Biedermeier Flower Arranging: a Tutorial

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As a lover of flowers and a seasoned traveller, I have admired my fair share of stunning floral arrangements.  But it was  in a restaurant a few miles from home, that a floral display stopped me dead in my tracks.  I was on my way to the powder room when I paused to admire a flower arrangement created on a cake platter that looked, well, like a cake!

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High End Holiday Looks with Supermarket Flowers

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Transforming supermarket flowers from ordinary to wow, is easy. It gives your budget a huge bang for its buck.  You don’t have to have a green thumb or a talent for flower arranging.  Just a good imagination to look around your house for interesting containers will do.  Everything I used in these examples I had on hand.  The  small silver ornaments were bought at the Dollar Store. None of these projects took more than a few minutes.

1-  Rosemary Tree

These fragrant trees are readily available and make a terrific hostess gift.  I like one in the kitchen where I snip fresh rosemary for cooking throughout the holiday season.  Plop the plastic pot in a nice planter, tie a festive ribbon around the rim with a small ornament, and you’ve got a gorgeous and festive planter.  I chose a birch bark planter with a plaid ribbon in keeping with the tree concept.

 Using a garden marker for your gift tag is a nice touch fitting of the gift!

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Days of Wine and Roses: Throwing a Wine and Cheese Party

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“They are not long, the days of wine and roses:
Out of a misty dream
Our path emerges for a while, then closes
Within a dream.”
– Ernest Dowson, 1867 – 1900

A wine and cheese party is one of the easiest and most popular parties you can throw.  There is something really appealing about a party where the focus is really on the conversation with guests casually hanging around the serving table.  The party can be put together quickly and suitable for even impromptu gatherings.   It can be given for a handful of intimate friends or expanded easily for a large group. You don’t need to be a wine or cheese connaisseur to enjoy giving this stress-free party.  Enlist the professionals at the store for ideal pairing suggestions.  Select cheeses that are a little more exotic than the usual offerings.  Like Brie?  Try a creamy St André or a decadent Lincet Délice de Bourgogne instead.  A good rule of thumb is to select 3 cheeses:  a soft, a hard and a blue.  Add interesting crackers, seasonal fruit, nuts and olives and you’ve got a party on a platter.  Introduce cured meats for heartier offerings.  Pair 3 wines, 2 reds and 1 white.  You can select a theme such as all French wines and cheeses or mix and match.  With the popularity of Farm to Table, consider finding artisanal cheeses produced locally paired with local wines.

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Azalea Arrangement in Chalkboard Crate

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For a recent outdoor luncheon, I went looking in the garden for flowers to use in a centerpiece. Azaleas were at their peak so I decided to showcase them on a buffet station.  The guests who would be attending this garden luncheon were the women of the International Club of Philadelphia.   Continue reading

Hello Gorgeous! 3 ways to Showcase Hellebores

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imageHellebores are one of the first flowers to bravely emerge in early spring, often pushing through frozen ground.  Even before snowdrops or crocuses, they burst through with new life to bring a thrill to the late winter/early spring garden.  The beauty of these small blooms is often overlooked because of their drooping habit.   Continue reading