Styling Cymbidium Orchids

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Styling Cymbidium Orchids www.gildedbloom.com

Cymbidiums have always been my favorite variety of orchids.  I've been collecting them since I was in college and fell in love with a neighbor's wine barrel full of amazing blooming orchid stalks.  Over the years,  I have added many plants to our container gardens and have enjoyed spectacular blooms.

Styling Cymbidium Orchids- www.gildedbloom.com

Cymbidium orchids originated in the Himalayas and tolerate unusually cold temperatures.  They are found throughout Asia and produce large robust blooms in late winter or early spring.  The flower stalks can last 4-6 weeks.  Different orchids in our garden have been in bloom since late January and I cut the pink flowers you see here last night for the arrangement.  They should stay alive and beautiful for another few weeks.

Styling Cymbidium Orchids- www.gildedbloom.com

Cymbidium is easy to style but must be handled carefully as the flowers are very fragile.  To create this mixed arrangement, I put the stalks of orchids into a tall container and then combined them with sprigs of heavenly bamboo recently pruned from the garden.

Styling Cymbidium Orchids- www.gildedbloom.com

Since our deep purple tulips are currently in bloom, I added a few throughout the design to enhance the color of the orchids.

Styling Cymbidium Orchids- www.gildedbloom.com

This arrangement is about 2-3 ft tall and makes a stunning centerpiece.  I plan to refurbish the blooms in a simpler vase in the weeks to come.

Spring in the Garden...

Tuesday, March 20, 2018


Spring in the Garden- www.gildedbloom.com

Today is officially the first day of Spring and the garden is clearly celebrating with beautiful blooms and blossoms.  Our magnolia tree is covered in pink and white velvety flowers which glisten on these rainy days.

Spring in the Garden- www.gildedbloom.com

The daffodils are also coming back to life.  They are one of the first in a parade of flowers that will light up the garden this season.

Spring in the Garden- www.gildedbloom.com

The potted tulips are growing and starting to grace our patio with pastel beauty. 

Spring in the Garden- www.gildedbloom.com

Blooming in bright pink and usually buzzing with bees, this redbud tree is already filled with flowers. 
(I happened to get a bee-free photo while out in the rain this morning!)  The branches are so colorful.

Spring in the Garden- www.gildedbloom.com

Pink jasmine buds cover the fence and are about to open and release their lovely sweet fragrance into the air...

Spring in the Garden- www.gildedbloom.com

But most exciting, is this sweet little dove living on the top shelf of our plant rack.  She's been there for a few weeks and is very friendly, even when we water her plant!  Today I noticed she has two new baby doves in her nest.  One was happy to pose for the picture but the other is resting.  What a wonderful surprise!

Spring in the Garden- www.gildedbloom.com

Happy Spring!

Black and White Anemone Arrangement

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Black and White Anemone Arrangement- www.gildedbloom.com

The garden is finally blooming again after the dormant days of winter and some of the first flowers to emerge this season were these black and white anemones. I'll admit I was so happy to have them decorate the garden after the flowerless winter months that I harvested them late for this arrangement.  Still, the soft white blooms add a hint of spring to our home!


Black and White Anemone Arrangement- www.gildedbloom.com

This beautiful variety of anemone is a dramatic addition to arrangements and is remarkably easy to grow.  I have combined it with dusty miller, burgundy heuchera, and a few sprigs of white candytuft put in a blue and white ceramic vase.  

Black and White Anemone Arrangement- www.gildedbloom.com

The black and white anemone, with its showy dark center,  is a favorite flower for wedding bouquets.  When it first opens the center is a deep navy blue which turns to black and spreads as the bloom ages.  Although these appear to be quite delicate, they are actually cold hardy and last many days in vases or arrangements.

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

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