Easter Morning...

Sunday, April 4, 2021



Wishing you all a happy and blessed Easter!  


The Spring Splendor of Ranunculus

Tuesday, March 30, 2021


www.gildedbloom.com- The Spring Splendor of Ranunculus

This beautiful spring has brought with it an abundance of ranunculus. These early season flowers, also called Persian buttercups, are a joy to style. They not only have a lovely bloom, but usually feature a unique twist in the stem which adds a sense of movement to floral designs.

www.gildedbloom.com- The Spring Splendor of Ranunculus

We are growing many white ranunculus flowers in the garden this spring, which are currently starting to bloom.  In addition to those,  my sweet hubby surprised me with a ranunculus delivery subscription that has kept our home filled with bountiful blooms over the last few weeks.  I was thrilled to have so many beautiful varieties to paint and style and have selected a few favorites to add to the garden next year.

www.gildedbloom.com- The Spring Splendor of Ranunculus

White ranunculus are timeless and a beautiful way to transition arrangements from winter to spring with a neutral palette.  Here they are shown with silver dusty miller and white anemones from our garden.  

www.gildedbloom.com- The Spring Splendor of Ranunculus

The orange fringed variety above reminds me of a peony with so many layers of petals. 

www.gildedbloom.com- The Spring Splendor of Ranunculus

The unique magenta and green ruffled ranunculus above is the Italian Pon Pon Fanny.  These vibrant blooms have a rustic texture and pair well with garden foliage and herbs.  

www.gildedbloom.com- The Spring Splendor of Ranunculus

Spring pink is always a favorite hue during the Easter season and these pop with color! 


To learn more about the story of this lovely flower and how to grow them yourself see this previous post, Flower Spotlight: Ranunculus.

Winter Garden Delights

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Winter Garden Delights- www.gildedbloom.com

The first month of the year brought an abundant winter garden harvest along with many cold and cozy days to relax inside.  Here in central California the weather is usually mild, so it is possible to grow a culinary garden throughout the winter.  This year, the focus has been on salad greens and citrus which grow and thrive in cooler weather.  The Meyer lemons, blood oranges and limes have been bountiful.

Winter Garden Delights- www.gildedbloom.com





Creating a cool season garden involves planning what you want to eat as well as how you want to access the garden on cold or rainy days.  Since we like to harvest our salad greens right before they are served I keep several salad bowls filled with Mesclun lettuces on our outdoor table.  These are easy access at dinner time as they are right by the kitchen door and one can step out, snip a handful and go right back to cooking.  They are also cut and come again varieties, which means that when they are harvested, they grow back in a few weeks.  The autumn pomegranates from our tree are being dried for use in arrangements.

Winter Garden Delights- www.gildedbloom.com


Head lettuce like the ruby romaine shown above is grown in a raised bed.  

Winter Garden Delights- www.gildedbloom.com

French chervil is easy to grow in pots and can be placed in a windowsill or on a patio.  Here freshly harvested key limes are staying cold on an outdoor shelf until they are used.

Winter Garden Delights- www.gildedbloom.com

These ruffled pansies were a pleasant surprise as I planted seeds in the fall and they are now blooming! I am happy to see the first signs of spring approaching...

Pumpkin Spice Floral

Wednesday, November 11, 2020


Pumpkin Spice Floral- www.gildedbloom.com

 



"Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall."
- F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)

The beauty of autumn is now upon us as we settle in to the season with pumpkins on the porch and magnificently colorful leaves falling from the trees.  Autumn has always been a favorite season of mine, and like Fitzgerald, I see it as a time of new beginnings.  I always look forward to sweater weather, a pot of hot soup on the stove, planting bulbs in the garden, and of course, the quintessential taste of the season- pumpkin spice!  

This fall bouquet of vivid orange zinnias, mixed with peachy-pink dahlias, blush lisianthus, and mustard yellow amaranth captures the mood of autumn with its spicy hues and rustic texture.  It was a pleasure to style and also to paint!

Pumpkin Spice Floral- www.gildedbloom.com

A simple metallic gold vase highlights the warm colors in the bouquet and provides an opulent finish to complement the varied texture of the flowers.

Pumpkin Spice Floral- www.gildedbloom.com


Dahlias in a pale warm pink soften the bouquet with their ombre color and elegant rolled petals.  

Pumpkin Spice Floral- www.gildedbloom.com

Bright orange zinnias add earthy texture and a pop of color.  These traditional autumn hues remind me of pumpkin spice!  Happy fall!


Pumpkin Spice Floral- www.gildedbloom.com








Autumn Berry and Burgundy Bouquet

Wednesday, September 30, 2020


Autumn Berry and Burgundy Bouquet- www.gildedbloom.com



Last week I received this beautiful bouquet of pink sunflowers, zinnias, and burgundy amaranth to style and paint.  The unique colors and striking patterns found in these flowers made them fascinating to photograph.

Autumn Berry and Burgundy Bouquet- www.gildedbloom.com





Styling the bouquet with hydrangeas and sprigs of green berries offset the pink tones in the flowers.  The rich palette was enhanced by a wine colored vase.

Autumn Berry and Burgundy Bouquet- www.gildedbloom.com

The bright green color in this Queen Red Lime zinnia complemented the greens in the hydrangeas and the berries.

Autumn Berry and Burgundy Bouquet- www.gildedbloom.com

Next I rearranged the flowers and added silvery dusty miller for contrast.  Then I began to paint!  

Autumn Berry and Burgundy Bouquet- www.gildedbloom.com

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!
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