A Fall Floral Treat

Wednesday, September 23, 2020


September Bouquet- www.gildedbloom.com

Amazingly, autumn has already arrived with yesterday the official first day of fall!  The summer garden is now in its final phases and I am clearing out debris of a successful vegetable harvest.  However, with so many edibles planted this year, I miss the flowers that would usually fill our garden in the fall.  I've found that although vegetables feed the body, flowers nourish the soul.  So, you can imagine how happy I was to find Kelley Flower Farm offering a four-week floral subscription.  I promptly signed up for the program, and last Friday these stunning blooms were delivered to our door!

Since I will be painting these flowers for a new collection of artworks, I styled two different arrangements with them and took a myriad of photos for future art reference.  The first, in a rustic jug vase, is pictured below.  To create the design I mixed the bouquet with hydrangea and foliage clippings from the garden for added texture.

September Bouquet- www.gildedbloom.com

These beautiful burgundy dahlias add depth to the arrangement with their dark rich color.

September Bouquet- www.gildedbloom.com

The apricot zinnias stretch from their stems adding a sense of movement to the design.

September Bouquet- www.gildedbloom.com

Finally, the sunflowers are clearly the stars of the show, with their large blooms and soft unusual color.

September Bouquet- www.gildedbloom.com

In the second arrangement I changed to a more formal vase to complement our current table setting with pumpkin plates and soft amber glassware.

September Bouquet- www.gildedbloom.com

I also used this arrangement to paint, which is one of my favorite ways to record the beauty of flowers.

September Bouquet- www.gildedbloom.com

I look forward to sharing my progress on this new collection of paintings from the beautiful flowers that arrive over the next few weeks!  The paintings and prints of them will be available for purchase in my shop when the collection is complete.

Happy Fall!

Summer Vegetable Garden

Saturday, August 1, 2020


Summer Vegetable Garden- www.gildedbloom.com

This summer we have been focused on growing fruit, vegetables and herbs in the garden instead of flowers. It is a big change as you know I love the flower cutting garden, but this season I wanted to experiment with growing fresh produce and learning how to cultivate interesting edibles from seed.

Summer Vegetable Garden- www.gildedbloom.com

As we have a suburban home that is landscaped with many trees and very little full sun, it was a challenge to find a way to integrate the edible garden, but many of our vegetables found a home in pots on the sunniest parts of the patio and in other containers throughout the yard. Here is a large zucchini plant nestled near the plant rack filled with greenery and herbs.

Summer Vegetable Garden- www.gildedbloom.com

For fun we added this garden bed to a section of the lawn that receives full sun. The elevated style of bed was chosen so the grass would continue to grow beneath and it proved to be more resistant to pests and easy to tend as well. Inside we are growing cantaloupe, bush beans, more zucchini and cucumbers on the trellis at one end.

Summer Vegetable Garden- www.gildedbloom.com

Growing from seed provides more options for unusual and gourmet vegetable varieties. This is a Persian Baby Cucumber called "Green Fingers" from Renee's Garden Seed Company, where I purchased many of my seeds this spring.

Summer Vegetable Garden- www.gildedbloom.com

These container snap peas called "Little Crunch" peas make a delicious addition to the early summer menu and also can be eaten straight from the garden!

Summer Vegetable Garden- www.gildedbloom.com

Soon to be harvested are these mini Sugar Cube Cantaloupes. They are personal-sized melons that grow in containers. We have some in the garden bed and a few more pots trellised throughout the yard with melons hanging from their vines. Looking forward to this special treat! 



Of course no vegetable garden is complete without a few sunflowers to draw pollinators and add color. This year I planted Autumn Beauty sunflowers from Ferry-Morse Seed Company. They are lovely and have been in bloom for about a month with no signs of slowing down. Miniature eggplants, peppers and a few mini pumpkins to line the windowsills in October are also growing. The garden is always full of seasonal surprises!

Valley Snow

Friday, April 10, 2020



I hope you are all well and staying healthy at home during this challenging time.  These photos are a bit overdue, but I'd still like to share them with you as I know many are struggling to find peace in these troubled times while adapting to a new lifestyle of being indoors.  I hope I have captured the serenity I experience in nature, and that it will bring you a moment of joy and a glimpse into a beautiful world that you can see on your screen if not outside your window.



Every spring I photograph these orchards near my home and even though the almond trees are the same the pictures are always different.



Some years are filled with bright blue skies peeking through the canopy of trees, and others with green grasses from rain in the orchards.



This spring was a majesty of white petals, like snow on the ground of wonderland...





Fresh Flowers Styled in a Long Wooden Bowl

Sunday, February 2, 2020

 Fresh Flowers Styled in a Long Wooden Bowl- www.gildedbloom.com

Today is a beautiful winter day here in California with the sun shining through the icy cold air.   I'm finally getting time to share some floral fun after a very busy last few months.  It's great to be back blogging as it is such a wonderful way to connect with all of you who share my passion for design and flowers!

This season I hosted a winter tea party for my Mom's birthday and created a centerpiece of fresh white roses for the occasion.   Having just purchased a long wooden bowl for the holidays, I decided to create a "rose boat" centerpiece for the dining room table.

Fresh Flowers Styled in a Long Wooden Bowl- www.gildedbloom.com

The wooden container is 36" long and about 6" wide which makes it the perfect size to hold three dozen roses.  First the bowl was lined with plastic to keep it dry, then three loaf pans filled with water were inserted and covered with a grid of tape to hold the flowers in place.  

Roses- Fresh Flowers Styled in a Long Wooden Bowl- www.gildedbloom.com

Long stemmed white roses were combined with clippings of foliage from the garden and a few holiday pine tree branches.  First, the foliage was arranged in the loaf pans of water to create a bed of greenery for the roses.  Then the roses were cut shorter to fit in the containers and baby's breath was added and strewn throughout the design.

The roses were fresh and lovely for the birthday tea party and lasted about a week after the event.

Teacup- Fresh Flowers Styled in a Long Wooden Bowl- www.gildedbloom.com



Summer Flower Paintings

Monday, August 5, 2019

Summer Flower Paintings- www.gildedbloom.com

The studio has been a busy place this summer as I have been working on a new collection of paintings along with commissioned works. 

One particularly rewarding creative project I recently completed for a client remodeling her master bedroom presented the challenge of painting two decorative floral arrangements from my imagination without relying on an actual arrangement of flowers for reference.

The buyer, who is an avid collector of purple Depression glass, selected two favorite pedestal vases from her lovely collection for me to photograph, then I began sketching and designing a pair of painted floral arrangements that would fit the vases and complement the colors of her beautiful new bedroom!

Summer Flower Paintings- www.gildedbloom.com

Many of the flowers included in the paintings are varieties grown in our garden over the years except for the pink peonies which I was lucky enough to find at the market.  Predominantly old fashioned flowers were selected to fuse with the antique style of the vases and the elegant, traditional bedroom decor.

Summer Flower Paintings- www.gildedbloom.com

Hydrangeas, roses and peonies arranged in a decorative design are painted in thin layers of acrylic paint to capture the dimensional quality of the flowers and the range of colors.  It was especially fun to paint the petals of these blooms glazed by light.

Summer Flower Paintings- www.gildedbloom.com

It is always a joy to paint home grown flowers as it makes the rewards of working in the garden more permanent.  Soon I will be planting a fall flower garden and as I plan the varieties of flowers, I'm always thinking of the future paintings they may become...

Spring Garden Floral

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Spring Garden Floral- www.gildedbloom.com

The early spring garden is now dressed in shades of pink and white as our cymbidium orchids, anemones and camellias take the stage.  They are lovely in the landscape but also make beautiful cut flowers for arranging!

Spring Garden Floral- www.gildedbloom.com

This design began with a pedestal planter and a smaller glass vase of water set inside to hold the fresh flowers.  Then a garland of faux greenery was wrapped around the vase to fill in the gap between the containers.

Spring Garden Floral- www.gildedbloom.com

A series of garden flowers and a few filler flowers from the market were added to the glass vase, which created an unstructured floral design.

Spring Garden Floral- www.gildedbloom.com

These raspberry colored cymbidium orchids were arranged first and then surrounded with blush carnations to hold them in place.

Spring Garden Floral- www.gildedbloom.com

Fragrant sprigs of stock and a few black and white anemones were woven into the design.


Spring Garden Floral- www.gildedbloom.com

White camellias placed near the bottom of the arrangement were encircled with carnations and filler foliage.

.Spring Garden Floral- www.gildedbloom.com

For texture, a few fluffy budding tulips were added to the mix.

Spring Garden Floral- www.gildedbloom.com

Providing the final touch, fluttery petals of the white anemones contrast the sculptural shape of the orchids and add interest to the design.

When I brought this arrangement inside to use as a centerpiece for the Easter table. it felt like spring had truly arrived!

Styling an Easter Table

Tuesday, April 9, 2019


Styling an Easter Table- www.gildedbloom.com

Its almost time for Easter! The garden is filled with fresh flowers and the days are warm and beautiful.  I'm now styling an Easter table and have used a palette of soft greens and shades of white to complement the floral centerpiece made from garden blooms.

Styling an Easter Table- www.gildedbloom.com

A few thematic objects like this white glass bunny and bird salt and pepper shakers were chosen for the center of the table to reflect the colors of the floral arrangement and blend in with the dishes and linens.  Next a lightweight crinkled ribbon runner was strewn down the center of the table.  This is an easy way to add color.

Styling an Easter Table- www.gildedbloom.com

The charming toile bunny dishes were layered with white dinner plates and accented with majolica cabbage bowls in a different shade of green.

Styling an Easter Table- www.gildedbloom.com

Simple linen placemats in a neutral flax color with white cotton embroidered napkins to complement the printed plates were added to complete the design.

Styling an Easter Table- www.gildedbloom.com

Styling a table for Easter, or another spring holiday, is easy and fun and can be done with whatever dishes you have on hand and just a few seasonal additions.  I chose bunny dishes and spring green to give this table an Easter theme, but any seasonal accent plates or objects will do.  The important part is to be creative and have fun!
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