In the Wreath Workshop with Blooms & Beers at the Fest-of-Ale
Just in from the foraging trips around Georgia, Colonial House of Flowers wreaths are hand-crafted and made with found and dried materials. Inspired by the surrounding landscape of the season and my love of the garden, my wreaths tend to have organic shapes, lots of natural movement and an abundance of blooms, dried or fresh --- including some from my own garden and foraging trips. This fall, two wild and wonderful wreath workshops from the Atlanta Botanical Garden can be found on the Colonial House of Flowers schedule.
Come celebrate the annual Fest-of-Ale with me! Let's make a wreath at Blooms & Beers on October 5 and 13th, 2022. From what I hear the most storied place in the city becomes the spookiest of the season and I can't wait to see. Be sure to to check out all the Scarecrows in the Garden created by local artists, crafters, families and youth groups - by the beauty of the autumn moonlight.
For now, let me sit down here and catch up with you and talk about botanical inspiration and fall in the Georgia countryside is to me.
Here's how I got started in floral design:
Colonial House of Flowers began in 1968 in my hometown of Statesboro, Georgia, it began for me in 2013 when my husband, Brian and I, chose to pursue taking over this family owned business. My grandmother who is from Berrien County which is down closer to the Florida, organically taught people around her how to resourcefully using wild things the way only a farmer's daughter can. So stepping into this flower shop seemed a natural path to pursue -- I've always loved nature, being outdoors, foraging in the woods, gardening and small business. My experience from being sent to work in the garden alongside my grandma has always given guidance in creating colors and patterns and compositions, which are usually overflowing with texture, full of personality, humorous, moody and a long way from perfect. I like it that way. I like working with fresh and dried flowers and plants.
My take on inspiration for original compositions:
When designing, it's really a whole picture and feeling. It's a flow. It's a rhythm. It's an expression. It's a sadness and a happiness, and love. It's pain. It's joy. It's raw and it's moody. My inspiration is constantly drawn from the massive beauty of the fauna among us. I feel like my arrangements have a story to tell and convey a time and a place. My work is deeply rooted in the rich memories of foraging with my grandmother and long car drives across the south with my mother and aunts. This fall, I am back to using natural and organic styles that accentuate a less is more principal and earthiness, a rich lack of pretension. My work is deeply influenced by the landscape here in Georgia from the south to the north and east to west, and really across the southeastern United States and eastern seaboard. You'll see my home, my life and my travels in every design I make.
How I source flowers:
During the growing season, I find flowers from local farms and from my own cuttings. Lucky, I live in an area where it's easy to use botanicals. I mean, Atlanta is called the "City in the Forest" for a reason. I love it and it makes my job interesting and fun! I do use flowers sourced in all parts of the world. I am fascinated with new varieties, quality and novelty. As fall is upon us here, I am working a lot with golden rain tree blooms, pampas, berries, vines and yarrows.
For the Atlanta Botanical Garden Blooms & Beers Pop Up Fall Wreath Workshops, I wants to create organic shapes with unexpected materials starting with a gold circular hoop as a base. I am inspired by foraging trips with my sister, children and husband to Saint Simons Island, the countryside near my hometown in southeast Georgia, the nearby woods in and outside of Atlanta and Roswell and from my own garden too.
We have many wonderful farmers like Erin Champion at Posie Fields, Hello Daisy Flower Farm and Splendor Oaks that are wonderful resources.
Fall in Georgia:
Fall is very inviting! The very first sign of cooler weather brings out the sight of falling leaves; when you see them yellowing and dropping you know fall is here. Then it's time to look around the garden, tend the beds a little and begin the season. I don't have a greenhouse but I do like to visit places like Saul's Nursery and Peach State Orchids to for plants in October. And, I love to just drive -- anywhere and look at the landscape. It's absolutely beautiful as it is changing, right now. This is the time fo year when summer's blooms start to rest and the color palette nature creates becomes muted and painterly to me.
I hope you'll join me in making a wreath this fall at one of the classes at Atlanta Botanical Garden. If you need a source for dried materials you can shop in my shop, here. I ship wreaths that I am able and deliver seasonal wreaths and planters to The Front Porch Market of Vinings to sell as often as they'll let me!
I would love to hear about your experience with dried materials and wreaths. Do you use dried material or plan to add them to your design and decor this coming season? If so, what are your favorite varieties, or what new treasures are you adding to your wish list?
Lastly, if you find this information helpful, I would love it if you would share it with your friends. Thank you! I look forward to meeting you and seeing what you make this fall!
Shop: Chartreuse Reindeer Moss Wreath, Colonial House of Flowers
Photography: Elizabeth Lauren Granger
Dried Material: Colonial House of Flowers
Dough Bowl: Pottery Barn
Wholesale Sources: Mayesh/Cutflower Atlanta, Mills Floral, Kalalou
Local Boutiques: Robbins & Co Home , Lena LaRose
Leave a comment