Great balls of flowers! Amazing Allium

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Ornamental allium, cousin of the edible onion and garlic is the firework of the perennial border!  Its stunning flowers soar above other plantings punctuating the garden with floral exclamation marks.  These enchanting flowers always steal the show and never fail to make me smile.  From pure white to soft lilac to brilliant purple, they are easy to grow and are animal proof as their onion taste  is unappealing to animals.  Allium bulbs should be  planted in the fall and will naturalize. Continue reading

Chinese Tree Peonies

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 “To be overcome by the fragrance of flowers is a delectable form of defeat.”  Beverly Nichols

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Close up of a beauty in the local garden of master grower, E’Ni Foo

I discovered Chinese Tree Peonies about 10 years ago at the Philadelphia Flower Show and have been in love with them ever since.  To behold a Tree Peony is to become smitten.  Yet I find they are not known to many gardeners. Chinese Tree Peonies have often been classified as exotic plants but can successfully be grown in many climates. Continue reading

Spring Bouquet In a Radicchio Vase~DIY Flower Arranging Tutorial

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“A house with daffodils in it is a house lit up, whether or not the sun be shining outside.”  A.A. Milne

All at once my garden has burst into bloom and there are so many gorgeous flowers to cut and arrange.  Overnight the daffodils, Ice Follies, have opened up and are in abundance for cutting.  I love using unusual containers for flower arranging.   I thought the purple of a head of radicchio would compliment these white and yellow beauties and suit their size. Continue reading

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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