Garden Roses at The New England Flower Exchange in Chelsea, Massachusetts
With the first snow in Maine this past week-end, I was feeling the need to see flowers. Lots of flowers! Taking a road trip to Chelsea, Massachusetts, to visit The New England Flower Exchange felt like the remedy.
Waking up in the dark at 4 a.m. to arrive outside of Boston before traffic seemed like a good plan. I was surprised to be in a little traffic jam right outside of the city at 6:15! Next time, I'll leave at 3 to arrive just when the doors open at 5.
Pulling into the parking lot, I could see that I was already late! Dolly after dolly rolled down the ramp and filled the vans of local florists and floral designers. Hoping they had left a few flowers for me, I entered the building and could see they had barely made a dent. With 10 vendors selling gorgeous flowers, there were plenty for everyone.
Strolling through the heady blooms was lifting my spirit. Aromatherapy to the max! As I snapped a few pictures to bring home for inspiration for a January photo shoot, I was met by equally lovely vendors at the market. So many friendly people. One gentleman told me that he has worked the market for 37 years! I would imagine it's a wonderful job.
Returning to Maine, I am filled with ideas and feel so fortunate to live close enough to travel to this wonderful resource during the winter months when our local flower farms are enjoying a winter's rest!
Sometimes there is magic in the air. On a foggy day in July, a group of artists gathered with Ione Floral Design for an inspiration fine art wedding shoot at a seaside location in Maine. The atmosphere alone was special that day. After delivering the bouquets to our three models, Gabriella Rai'anne, Anora Morton and Izzi Mickunas, I enjoyed watching from the sidelines.
Model and stylist for this shoot, Izzi Mickunas started off with the idea of expressing the mood of the Renaissance with a Goddess kind of feeling. From this inspiration the bouquets would play off the painting, "Birth of Venus." Our three models seemed to embody the spirit of that painting. When the photographers, Hank Caiazzo, Christophe Zydek and Bridget Conlogue started snapping photos, I could see that everyone was really enjoying the collaboration. The resulting photos captured the moment.
This week, Real Maine Wedding Magazine shared with us that one of the photo images by Christophe Zydek, (pictured above with Gabriella) would be published in the January 2018 issue. This came as a wonderful surprise to us all. We are excited other brides will have a chance to enjoy the photo in the magazine and perhaps inspire ideas for their own wedding!
I am grateful to have met some wonderfully creative people that day and made some new friends. Thank you Izzi for bringing us all together!
Photo Credits: (Top) Christophe Zydek, (Middle) Hank Caiazzo (Bottom) Christophe Zydek
We are so delighted to begin a little flower pop-up at Hatch on Maine in Brunswick. It's an opportunity for locals to pick-up cottage garden style bouquets while enjoying shopping in the store. There's even vintage vases for a special treat.
If you are missing the farmer's market flowers or running out to your garden to gather some fresh blooms, these bouquets are designed with you in mind. Treat yourself to fresh flower this winter. You never know when a pop-up flower moment might happen. Follow us on instagram #ionefloraldesign to see the next times flowers will appear!
I Love Flowers in every color, shape and size. When I'm asked to declare my favorite, I'm unable to say just one. It's the same with colors. Why would I ever want to limit my choices! To arrive at the place where color, flower and mood meet and throw a party, I usually start with a simple question. What is the feeling that we are expressing. From there, the flower choices and colors become clear.
This week I was asked to create a special bouquet for a client wishing to congratulate her friends on becoming Innkeepers, a long time dream. As she described her friend's passion for cooking, the color orange came to mind. It's the color that makes me feel warm and hungry. And it always feels like a celebration when orange is around.
Gathering seasonal blooms from the potted fuchsia and begonia still blooming here on Ione's doorstep. Adding local tiny green cabbage, seeded eucalyptus, twigs of bittersweet, sea holly and delphinium along with orange roses and parrot tulips from a slightly warmer clime, the bouquet came together.
As I waited for the door to open, I could not resist snapping a photo of the bouquet outside the door of the 1774 Inn, located in Phippsburg, The leaves felt like party confetti. Cheery pumpkin greeting guests. Now a bouquet to say congratulations to a very happy couple!
Local Maine Flower Farms have been growing exceptional blooms all season, providing inspiration and beauty for us all. As a flower farmer for many years, I know firsthand how hard the farmers works to create such lovely blooms. I want to thank you because it all starts with your gorgeous flowers!
Back in January of this year, when I first announced I would return to floral design, it was exciting to discover all the new flower farms in Maine. Back when I started Passionflower Farm in 2004, there were lots of vegetable farmers in the state but not so many flower farmers. People often told me I should grow tomatoes instead of dahlias! Politely, I would tell them that I loved flowers more that tomatoes. With the slow flower movement really getting traction in the United States, I am so happy to know there are many other flower obsessed people out there. Maine is lucky to have some amazing growers.
As the first frost has now arrived in many parts of the state, I have been told by one farm at a time, the sad news that our local growing season is coming to an end. I would like to give a shout out to some of the flower farms that have provided most of our local blooms this year. Without their exceptional flowers, our bouquets would not be the same. We have sourced our flowers from East of Eden Flower Farm, Broadturn Flower Farm and Meadow View Flower Farm over the course of the season. They all grow breathtaking flowers.
Each week feels like opening a beautiful package with the local flower offerings being revealed. There is a certain trust that comes with designing with the seasons. You never know what the weather might do or how a pest can change a flowers destiny. With all this gambling the flower farmers do on a daily basis, they still manage to make it look so effortless. As many farmers are now wrapping up the season and finishing the long list of farm chores, I just want to say Thank you!
When in Rome...enjoy all the local offerings, including local flowers pictured here at Campo de' Fiori during our recent trip to Italy. Interesting to discover Maine and Italy both have dahlias and hydrangeas in season right now.
Wherever we find ourselves, on the coast of Maine or the coast of Italy, we seek out the local treasures. On this particular day, we visited the festive farmer's market, Campo de' Fiori in Rome, Italy. This is where all the locals and travelers alike meet up in the mornings and gather fresh produce, cheese, pasta, kitchen goods and lovely flowers.
It's a lively place with vendors quickly selling the best offerings early in the morning. Sleep in too late after a night of prosecco and limoncello and you'll find only the remains of the day, discarded bits of cabbage leaves and bruised tomatoes being swept away. On my first trip to Rome, I missed out on all this fun so made sure to set the alarm!
My traveling companion, Izzi came to the market with a mission and she quickly amassed armloads of pasta and clever gifts to bring back home. The flowers were spectacular and surprised us by mirroring our current blooms back home. The Dahlias and hydrangeas were stealing the show, as they were in Maine this time of year.
Flower vendors were skillfully fashioning tiny bouquets for taking home. They were also filling little gourds and pumpkins with blooms for seasonal decorations. We learned that the slow flower movement was just getting started in Italy. The lush garden style that we enjoy so much here in America, was not really in evidence. Floral Design in Italy is currently very traditional or very modern.