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.
We picked about two quarts in less than an hour and also picked up a few prize boletes that must have popped up overnight.
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.
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.
My students ranged greatly in age, but everyone enjoyed themselves. Each crown was so lovely in its own way!
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.
My day came full circle by dining on my parents’ deck in the sun and digging into a big slice of blueberry pie.
Many brides I work with are Alaskan through and through and ask to have bits of Alaska incorporated into their flowers. This makes my job even more fun because I get to forage from the forest. Today’s wedding was full of forest ferns.
Hannah and Dylan’s wedding had a vintage vibe. As I was dropping off the flowers Hannah’s aunt arrived in a black A-line with a fascinator that belonged to her grandmother.
Continue reading Alaska Weddings: Dylan + Hannah
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.
Blush, cream, pink, pale blue — a soft palate with exquisite blooms from garden roses to peonies.
Continue reading Alaska Weddings: Ali + Tommy
Oh, how I love Alaska weddings! There’s something about an Alaska bride. She loves to incorporate her home state into her most special day. Philly was no exception. Her vision was simplicity for the bridal party and big and wild for the bridal bouquet.
The photos can’t do this bouquet justice. There are peonies from every angle. The wholesaler’s peonies were small, but thanks to an old friend with a big peony garden, I was able to compensate with two HUGE blooms, which are what take up most of the photos. While snipping these two gorgeous flowers I sneaked a couple of poppy pods, which add some vintage green to the arrangement. I foraged many wildflowers including clover blossoms, yarrow, cow parsnip and grass berries. Wrapped in lace and twine and you’ve got a soft beauty with a twinge of wild. Utterly romantic.
Continue reading Alaska Weddings: Peter + Philly
When I was asked to pick up a last minute wedding gig this week, I was more than thrilled to accept. A chance to work with white peonies and garden roses? Yes, please!
Bride Emily wanted a forest look to her arrangements, so I did the sensible thing and I foraged from the forest. I gathered dwarf hemlock from Glenn Alps, which I incorporated into the woodland fairy-like crowns, the delicate boutonnières and corsages and the perfectly-sized bridal bouquet.
Wild geranium, wood ferns and forget-me-nots mixed perfectly with the centerpieces of queen Anne’s lace, veronica and lisianthus.
Emily’s biggest desire was to have a big bridal flower crown of peonies and garden roses. When a fully bloomed peony is the size of a large grapefruit, a large crown is LARGE. My first draft was a little too big, I could barely hold my head up. After I downsized, I made Emily a smaller crown in case the original was too gigantic.
Continue reading Alaska Weddings: Emily & Dan