A Garden Christmas Beverage Bar

Monday, December 11, 2017

A Garden Christmas Beverage Bar- www.gildedbloom.com

Fall has just flown by, it seems, and now it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at our house.  During the holidays, I often like to serve hot tea, coffee, and chocolate in the garden as this year we have beautiful sunshine and crisp cool afternoon air to enjoy.  I use a French press and heated carafe of water with the tiered beverage bar to serve hot drinks on the patio.  As much of our winter garden is evergreen, with only blooming cyclamen and citrus, it makes a very relaxing space for a choice cup of Christmas cheer.

To reflect the spirit of the season, and for holiday entertaining at home, this year I prepared a Christmas beverage bar filled with treats for this memorable time in the garden.  Here is a simple and fun idea using any tiered stand and a few Christmas dishes with ornaments or other embellishments.

A Garden Christmas Beverage Bar- www.gildedbloom.com

For this year's Christmas beverage bar I chose a Woodland theme that would fuse with the patio garden and kitchen.  It is a rustic birch bark tiered stand, lined with garlands, filled with Christmas mugs, a few bowls, and winter bird ornaments.  Then I added coffee, instant cocoa, tea bags, and Christmas complements like candy canes and chocolates.

A Garden Christmas Beverage Bar- www.gildedbloom.com

The part of the winter garden I most love is the birds scampering about, so having bird embellishments on the edges of the trays seemed fitting.

I hope you have a lovely holiday season and enjoy the beauty of this wonderful time of year!

Garden Flowers for Fall

Friday, October 20, 2017


Garden Flowers for Fall- www.gildedbloom.com

As you can see, our first harvest of pomegranates is off of the tree- a sure sign that fall is here to stay!  Here in California, we have a late autumn so our trees are just beginning to change color from the cooler nights and beautiful temperate days.  As we often dine and entertain outside during the fall, I have prepared the area with new colors for all to enjoy.  To perk up the back patio, orange and blue flowers accented with plum and silver foliage plants add a touch of the season.

Garden Flowers for Fall- www.gildedbloom.com

These golden orange mums form a centerpiece complemented with blue pansies.  

Garden Flowers for Fall- www.gildedbloom.com

Pansies are excellent plants for longevity and last well into spring here.  They are beautiful in borders and when used in pots for a spot of color.

Garden Flowers for Fall- www.gildedbloom.com

Although I'm drawn to a colorful garden palette this season, it is combined with silvery foliage for a modern mix.  Powdery grey dusty miller creates a rich and textural background for the pansies and will provide a wintery backdrop for all the white cyclamen in November.

.Garden Flowers for Fall- www.gildedbloom.com

Silver and plum heuchera plants are another garden accent.  The leaf shape is very decorative and the variegated colors are spectacular.  

Garden Flowers for Fall- www.gildedbloom.com

These autumn mums bloom in a rich russet red then gradually fade to soft orange.  This year they are planted in the landscape and add a splash of color to the entry garden right before Halloween.  Hopefully, after I prune them back we'll have a few more blooms for Thanksgiving!

Garden Flowers for Fall- www.gildedbloom.com

Finally, a few little pumpkins are strewn throughout the garden for accent to celebrate the beauty of fall.  Since there is so much color in the other plants I chose white baby pumpkins to place on the tables and near the entry.  
  
White Pumpkin and Pomegranates- www.gildedbloom.com

Maple Sugar Misto

Friday, October 6, 2017


Maple Sugar Misto- www.gildedbloom.com

One of the true pleasures of autumn is waking up to cool crisp morning air and spending time in the garden.  For me, morning starts with coffee, and lately I've been enjoying this simple recipe filled with robust fall flavors while planning the flower gardens.

A "Caffe Misto" is basically a latte that is made with coffee instead of espresso.  It is usually half steamed milk and half coffee, similar to the French cafe au lait.  These are delicious in their purest and plainest form, but I've found that adding a splash of real maple syrup and a sprinkle of cinnamon only makes them more delightful!  Of course, a dollop of whipped cream is also a welcome addition and can turn this morning misto into an elegant dessert coffee.

Maple Sugar Misto- www.gildedbloom.com

Real maple syrup is a must when making this drink and the decorative bottles it is sold in can be reused as autumn bud vases.  I collect them and fill them with flowers throughout the season!

Maple Leaf Vase- www.gildedbloom.com

Happy Fall!

Savoring September....

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Savoring September- www.gildedbloom.com

This month was filled with so many beautiful moments.  As summer came to a close we escaped to the coast for a relaxing break and I brought my camera to capture the magic.  There is something about the ocean that always fosters such peace and serenity...

As we wandered I found these wild succulents growing near the water.   They possess such a unique form with leaves exploding like fireworks.  

Savoring September- www.gildedbloom.com

The beach was majestic and we had it all to ourselves, which was extraordinary, as sunset approached.

Savoring September- www.gildedbloom.com

The reflections of light on the ocean were dreamy and gorgeous...

Savoring September- www.gildedbloom.com

As the sun set behind the waves, disappearing into a shadow of orange on the water, I was reminded how vast and expansive the ocean is and that its cycles are infinite. 

Savoring September- www.gildedbloom.com

The invigorating winds and soft scent of ocean air left me totally refreshed and ready for a very busy October!

Savoring September- www.gildedbloom.com

In the Studio: Sunwashed Floral Watercolors

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

In the Studio:  Sunwashed Floral Watercolors- www.gildedbloom.com

As the summer comes to a close I am spending more time in the studio.  Lately, I've been working with watercolors to create these expressive floral paintings of favorite blooms.  They reflect a sunwashed summer palette of dusty blues, pale golden yellows and faded coral pinks.

These are iphone photos that I've posted on my art studio's Instagram feed @gildedbloomstudio.   Feel free to follow me there to see more art in process!


In the Studio:  Sunwashed Floral Watercolors- www.gildedbloom.com

This sunflower is a soft and muted version of the bright yellow blooms that grace the garden in August and September.  The pale gold and yellow ochre petals make a subtle statement.


In the Studio:  Sunwashed Floral Watercolors- www.gildedbloom.com

In this painting of a hydrangea dusty teal blues are emphasized for decorative effect.

In the Studio:  Sunwashed Floral Watercolors- www.gildedbloom.com
Here, layers of watercolor washes form the petals of this coral pink peony...

In the Studio:  Sunwashed Floral Watercolors- www.gildedbloom.com

And finally, a few iridescent gold accents are added to the center of the flower...

Farmhouse Floral with Golden Sunflowers

Monday, August 21, 2017


Farmhouse Floral with Sunflowers - www.gildedbloom.com

As September approaches I am bringing warm and vivid hues into the home for early fall.  Golden sunflowers, rust Peruvian lily, green hydrangeas and chamomile provide a vibrant mix of color in this rustic farmhouse floral arrangement.

Creating a design like this is simple with the right flowers and container.  Choosing flowers that have a textural quality like sunflowers, wildflowers or grasses will give a country aesthetic as they appear to come from the fields rather than the florist.  Weathered terra cotta, copper, or galvanized steel containers all suggest a rustic style and complement the beauty of farmhouse decor.

Farmhouse Floral with Sunflowers - www.gildedbloom.com

In this design, the bold yellow blooms of the sunflowers provide a colorful statement in a neutral terra cotta urn and reflect the casual elegance of the country.  To create this look, cut the sunflower stems at different heights and insert them into the vase of water.  Then add the hydrangeas between the sunflowers and fill in with Peruvian lily and chamomile.

Chamomile- Farmhouse Floral with Sunflowers - www.gildedbloom.com

Sprays of blossoming chamomile interspersed throughout the vase add an element of texture and a sprinkle of light to the otherwise richly colored flowers.

Farmhouse Floral with Sunflowers - www.gildedbloom.com

Rust Peruvian lilies balance the use of gold and set off the more dominant sunflowers in this design.

Chicken Paintings- www.gildedbloom.com

In addition to bringing farmhouse style into the home I've also been bringing it into the studio lately!  These are a few recent watercolor studies of chickens that I've painted to explore the colorful beauty of their feathers.   Enjoy!

Styling an August Appetizer Party

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


Styling and August Appetizer Party- www.gildedbloom.com

Creating a memorable table for an informal occasion is very easy to do by using a basic floral centerpiece,  a few meaningful touches in the table setting, and a tray of starters.   These tips will help keep it simple while still making it special for your guests.

Last week we had friends over for wine and appetizers.  To set a casual table for four I used a rustic mix of melamine plates and textural linens in warm spicy colors with amber goblets.

Styling and August Appetizer Party- www.gildedbloom.com

For an inviting centerpiece only one kind of flower was presented in multiple vases.  This floral styling technique is much less complicated than creating a mixed arrangement!  Varied vases were filled with coral Peruvian lily blooms and displayed on a circular embossed tray which matched the plates.  Peruvian lilies are a colorful variety that last for nearly 10 days with proper care.  In fact, they are still alive and well as I write this post!

Styling and August Appetizer Party- www.gildedbloom.com

Also, it is fun to include a few elements in the table decor that are meaningful and spark conversation.  These napkin rings were made by Jes MaHarry who is a featured artist at Sundance. We visited Sundance Resort in Utah a few summers ago and this post recalls our trip.  I will always remember taking a class at the Art Shack and all of the creativity and beauty there.  The napkins are from the General Store at the resort and have a rich mix of cinnamon and amber hues on weathered muslin fabric. They remind me so much of Utah...

Styling and August Appetizer Party- www.gildedbloom.com

Finally, the most important part of creating a memorable event is to keep the food uncomplicated so that you can enjoy your guests.   I chose to present all the appetizers on the large tray placed on a turntable for simple serving.  These appetizers were easy to prepare beforehand so I could join the party!

Styling and August Appetizer Party- www.gildedbloom.com

I hope you will consider styling and hosting an appetizer party of your own.  It such an easy and fun way to entertain good friends at home.

© 2010- 2016 The Gilded Bloom. All rights reserved.. Powered by Blogger.