Weddings are such special occasions in so many ways—you get to witness two people declare their love for each other and celebrate their future as a couple. But perhaps our favorite thing about weddings is witnessing how families come together to help create a truly memorable day. Korie and Chris were surrounded by so many loved ones who tirelessly worked alongside our fellow vendors to put together a beautiful wedding. We were in awe of their dedication and spirit, which felt contagious, leaving us feeling like we were part of the family ourselves.
Our garden is a haven of fenced space flanked by woods on the south side and lawn on the north side. We grow mostly annuals, in seven 65' rows and a few wooden raised beds. Our gardening year starts the previous fall, when hardy annuals and biennials like Icelandic poppies, Scabiosa, Foxglove, Snapdragons and Larkspur are seeded and bulbs like Tulips and Daffodils are planted. In Spring, tender annuals like zinnias, cosmos, celosia, amaranth, nicotiana, rudbeckia, and a host of flowering vines and herbs are planted in succession to carry us through summer and into Fall. Dahlia tubers are also planted in Spring for late summer and fall blooms.
We are fortunate to have an abundance of neighboring trees; they help keep the summer sun from becoming overpowering, and create a little space for a part-shade perennial garden for favorites like Hellebore, Heuchera, Solomon's Seal, and Japanese Anemone. A 30' long trellis supports tumbling vines from Sweet Pea in Spring to Love in a Puff and Clematis through summer. We have a little hugelkultur experiment just outside the garden gate, where a decomposing fallen tree serves as home for daffodil bulbs, as well as worms, beetles and likely snakes; the sight of the white and yellow papery blooms in early Spring, emerging from moss-covered logs in the dappled light, is a vision out of our dreams.
We love to tuck vegetables in amongst our flowers, to add textural interest to arrangements and to enjoy ourselves; tomatoes, garlic, peppers, snap peas, beans, eggplant, herbs and greens are planted in abundance. We love edible flowers too - they capture the best of both worlds - especially Nasturtium and Calendula, along with the Violets that grow wild throughout our space.
We have goals of extending our growing season and streamlining our seed starting process through low tunnels and a small greenhouse. There are some favorite flowers we'd love to add to our repertoire, like anemones, ranunculus, peonies, and heirloom chrysanthemums. We plan to add a full bed of medicinal herbs like Tulsi for teas, and to grow more plants useful for natural dyeing. Dreams of a larger farm are active in our imaginations. However, we believe that starting small, in close proximity to our shop and customers, is a low-input and high-reward strategy for us as beginning growers. Through our little urban flower oasis, we love experimenting with uncommon blooms to share with all of you. We can't wait to see what next season brings.
Designing with garden flowers elevates and inspires our work in unexpected ways. Flowers that come from a wholesaler, shipped to us across the globe in cardboard boxes, can undoubtedly be lovely after a little time in water, but there is something about the unexpected color variations, the wild curves, the windswept resilience of freshly cut garden flowers that inspires our creativity and propels our vision like no straight-stemmed rose ever could. Designing with our garden flowers has its challenges; the shifting of the seasons and unpredictability of nature's whims can both give and take away in a breath. We are forced to adjust and adapt. We are forced to let go. We celebrate the small victories as much as the large. But aren't these lessons gifts, as well as constraints? We aim to see it that way, and it is rewarding to get better at the practical aspects of gardening as well as the mental and emotional ones, season by season.
We can get so blinded by the beauty of flowers that we sometimes overlook the amazing garden vegetables and fruits that grow along side them. This month, as the garden grows bountifully, we find we're most inspired by a mix of edible and floral materials.
Credits: 1) Pink Oyster Mushrooms source unknown 2) Nasturiums by Lobster and Swan 3 and 4) Arrangements by Saipua 5) White Currants source unknown 6) Arrangement by Sarah Winward photo by Britt Chudleigh 7) Arrangement by Ariella Chezar 8) Blackberry Vines source unknown
These two lovebirds got married this spring at the Bridge Club in Downtown Raleigh and we love everything about their low-key wedding. Often times, brides come to us looking for a few florals to complete their special day—a bouquet, a boutonniere and maybe a few cocktail arrangements. We love being able to work with both large wedding parties and smaller more intimate weddings as part of our Pick-up service. Paige came to us wanting something unique and fun and we jumped at the chance to work with her. She gave us some guidance on color and then left the rest up to us. We love how everything turned out. And we especially love seeing Paige and Chris in these amazing photos by Heather Burris all decked out in our floral creations. Congrats you two!
All photos by Heather Burris Photography
At Wylde lately we've been relishing in the warm burst of color that the transition from Spring to Summer presents. The abundance of local blooms these days makes our time in the studio feel fresh and lively as we play with new color palettes and textures.
Hannah has been cultivating a cut flower garden just a few miles from our shop for the last year and a half, so in joining Nikelle at Wylde she brought her cut flower production skills to the partnership. Hannah and Nikelle now work together to bring as many garden-fresh blooms to the shop as possible. Keeping a flower garden productive throughout the season is a continual work in progress, but the rewards are palpable. It makes such a difference in our design work to have the freshest possible materials. When we're growing our own, we can hand-select the best stems for the color palette or texture desired. We'll go into more depth on the history of the garden and our production techniques in another post (soon!), but first we wanted to celebrate and share with you the lively, color forward blooms of the season.
This summer we're growing a richly varied selection of zinnias, cosmos, celosia, amaranth, nicotiana, sunflowers, rudbeckia, nasturtiums, tomatoes, and flowering vines. In addition to these annuals, some of our favorite perennials like coral bells, baptisia, artemesia, bronze fennel and mountain mint lend texture and interest to our work. Herbs like variegated pineapple mint, lemon verbena, scented geranium and purple basil engage the senses with their delicate leaf shapes and uplifting aromas.
In addition to cutting from our garden, we love shopping at Piedmont Wholesale Flowers, a brand new market in Durham that connects florists to local flower growers. Right now the market is not open to the public, but we trust this is just the beginning of the slow flowers movement in the Triangle, which can evolve with community support into a network of markets that bring seasonal, locally grown beauty to the public.
What better way to welcome Summer than with an arrangement of locally grown blooms? Stop by and see us in the shop - we have everything you need to bring nature indoors.
When a good chunk of your job consists of making people's wedding day dreams come to life, you can get pretty paralyzed with the expectations placed on your work. That's why we think it's so important to work with people who truly believe in what you do. Lauren and Adam were a dream couple to work with. They had so much fun with their day and it showed in every single detail they crafted and each vendor they hired. We loved that Lauren wasn't scared to embrace bright color in her bouquet and that she wanted to try something fun with her wedding cake (made by the super talented Sugar Euphoria). Perhaps our favorite part was getting to work with Taylor and Andrew Lovette from Blue Barn Photography who took lovely photos and graciously shared them with us.
Jeff and I were married on April 8, 2017, on the windy Snaefellsnes Peninsula of western Iceland in the company of 27 loved ones. I'd read about Iceland and held it in my daydreaming mind for years. The idea to get married there came to fruition relatively smoothly, to my surprise, thanks to an awesome planner, adventurous friends, and an uncommonly supportive family. Naturally, Nikelle and I were giddy about doing flowers for my wedding, and managed to ship some flowers wholesale from Holland to Reykjavik. We were set back a few hours with a Customs snafu, but successfully picked up our flowers the day before the ceremony and headed off to Hotel Búðir.
A word of advice to those hoping or planning to do flowers for a destination wedding - make sure you are aware of all the necessary paperwork you'll need from Customs ahead of time (and your wholesaler might not know, depending on the country in question). By the time we found out we needed more paperwork to release our flowers from Customs, our flowers were sitting in wait at the shipping office, and we could only get our hands on an Icelandic form! Thank goodness for our wedding planner, Birna from Pink Iceland, who helped us translate. For an early April wedding in Iceland it was easiest and closest for us to order from Holland; if you are able to source your flowers in-country, this is a safer bet for a smooth pickup.
Once we got to Hotel Búðir, boxed flowers in tow, the manager generously let us process in the chilly mist behind a shed, and the cooler-like conditions perked our flowers right up. We spent my wedding morning making arrangements in a bright room overlooking the water that I wish could be our permanent studio. To me, this flower time following a long walk was the perfect way to start my wedding day; it eased my nerves and helped channel my energy. I found it hard to find the words to express my feelings that day, but the flowers helped me communicate those overwhelming emotions in a different way, as I can always count on them to do. How lucky am I to have Nikelle to help me carry out such an insane plan as DIY flowers in a foreign country? There's just so much that could've gone wrong with the shipping and the weather and the tight timeframe, but it all came together beautifully. The selection was a bit limited through our wholesaler, but it was the perfect time of year to get several of my favorite flowers from Holland: hellebore, checkered frittilaria, lilac, and black ranunculus.
Our ceremony was intimate and warm inside the perfectly quirky, black church of Budir. After Dad walked me down the aisle and I joined Jeff in front, our guests stood and read this enchanting Icelandic poem aloud together, a sweet surprise orchestrated by friends who love to scheme:
“On earth’s part
all days start beautifully
patiently it revolves and revolves
with its trees
and oceans and lakes
deserts and volcanoes
the two of us and the rest of you
and all the animals”
We cried and laughed, and I felt my mother's presence strongly with us in the wind that whistled around the church. Jeff looked so handsome. Our minister was warmhearted and funny, and shared thoughtful words about the investment of time in each other that a lifetime of growing love requires.
My best friend since college, Lauren Martinez, was my Maid of Honor, and she looked stunning in a dark green dress that beautifully complemented the landscape. We hadn't seen each other in three years, and I would've traveled across the world just for our reunion. As overwhelming as weddings can be, they're an amazing opportunity to reconnect and forget the distance.
Our photographers Styrmir Kári & Heiðdís led us on an adventurous photoshoot after the ceremony, up mountains and along rocky beaches, braving the wind and catching astonishing views of the landscape. Birna held our coats during shoots and jumped in to bundle us up and offer hot cocoa in between. I couldn't recommend our photographers S&H, or our planners at Pink Iceland highly enough - every detail turned out beautifully, and the process felt more like corresponding with old friends than with wedding vendors (I hate the word "vendors"- it feels so impersonal). It was as easy as planning a wedding abroad could be.
We returned to the warmth of the Hotel for a beautiful meal of Icelandic lamb and salmon. Igor, the bartender Elsa's dog, was everyone's favorite guest. We stayed up late, soaking up each other's company in a place that felt like a dream. Many guests had never met before, but mysteriously as it often happens when traveling, everyone bonded swiftly and tightly around memories we'll hold for a lifetime. I've never felt so loved or so hopeful for our future.
Last month we had the pleasure of working with WedPics App on a brief DIY wedding centerpiece tutorial. We realize there are lots of brides out there that want to make their own centerpieces for their special day. While we don't always recommend doing all the florals yourself, we can give you a few tips for the smaller, budget-conscience weddings where we think DIY would work perfectly. For the complete tutorial, please head over to Wedpics App Wedding Blog
Step 1: Gather flowers & greenery
We used an array of plants and flowers that were found in our backyards and gardens. We recommend foraging for your greenery. Look to see what you have around your house or around your friend's houses, especially bushes or trees that need to be trimmed, and use that as your base greenery. For flowers, we recommend staying in the season with your blooms so you can clip from your yard or buy from your local farmers market. If you're looking for hard to find flowers (like garden roses or some tropicals), we suggest finding a local florist who can supply you flowers, or purchase plants from your local nursery or Home Depot.
Step 2: Prepare your vessel
Create a structural base for your stems by taping out a grid onto the top of your vessel. This step is especially important for arrangements that are wider than they are tall to keep your stems upright and in place. Space the pieces of tape out evenly, wider vessels will require more lines of tape than the more narrow vessels. As for the vases—they don't need to be fancy, check dollar/thrift stores for simple glass containers, like the one we're using here.
Step 3: Create a greenery base
Shoot for no more than 3 different types to keep your arrangement from becoming cluttered. Go for an asymmetrical shape, with one side being higher than the other. If you worried about the longevity of your greenery, create a test vase of your foraged items (leave it out for several days) to assess for wilting and lifespan before using in your final arrangements.
Step 4: Define your shape with taller flowers
Once you have your greenery in place, you can further define your shape with taller flowers. This will help you get that more natural, asymmetrical shape that the pros master. We use Foxglove from our garden here.
Step 5: "Carpeting"
Create a “carpet” of smaller flowers that sit low in the arrangement. This helps to hide any “holes” that may exist and will help create depth in the overall composition once you start to add more of the focal flowers. We're using Phlox from local flower farm, Happy as a Cone Flower as our material.
Step 6: Focal Flowers and Filler
Finish your arrangement with your star-of-the-show flowers and add more height in places that you see need it. We like to cluster like-elements together to mimic nature and cut down on visual clutter. Remember to cut stems long… you can always trim more away but you can’t make them longer once you’ve snipped! We used Allium and Poppies from our garden and Daphne from Happy as a Cone Flower.
Step 7 – Finishing Spray
Spray your arrangement with finishing spray to help prevent wilting and drying out. We use Crowning Glory spray. Then you're finished!
Caring for your flowers
- Store flowers in a cool, shady spot – wilting is much more likely to occur in heat and direct sunlight.
- For summer weddings, create arrangements as close to the big day as possible (the day before or day of, ideally!). Wait as long as possible before buying or cutting your flowers.
- Make sure your arrangements have fresh water and plenty of it – the water line should be about an inch below the rim of your vase!
- You can also mist your flowers with a spray bottle to prevent them from drying out.
- If you have room in your refrigerator, you can keep finished arrangements in there, be sure the temperature is set to 35 or above to prevent your flowers from getting too cold. Be sure to remove any citrus fruits from the fridge as they tend to shorten the life of fresh flowers.
Big thank you to Christina of WedPics for all the lovely photos and working with us on this feature!
Lauren came into the shop one day in November already knowing that she wanted something very unique. Perhaps it was because her wedding was, infact, very different from most. Lauren and Will had already been married several months before we chatted and wanted to have a proper celebration. Of course this made us want to work with her immediately. She wanted color and elegance with a good dose of creativity. We loved working with her and the rest of her team of vendors, including Libby McGowan Photography and 214 Martin Street.