enchanted Rose!  It’s symbolism – this serves as a hour glass of sorts, and ultimately will determine whether the Beast remains in his wolf-like state or whether he will be restored to being a prince.   In it’s place under a bell jar, blooming for 21 years, a constant reminder that the Beast must find true love!  

While roses certainly sympolize love,  when Belle, curious gal that she is, meandors into the Beasts “forbidden rooms” and happens upon it, she is immediately drawn to it’s beauty and wants to know more about how it is linked to the Beast!  Even when he is furious with her,   For her, it is a mystery that needs solving!  For me, the mystery is solved, I have found my “beast” – the love of my life! 

In addition to movie goers, people are also snatching up these souvenir tumblers – personally, I am not a fan – for me, there is nothing like the real thing! 

While our roses certainly don’t last for 21 years, I do want to share a few of my favorite, long lasting varieties.  Over time, growers continue their efforts in advanced care and handling to ensure that florists get the quality and varieties that their customers will love!  If your florist is bringing in fresh product on a regular basis, your roses should last from 5-7 days at the very minimum.  Pictured here from top to bottom are “Freedom”, “Free Spirit” and “Yokohama” 

Did you see the movie? Did you love it?  I would love to read your comments!  In closing, I just want to say that I believe the true meaning of “Beauty and the Beast” is simple – Always remember that Beauty comes from within!