Tag Archives: peonies

Alaska Weddings: Peter + Jessica

Brides are all different. Some know what they want, others need a little more guidance, but some have a creative vision. Jessica was one of those brides. She and her mother came to me with the boldest theme I’ve encountered yet – burgundy, gold and deep purple. When they told me those colors, my eyes got big and I just said, “Oooooooh!”

A bridal bouquet of true majesty. Burgundy peonies, gold sprayed eucalyptus, antique pink carnations, red roses, white spray roses, burgundy and white stock, rosemary, purple mini carnations, Italian ruscus and leucadendron is a perfect wild, regal, ravishing flower arrangement fit for a queen! Designed by Natasha Price of alaskaknitnat.com

I seriously contemplated putting on my wedding dress just to hold the bridal bouquet (the above photo is the toss bouquet).

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Blueberries, mushrooms, peonies and mimosas

This has been one of the sunniest, hottest Alaska summers I can ever remember. When I woke up and saw low clouds on the Chugach mountains I was looking forward to a cooler day.

My mom and I wasted no time and drove up to Glen Alps to check on the blueberries. Due to the warm weather we were giddy to find the berries plentiful and pretty much ripe.

Summer in Alaska: Blueberries, Mushrooms, Peonies & Mimosas

Summer in Alaska: Blueberries, Mushrooms, Peonies & Mimosas

We picked about two quarts in less than an hour and also picked up a few prize boletes that must have popped up overnight.

Summer in Alaska: Blueberries, Mushrooms, Peonies & Mimosas

Summer in Alaska: Blueberries, Mushrooms, Peonies & Mimosas

After dropping off our loot we packed up our truck and headed toward Wasilla to Alaska Blooms Peony Farm. I had visited a few weeks prior when the peonies were mostly closed but today the sun decided to take center stage and the peonies were bursting with color and perfume. I shed a layer of clothing and set to work.

Summer in Alaska: Blueberries, Mushrooms, Peonies & Mimosas

Summer in Alaska: Blueberries, Mushrooms, Peonies & Mimosas

Sixteen students arrived for crown instructions, cookies and mimosas. It was a joy to incorporate peonies that were grown right where we were having the class.

Summer in Alaska: Blueberries, Mushrooms, Peonies & Mimosas

Summer in Alaska: Blueberries, Mushrooms, Peonies & Mimosas

My students ranged greatly in age, but everyone enjoyed themselves. Each crown was so lovely in its own way!

Summer in Alaska: Blueberries, Mushrooms, Peonies & Mimosas Summer in Alaska: Blueberries, Mushrooms, Peonies & Mimosas

Summer in Alaska: Blueberries, Mushrooms, Peonies & Mimosas

After the class the students took a tour of the farm. Farm owner, Rachel, brought out a bucket full of pink peonies in full bloom and students bought stems wrapped in newspaper.

Summer in Alaska: Blueberries, Mushrooms, Peonies & Mimosas

My day came full circle by dining on my parents’ deck in the sun and digging into a big slice of blueberry pie.

Summer in Alaska: Blueberries, Mushrooms, Peonies & Mimosas

Alaska Weddings: Dianne + Matthew

Every wedding I make flowers for has a different style and Dianne and Matthew’s Wasilla wedding is one of the most unique this year.

Dianne wanted jewel tones of amethyst and peridot. She adores orchids, which I learned can be limited in color and style in Alaska. I packed her bouquet with fuchsia orchid, purple lisianthus, white roses, baby’s breath, trailing amaranthus, traipsing plumosa fern, sword fern and Italian ruscus.

Cascading bridal bouquet packed with orchids, lisianthus, roses, amaranthus, plumosa fern, baby's breath, sword fern and Italian ruscus | wedding flowers designed by Natasha Price of Alaskaknitnat.com

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Tour of Alaska Blooms Peony Farm

When my husband and I got married in July 2007 purchasing peonies wasn’t an option. They were out of season. But I remember gardens all over Anchorage with gorgeous peonies in July and August. I ended up using someone’s garden peonies for my own bouquet.

It wasn’t until August 2013 when I was leafing through an Alaska Airlines Magazine that I learned how unique Alaska peonies really are.

Peony farms have since sprouted up all over the state from Nenana to Homer to Wasilla and have cornered the global peony market from mid to late summer.

I recently had the opportunity to take a tour of Alaska Blooms Peony Farm and learn about these special flowers from owner Rachel Christy.

Rachel Christy, owner of Alaska Blooms Peony Farm in Wasilla, gave me a tour of her farm on a rainy Sunday in June. Her farm is in its 6th year and she plans to cut more than 5,000 blooms this year. Story by Natasha Price of alaskaknitnat.com

My son and I embarked on a rainy Sunday outside the city of Wasilla to a cabin where thousands of peony buds were growing in the front lot.

Continue reading Tour of Alaska Blooms Peony Farm

Alaska Weddings: Ali + Tommy

I really believe Alaska is a big state with a small-town feel. When I first met bride Ali at our consultation I realized I had taught her French when she was in middle school.

After a few descriptions of her floral vision and some Pinterest photos I was pretty excited to work on her and her fiancé’s wedding.

Garden roses, blue hydrangea, lisianthus, baby's breath limonium, seeded eucalyptus and dusty miller | Such a romantic, soft palate for a June wedding. Designed by Natasha Price of Alaskaknitnat.com

Blush, cream, pink, pale blue — a soft palate with exquisite blooms from garden roses to peonies.

Garden roses, blue hydrangea, lisianthus, baby's breath limonium, seeded eucalyptus and dusty miller | Such a romantic, soft palate for a June wedding. Designed by Natasha Price of Alaskaknitnat.com

Continue reading Alaska Weddings: Ali + Tommy

Lina + Bill: A Midsummer Kaleidoscope

Last year my knitting friend Lina asked if I would design the flowers for her wedding. When she described the colors she wanted there was no way I could say no. She envisioned a wild, rainbow bouquet.

Midsummer Kaleidoscope Wedding | Alaska Knit Nat

 

Midsummer Kaleidoscope Wedding | Alaska Knit Nat

 

I created a slightly unkempt bouquet of peonies (from her own garden), Japanese asters, mini sunflowers, green trick dianthus, bupleurum, gerber daisies, spray roses, wild daisies, wild grass cattails and wild yarrow.

Midsummer Kaleidoscope Wedding | Alaska Knit Nat

Midsummer Kaleidoscope Wedding | Alaska Knit Nat

Lina had saved pussy willow branches from the spring, which I used on the boutonnières.

Midsummer Kaleidoscope Wedding | Alaska Knit Nat
The groom’s boutonnière mimics the bridal bouquet with a small band of lace wrapped around the fuchsia stem.

Midsummer Kaleidoscope Wedding | Alaska Knit Nat

 

 

Billy balls are the perfect accompaniment to fuchsia spray roses and iridescent fuchsia ribbon gave everything a polished look with great pops of color.

Midsummer Kaleidoscope Wedding | Alaska Knit Nat

Because the bride selected so many types of flowers I was left with an excess of product. I decided to make flower crowns for her daughter and niece who were flower girls. My mother models it here.

Midsummer Kaleidoscope Wedding | Alaska Knit Nat

Marigolds and pale pink rosebuds from my garden were a necessary addition to the garlands.
Marigolds and pale pink rosebuds from my garden were a necessary addition to the garlands.

I had yet even more product, including a full peony (no way I was wasting that!) so I created a draping arrangement in an antique orange vase, which I left on the dining table in the wedding party’s bed and breakfast.

Midsummer Kaleidoscope Wedding | Alaska Knit Nat

Pink, fuchsia, orange, green, purple and yellow — a magical array of color for a perfect summer day.

Congratulations, Lina and Bill!

I was lucky to find pale pink yarrow growing wild in field by my local grocery store.
I was lucky to find pale pink yarrow growing wild in field by my local grocery store.