Beautiful Tips for Spring Time Cheer
Spring Saturdays are beautiful here in Southern California.
We really are spoiled by such great weather almost all of the time. We do have our exceptions (without a doubt), but this weekend isn't one of them. So, in honor of this beautiful spring day I made my first ever trip down to The Original Los Angeles Flower Market in Downtown LA's Flower District to check out what it's all about and pick up some fresh flowers to brighten up my home for spring.
A Brief History
Founded in 1919 as the American Florist Exchange, The Original Los Angeles Flower Market was initially started by a group of 30 European American growers who wanted to create a more efficient way of selling and distributing their freshly grown flowers to the local florists and nurseries with which they did business. It wasn't until 1996 that the market became open to the general public.
Today, it sits at the center of what is now known as the Los Angeles Flower District which is the single largest wholesale floral district in the entire United States. The Original Los Angeles Flower Market now has 50 members/vendors who offer more than 125 different varieties of cut flower, as well as floral accessories. One extra tidbit of fact I was impressed to learn was that in addition to its beautiful and fragrant offerings, it's main facility went solar-powered back in 2011, showing the companies desire to keep up with the times as energy conservation becomes more and more prevalent (and no doubt, save some moolah... either way 'Yay!' for the environment).
In the Market... for some flowers.
With the mission of discovery on my mind and two dollars spent on our entry, we were greeted by the sweet soft scent of fresh cut flowers floating through the air. We had arrived at The Original Los Angeles Flower Market. Rows and rows of buckets filled with a wide variety of floral delights of all kinds, colors, and textures welcomed us. There were anemonies, and lilies, and baby's breath, and cherry blossoms, and bells of Ireland, and Bill's balls, and mums, and campanulas, and daffodils, and dahlias, and carnations, and daisies.... and.... well, you get the point. The options were plentiful.
It was a bit overwhelming for a novice floral enthusiast, but with the guidance of a friendly, knowledgable, and beautiful 8-year-old florist, who spends her weekends helping her parents with their family business, we quickly learned a few things about some of the flowers that peaked our interest.
After much deliberation and an artistic eye, we left with arms full to the brim with fragrant fresh flowers. It was a great way to spend a warm spring Saturday morning, and with beautiful options at wholesale prices it was easy to get carried away... and that we did.
Spring Arrangements... the floral kind.
When it comes to creating your own flower arrangements your options are plentiful if you go to the right place, you know... like the flower market. But by having a clear idea of what type of floral design you want to create (color scheme, mood, and/or style), you can have the direction you need to make some great choices. The basic rule of thumb is to have:
1. some type of greenery as a base
2. your primary flower, and
3. a secondary flower or accenting greenery as a filler
By mixing and matching a balanced combination of the floral 'rule of thumb', you can create something really beautiful. The flowers pictured from left to right: Bupleurum, white Matthiola, pink Coffee Bean, Pom-pom Mums, Dusty Miller, Lilac, and yellow Pincushions.
Like I mentioned before, we got carried away with all the excitement of the flower market, thus picked up enough flowers to show you FIVE different floral arrangement design ideas; each with their own unique style made up with a combination of the 7 beauties pictured above and a few cuttings from our garden. So, let's get to it!
So, what's your design style??
Are you modern, minimal, classic, bohemian, or a hopeless romantic?
If so, we have you covered.
Your living space is streamlined and timeless, yet still has hints of strategically placed playful design and decorative accents; you enjoy the witty humor and humanistic design of Ray and Charles Eames' mid-century modern furnishings; and abstract art is kind of your thing. What goes better with your neutral choice of wall color and Room & Board console table, than a flower arrangement that screams living art? Let's create some contrast in your space this spring!
Greenery - Birds of Paradise Leaves
Primary Flower - Yellow Pincushions
Secondary Flower/Greenery - Bupleurum
This light-hearted and abstract arrangement of flower is the perfect mix of whimsy, humor, and avant-garde style for the modern living space. By placing the three oversized Birds of Paradise leaves, cheerful bright yellow Pincushions, and airy light-green Bupleurum in a simple clear vase the attention is drawn directly to this artful bouquet.
You are best friends with the modernist, just with less stuff... no, I'm kidding. However, you do enjoy the simpler things in life. You don't need fuss, or muss for that matter, and a simple bud jar is all you need to make a statement and feel like spring is in the air. Because you believe that less is more you choose what you do acquire carefully and thoughtfully, and have interestingly fun pieces.
Primary Flower - Purple Lilac
When less is more, one type of beautiful flower is all you need, and Lilac is the perfect choices for your spring arrangement. It's fragrant, its rich in color, and it definitely feels like more. By placing your simple cutting in a playful bud jar, like this ceramic bird on a perch, bring a little spring into your space is a quick and simple endeavor.
The Classic Beauty
You have an extensive mug or teacup collection, your living space is traditional and timeless, and you look great in lace and you know. With a style board inspired by Audrey Hepburn and an appreciation for family heirlooms and flea market finds, your design style is playfully classic yet never tired.
Greenery - Pink Coffee Bean
Primary Flower - White Matthiolas
Secondary Flower/Greenery - Bupleurum
A timeless bouquet with a color palette of white, pink, and green, how can you go wrong? By combining white Matthiolas with pink Coffee Bean and our ever faithful Bupleurum filler greenery, you can create a beautiful spring mix that feels classic, with a twist of whimsy. To push this style palette a little further I added a 2 inch thick fabric lace ribbon around the neck of a clear urn-shaped vase.
The Bohemian Flower-Child
Your style is eclectic and earthy; you love free flowing texture and wild flowers; and you aren't afraid to go a little over the top when it comes to pulling things together. Your living space is an upbeat and assorted mix of patterns, colors, and lets face it... funk (but only in the best sense of the word). With your impressive collection of dreamcatchers and affinity for Moroccan rugs, you don't always play by the rules, but that is what's so lovable about your style.
Greenery - Dusty Miller
Primary Flower - Purple Lilac & White Pom-Pom Mums
Secondary Flower/Greenery - Lavender & Sage
The abundance of this bouquet is breathtaking! Various hues of purple, green, and white make up this floral arrangement in an oversized ceramic square vase for contrast. The flowering Sage and Lavender cut from our garden combined with purple Lilac and white Pom-Pom Mums is strikingly arranged amongst the grey-green leaves of the Dusty Miller. Cut at various heights with free forming placement in the vase creates a bursting effect, tame with life, energy, and quirkiness.
The Hopeless Romantic
Your Netflix queue is brimming with movies starring Keira Knightley, Julia Roberts, and Meg Ryan; you keep a bottle of wine and box of tissues readily available for whenever the mood strikes you; and Jane Austen is your soul sister. Your living space is light and airy, with a collection of pieces that you have collected over the years. Comfort and style go hand-in-hand with you, and a tendency to romanticize life play heavily into the design choices you make. But what a life to be surrounded by such beauty.
Greenery - Bupleurum
Primary Flower - Purple Lilac
Secondary Flower/Greenery - White Matthiolas and Pink Coffee Bean
Large fragrant bursts of purple Lilac, soft white clusters of Matthiolas, playfully pink Coffee Bean cuttings, and bright green Bupleurum to take us to greater heights... visually speaking, create a dreamy bouquet of tiered beauty. By tiering the various elements of your arrangement you create a full and balanced visual statement, and by having the tallest element being the airy Bupleurum greenery the bouquet doesn't feel visually top heavy. This arrangement makes you feel as though you just spent the afternoon picking wildflowers with Mr. Darcey in a meadow alongside a stoney brook.
A well put-together flower arrangement is a great way to brighten up, freshen up, and liven up your living space for spring and by taking a little extra time to DIY, you can create a unique expression of who you are. By remembering this short list of shopping and designing tips, you'll avoid feelings of becoming overwhelmed.
1.) Have a plan: take into consideration where you'd like the arrangement to go and what you want it to add or say about the space.
2.) Create a color scheme: looking at your space think about what colors you like, as well as what colors would compliment your space. Have a variation of colors that compliment each other, and remember that white general goes with anything. Make a list and keep these colors in mind while shopping.
3.) Ask for assistance: the flower market can be an overwhelming place first time around. Utilize their most valuable resource, the shop owners and florists; who knows better their offerings then they do?
4.) Follow the floral arrangement 'basic rule of thumb': include some type of greenery as a base, a primary flower, and a secondary flower or accenting greenery as a filler. How much and little of these you include is all about your own personal style preference.
5.) Have fun with it and be creative: think outside the box... unless it's your style to be inside of it. Play with the design and build each cutting on the previous one.
Check out the Original Los Angeles Flower Market on their website at: http://www.originallaflowermarket.com