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!

Flower Spotlight: Ranunculus

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Flower Spotlight:  Ranunculus - www.gildedbloom.com

Ranunculus flowers, also called Persian Buttercups, provide stunning blooms in early spring when the weather is still chilly and moist. Boasting a mass of chiffon-like petals, the multicolored flowers are always a favorite for spring weddings and floral arrangements.

Flower Spotlight:  Ranunculus - www.gildedbloom.com

These beautiful stems were brought to me by a sweet neighbor who knows how much I enjoy the art of flowers. They were grown by Kelley Flower Farm , and I am dazzled by the quality and color of these unique ranunculus varieties- so dazzled in fact, that I've been researching how to grow them in my own home garden next spring!  In my efforts to learn more, I found some excellent ranunculus resources to share.

Flower Spotlight:  Ranunculus - www.gildedbloom.com

Every fall,  I usually purchase a few new varieties of flower bulbs to try in the garden from Erin Benzakien's Floret Flower Farm in Washington.  In addition to many amazing varieties of flowers, she also provides extensive educational resources on her website, like this tutorial about how to grow ranunculus.  She is also the author of Floret Farm's Cut Flower Garden, which is reviewed in this post.

Flower Spotlight:  Ranunculus - www.gildedbloom.com

Another great resource is Garden Design's post How to Grow Your Own Ranunculus which includes a buying guide, planting tips and ideas for using ranunculus in the garden and in floral arrangements.

Flower Spotlight:  Ranunculus - www.gildedbloom.com

The Gardenista website also adds an interesting twist to the discussion of this flower by including background on its mythology in the post "Ranunculus:  The Little Frog".   Apparently, ranunculus means "little frog" in Latin as it often grows near bodies of water.  According to Gardenista, legend also has it that the original Asian myth (upon which the Western fairy tale of the Frog Prince was based) stated that the prince was turned into a ranunculus instead of a frog.  Fascinating...


Winter Decorating with Dried Hydrangeas

Tuesday, February 5, 2019


Winter Decorating with Dried Hydrangeas- www.gildedbloom.com

The winter months are quiet as I prepare the garden for spring and await the first blooms of the season.  It is always a challenge to keep the vases filled until the garden starts to produce flowers for cutting, so I often use dried or artificial flowers this time of year.

Winter Decorating with Dried Hydrangeas- www.gildedbloom.com

Dried hydrangeas are elegant when placed in wide vases or bowls and provide soft color and texture.  They are simple to preserve during the summer by cutting the blooms and placing them in a vase of water until the water evaporates and the flowers start to dry. 

Fresh blooms, as shown in the photo below, can also be made into wreaths which will dry and last through the winter.  See the post about  "How to Make a Hydrangea Wreath" for instructions.  I have used them for centerpieces as well as wall decor.

Season's Greetings

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Season's Greetings- www.gildedbloom.com

Wishing you all a happy holiday season filled with peace and joy... 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

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