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Lilly Pulitzer

April 24th, 2014

“We believe elegance can be casual. We believe gracefulness can be compatible with fits of laughter.

We believe in living a colorful life”—LILLY PULITZER

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via: pinkpagodastudio.blogspot.com and hautetalk.com

Memphis Flower Show 2014: Memphis Milano

April 11th, 2014

Italian design met Southern style at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens during Milano—Memphis, when attendees were treated to colorful blooms bursting from cones, clinging to ribbons of metal, and a flock of birds of paradise soaring through a chain link fence. Floral and garden designers constructed architectural towers of flowers, while calla lilies, sunflowers, and orchids dove under water, all with delightful results. It was all part of The Memphis Flower Show, a fleeting display of flora and art that was open to the public on April 5 and 6.

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This year’s show, sponsored by The Memphis Garden Club and sanctioned by The Garden Club of America (one of only eight in the country) coincided with the exhibition, Memphis—Milano: 1980s Italian Design, which will continue through July 13 at the Dixon. The exhibit highlights the work of The Memphis Group, the design collective founded in Milan on a December evening in 1980 by designer and architect Ettore Sottsass, who orchestrated a new international style as a rebellion against Modernism. Pure, unadulterated color, industrial materials, and asymmetry defined the style, but it was a Bob Dylan tune, “Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again,” that gave the movement its name. (A prickly turntable played the song over and over again during that initial meeting.) The name stuck too, and an aesthetic revolution was born.

The renegade designers of The Memphis Group dared to use common materials such as laminate in their furniture, accessories, and household objects. However, every piece was handcrafted with meticulous detail. The floral designs displayed at the Dixon were too. Some materials were found only as far away as the hunting closet or tackle box—fishing line for cinching; buckshot for anchoring. In one arrangement, a lone bird sipped from a cup with tail plumage intentionally exposing the coil of the body.

For the “Best in Show” award, Allison Braswell, a Memphis Garden Club member for two years, chose to showcase pincushion proteas within glass bricks to complement a sideboard designed by Sotsass. In the words of the judges, Braswell’s composition reflected “style, polish, and sophistication.” Although those qualities were not always understood or appreciated in the work of the original members of The Memphis Group, the floral designs on display at The Memphis Flower Show more than rose to the colorful occasion.

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Allison Braswell’s “Best in Show”

Written and photographed by: Louise Calandruccio

 

 

Hunter Bee

April 1st, 2014

The weekend of May 17-18, 2014, Sharon, Connecticut, will blossom with its annual Trade Secrets event—a florapalooza of rare plants and antiques dealers and tours of beautiful area gardens. The show benefits Women’s Support Services, an organization dedicated to creating a community free of domestic violence. This is a can’t-miss event, and flower is proud to be a sponsor. To make your plans, please visit tradesecretsct.com. And please watch our blog, where we’ll showcase exhibitors you’ll find on the grounds of Lion Rock Farm.

MAY WE INTRODUCE: Hunter Bee in Millerton, New York, owned by Kent Hunter and Jonathan Bee

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WHAT THEY DO: A passion for collecting led New York City creative director Kent Hunter and artist Jonathan Bee to open their antiques shop in the village of Millerton, New York, in 2008. They quickly fell in love with the Hudson Valley, and the shop has become a regular stop for decorators and weekend homeowners. The shop mixes mid-century modern, rustic industrial, and artist-made objects, using the owners’ graphic sensibility and curatorial eye for storytelling.

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WHAT THEY’RE BRINGING TO THE SHOW: Hunter Bee saves their best garden and outdoor finds all year for their booth at Trade Secrets. In past years, they have featured vintage French “flower power” garden chairs, one-of-a-kind folk art cement and stone urns, a rustic trade sign for SEEDS (with actual seeds filling each letter) and other garden related goodies. The stars of this year’s booth will be a pair of Majolica Eagles, almost 3 feet tall with a green-and-brown glaze. Also look for a faux bois concrete garden bench, complete with years of mossy patina. 

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THEIR BEST TRADE SECRETS SECRET: “Start at the back, behind the pool house, where some exciting new vendors will share an extra large tent. Then work your way forward and be sure to not miss anything.”

See more unique finds: hunterbee.com

Broken Arrow Nursery

March 28th, 2014

The weekend of May 17-18, 2014, Sharon, Connecticut, will blossom with its annual Trade Secrets event—a florapalooza of rare plants and antiques dealers and tours of beautiful area gardens. The show benefits Women’s Support Services, an organization dedicated to creating a community free of domestic violence. This is a can’t-miss event, and flower is proud to be a sponsor. To make your plans, please visit tradesecretsct.com. And please watch our blog, where we’ll showcase exhibitors you’ll find on the grounds of Lion Rock Farm.

MAY WE INTRODUCE: Broken Arrow Nursery in Hamden, Connecticut, owned by Richard and Sarah Jaynes

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WHAT THEY DO: Richard opened Broken Arrow in 1984 after 25 years at the Connecticut Agricultural Station where he hybridized and crossed multiple plants, resulting in different selections of mountain laurel. Needless to say, Broken Arrow became the hot spot for mountain laurel in the Northeast. The nursery has grown by leaps and bounds, and now through its plant contacts worldwide, the staff acquires and propagates the latest and greatest for gardening lovers. The nursery staff has worked hard over the years to develop an environment where plant fanatics will drool and new gardeners will be inspired.

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WHAT THEY’RE BRINGING TO THE SHOW: A wide assortment of unusual and hard to find plants for the garden. The sweetshrub, with its fragrant flowers, and viburnum, with its unusual pink blooms, go quickly. Keep your eyes peeled for several exciting selections of highly sought after perennials, such as many variegated forms of Solomon’s seal.

THEIR BEST TRADE SECRETS SECRET: “The early bird gets the worm, and certainly the best selection of plants!

Six Easy Centerpieces

March 27th, 2014
Photo via Dorothy Draper

Photo via Dorothy Draper

This Thursday, as we’re thinking ahead to weekend entertaining, we’re throwing back to one of our favorite style muses, Dorothy Draper, and six ideas for simple centerpieces from her book, Decorating is Fun! (Pointed Leaf Press):

  1. A flat bowl, with blossoms floating on the surface of the water. (Flowers from a tall bouquet can often be revived by dissolving half an aspirin tablet in the water and used in this way when they are too far gone to stay in a vase.)
  2. Six tiny, china vases, set in a circle and filled with tight little bouquets.
  3. Six small, clear glass bottle vases arranged in a circle and holding one rose apiece.
  4. A low china bowl of ivy.
  5. A bowl of fruit of contrasting colors—apples, tangerine, and a pineapple.
  6. A wooden bowl of well-scrubbed vegetables arranged in a great bouquet.
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“Varieties” for March/April 2014 | photo by Liesa Cole