I have been to Iceland three times in the past 7 years. It has some sort of gravitational pull on me and it keeps sucking me back to it. The earth there is so raw and powerful. It is intimidating and humbling to feel so powerless in the face of nature.
Iceland has so many different terrains, and they are all so shockingly different, but each very strong in their own way. Being there makes me feel the sense of fascination you feel when you are in a foreign place in a dream. The light is always gray, and I think that contributes to the feeling that you are in some sort of foreign land in a dream that you have yet to wake up from.
There aren’t many flower photos this year. But, I wanted to share these because the earth is fascinating! I am constantly amazing with it’s strength. It can produce the most rigid and rough rock formations, and in the same place, support the life of the most delicate flower.
These photos were taken with an old Hasselblad camera that used to be my mother’s. It weighs what feels like a thousand pounds when I am traveling with it, but felt like the appropriate tool to capture this with.
After being together for 16 years, Michelle and Paul were married in the backyard of Michelle’s childhood home on the most beautiful October day. They were thoughtful in choosing all of the traditions and pieces of life that were important to them, and integrating them into their wedding thoughtfully. Michelle spent much of her childhood in the backyard admiring the gardens, and this provided the inspiration for the botanically inspired wedding décor.
Deep green magnolia branches covered their chuppah and were a beautiful base to fill with seasonal oakleaf hydrangea and dahlias. Michelle loved vines and more delicate flowers, so I filled her bouquet with these small blooms, and continued this delicate botanical feel into the dinner florals at the beautiful San Francisco City Hall. Each guest had a glass frame holding a small botanical element with their name and table number calligraphed on it. We brought 15 foot tall trees and lots of big potted plants into the space to warm it up and make it feel more like an outdoor space that the guests were dining in. It was such a beautiful day, and we had a wonderful group of people working together to make it all happen. Congrats Michelle and Paul!
Amanda and Bryan were married inside the beautiful stone wall ruins at Annadel Eastate Winery in Napa California in the fall of 2015. These centerpieces were all about ROSES. We had thousands of stems of full, fragrant garden roses for this event, all of them coming from local farms. We kept the design here classic and feminine, inspired by the venue and the delicate lace of the bride’s gown and veil. The groom is a chef, so food was an important piece of this wedding. To incorporate some of this into the décor, Little herb, berry, and acorn bundles were tied to cards with each guests name and seating assignment. It was such a beautiful golden October day for them, congrats Amanda and Bryan!
The most important thing to me when creating flowers is that they look fitting in the environment that they will be going in. Whether that is a wedding in a field, a corporate event in a modern building, or an arrangement for the dining room table, I want to make sure the flowers look appropriate for the setting. When I am working out in nature, it is of utmost importance to me to make sure the flowers compliment the surroundings or look like an extension of it.
This photoshoot was a collaboration with Afloral.com who sells faux flowers. All of the flowers that create the aisle here are fake! It was so fun to take on this challenge, and create something that looked so natural with them. See more on Oncewed.
One of my very favorite things about my career is the people I get to meet. I can’t believe how many incredibly talented, kind, strong people there are out there that flowers have brought me to. I have met many of these people through teaching. Last Spring I had the most wonderful group of women in one of my Spring intensive workshops where we worked on designing, and discussed the business side of things.
I had such a good time with this group!
It is so beautiful to watch someone create something that is an expression of themselves. You can see it, each arrangement is in some way a reflection of the person who made it. It is so fun to work with the same people for a few days and see their style really show through every arrangement they make. I love watching people light up with they work with flowers.
In this class we used spring blooms and citrus on the branch to create these large arrangement that explored the use of complimentary colors. Our centerpiece arrangements and bouquets used a softer palette of whites, lavenders, and muddy greens. I love when all of these tiny blooms are available in the Spring, and we used them all.
As a group, we covered a three arch arbor with blooming acacia and forsythia. I love working on these bigger pieces together. We didn’t have Heather for this part of the day, so you’ll have to make do with these grainy photos I took as the sun was setting. This day was so joyful. Thank you to each of the attendees, I truly loved getting to know you, and seeing the beauty that you create.
All photos besides the yellow arbor photos by Heather Nan.
These photos are of my work from a one-on-one floral workshop I taught with Chikae as my student. Chikae is a florist based in London who was on a tour around the world learning from florists, stylists, and photographers. I feel lucky to have been a stop on her journey. We had a wonderful time using a bounty of spring blooms to create centerpieces, large arrangements, bouquets, and a floral arch.
These bouquets are some of my favorites to date. I think it is also safe to say that between these two bouquets I used all of my very favorite flowers!
As a spring baby myself, I am a total sucker for all of the spring blooms.
We utilized blooming, pear, plum, quince, and magnolia branches in the arrangements, with a plethora of hellebore, frittilaria, and ranunculus in each of our arrangements too. It was a flower feast.
WORKSHOP WITH FIONA PICKLES OF FIRENZE FLOWERS
31ST MAY 2017 12-4PM, NORTH YORKSHIRE, ENGLAND
A couple of years ago at a workshop I was a guest teacher at in England, I met Fiona Pickles.
Fiona and I instantly hit it off, and bonded over our love for large sprawling branches, and foraging the hedgerows.
Fiona and I are excited to announce a class that we will be teaching together in just one month!
This will be A relaxed, half-day workshop on the flower farm of Holme Flowers where you will forage for dramatic branches, work with flowers grown on the farm and design your own giant urn after a light lunch under the apple trees in the orchard.
Holme Farm is a beautiful working farm run by three sisters, Wendy, Sue and Jayne and is located in a delightful and secluded hamlet in rural North Yorkshire.
This is a fabulous opportunity to meet and spend some time with Sarah.
Investment – £499
For more details on the day and how to book, click here
More photos from my blissful month spent in England in the Summer of 2015.
I live in Northern Utah, where it is fairly rugged and dry. The land here is wildly different than the land in England. I was constantly shocked by how much there was just growing on the side of the road there. It wasn’t just that there was a lot growing there, it was what was growing. For example, wild foxglove! 4 feet tall! I loved the colors of the growth there, too. The green was SO green. We were the in the late summer, and many things had turned golden, too. At home when things go golden they very quickly turn a sort of grayish, very dead hue. But everything that turned golden on the side of the road in England seemed to be vibrantly glowing gold. Here are pictures of a few highlights for me. Bibury, in the Cotswolds, was a place a did a puzzle of when I was a kid, so being there felt surreal and like I was walking through a postcard.
The roses in England grow and die with such recklessness. I snipped a few to make this yellow arrangement, and love the way these pink roses exploded like a piñata spreading their petals into the grass below them.
I had the pleasure of teaching a little one day class with Grace, an incredible talented florist based in Seoul that I have also had a class with back at home. We made this garland over a window on the guest house that I was staying at. It felt like a fuzzy dream as we arranged flowers together outside on a perfect summer day, with cattle pleasantly grazing behind us and watching us work (ok, they were also snacking on some of our flowers too). Can’t wait to go back soon, I am counting down the days.
I am teaching a collaborative workshop with Becca and Maz of the Garden gate flower company this June in England!
For more information and to sign up, you can head over here.
I am so excited to announce that I have two new digital courses!
I have partnered with if i made again to bring you two courses that are a wonderful follow up to the ones i released last year. I have one new course that focuses on the seasons, and how I keep inspired all year long by using the different materials that are in season, and really embracing them. This course is a wonderful fit for florists and hobbyists alike!
The second course is all about installations. These bigger pieces are one of my favorite parts of the job, and in this course I share everything I know about them! You’ll learn about my inspiration for installations, my design and planning process, and all about the logistics of installation. This course has information for all level of florists, both beginners and those who are already experienced with installations.
Head over to the course website to read more about whats included, the courses are on a special promotional price until midnight on March 16th where you’ll receive $200 off if you purchase the combo package that contains both courses.
My maternal grandmother was British, she has an incredible story. She grew up in WW1 as a child in England who grew up in an orphanage, and remembers land mines from WW1 going off in her neighborhood where she played. In WW2 she lost her husband, and was a single young mother who worked through the war. After losing her first husband in the war, she met an American man in the Navy at a dance when his ship was docked for a few days in the town she lived in. She married him, took her four year old on a boat and they made their journey to American to start a new life and wait for her husband to finished out the war. She knew sacrifice, and the beauty that can come from it. She appreciated nature in every way, and never took anything for granted. I credit her for giving me my love for flowers, and for teaching me to appreciate all the earth has to offer, both big and small. I had visited England before, but in the Summer of 2015 we took a trip there and stayed mostly in the countryside for a month. We took each day very slow, and made sure to live every moment soaking up all of the beauty around us. It was a sort of pilgrimage for me, and I felt so connected to my grandmother everywhere we went. The gardens and outdoor spaces there were the highlight for me, a few of them captured here in my travel photos.
I am teaching a collaborative workshop with Becca and Maz of the Garden Gate flower Company this June in England! For more information and to sign up, you can head over here