Wedding Inspirations: Featuring Pantone’s Twin Tones of 2016

When you look back on photos, some things clearly give away the time and place of the picture, whether it be the fashion, the hairstyles, or even the decor and setting. Things that were at the height of fashion at the time, can seem so dated when looking back, and we find ourselves cringing at the choices we made for ourselves, or that our parents made for us as children (Hey, there has to be someone to blame right?)

Weddings are no different. The dress, the decor, the engagement ring even, can give away the time frame that the event took place, and just as fashions come, fashions go, and no matter what choices you make, there is a good chance that at some point in your lifetime, your tastes will change.


No matter what, your pictures will take a snapshot of this time and place in your life, and at 80 years old, sitting up in the easy chair looking through your wedding album with your beloved, I can hardly imagine that you will be regretting what colour scheme you chose, or how you did your hair.

For a clear snapshot of the year that was, why not incorporate the colour of the year in your wedding palette. For 2016, Pantone chose two subtle tones, Serenity, a soft blue, and Rose Quartz, a pastel pink tone. And, as an added bonus, by choosing this colour scheme for your wedding, any traditionalists will find it easy to include ‘something blue’ with no trouble at all.

blue ribbon
Image: Fab Mood

Pastel tones work well for wedding palettes as they add soft bursts of colour without providing too much contrast against a light ivory/white/cream dress. The benefit of Pantone’s choice this year means that you can also incorporate the colour in key items such as the groom/groomsmen suits/ties.

blue suit
Image: Lover.Ly


Get the look for your bouquets by using a blend of flowers in the two Pantone tones. You can certainly add white/ivory/cream to tone the colours down, or include a third tone to make the blend a more harmonious pastel blend.

Soft pink choices could include: hydrangea, roses, hyacinth, sweet peas, dahlias, blushing bride, astibille, veronica, ranunculas, peonies, freesias, geraldton wax, jasmine, singapore orchids, celosia, cherry blossom, peppercorn,

Dusty Blue flowers could include: Sea Holly (Equinox/thistle), hydrangea, grape hyacinth, hyacinth, veronica, celosia, delphinium, forget me nots,

pantone 2016

There are amazing seasonal flowers that are available throughout the year. What is available to you, obviously depends on when you are getting married. I think that it is important to stress that the particular tones in this colour palette are soft and muted. This really means that any dyed varieties of flowers are out. The blue and pink tones achieved with systemic or dip dyes are far too intense to work within this theme. (Phew!)


Bouquets Top L-R Bouquet handheld, Blue Bouquet, Bottom L-R Wild gathered Bouquet, hand held ribboned bouquet

The softness of the blue and pastel pink tones  lend themselves to a decidedly old world feel, reminiscent of Royal Albert vintage tea sets. They are particularly soft and romantic, and work well in gathered garden style posies, as well as cascading bouquets.


Invites (L-R): Watercolours, Floral, Lace

I’m sure you will agree that the twin tones that Pantone named the colours of the year 2016 provide a beautiful, soft and subtle base for a wedding palette. The watercolour tones can easily be integrated throughout the wedding in small details like invitations, jewelery, and ties, or as major components such as bridesmaids gowns, flowers, and the men’s suits.

Regardless of the colour palette you choose, remember that in the scheme of things, a wedding day is insignificant within a marriage, a marriage is so much more.

Fwf x

Header Featured Image: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/wedding-color-trends-2016-pantones-rose-quartz-serenity-226737


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Deciduous trees

Autumnal temperatures are a bit fabulous aren’t they? Despite the rain this week, more than not, customers have been reveling in the moderate temperatures, thankful for the relief from the extended humidity.

Autumn is a beautiful time of year. Generally speaking there is less rainfall, temperatures are moderate, but it is not without sharp spikes in temperature in either direction….trust me, I got married on a 38 degree day late in March  a few years ago. And as if that wasn’t enough, the trees begin to turn golden, amber, rust and chocolate tones.

Plants may be deciduous, semi deciduous or evergreen. Deciduous trees, plants and shrubs, lose their leaves at maturity, “falling away after its purpose is finished”, which generally coincides with Autumn. The term deciduous when speaking about plants, refers to varieties that lose all of their leaves for part of the year. This is called abscission. The process is a means to conserve water and to better survive the winter conditions.

An evergreen plant loses its leaves on a different kind of schedule to deciduous plants, therefore giving it the appearance of being always green.

Semi deciduous plants lose old foliage when new growth starts.

Abscission is a highly complex series of physiological changes within the deciduous plant. Primarily, plants decrease the supply of chlorophyll to the leaves, in turn decreasing the green tone in the leaves, and instead allowing other colours to be more apparent. Chlorophyll production is at its highest in the summer months, when photosynthesis is taking place throughout the longer days.

Carotenoids pigments result in yellow, orange and brown tones that are present in the leaves.

Anthocyanin pigments result in red and purple tones, however these are not always present in the leaves. Anthocyanins are a result of sugars becoming trapped in the leaf structure late in the summer months, after the process of abscission has begun.

Here in Australia, the two best know deciduous trees are:



Australian Red Cedar – Toona Ciliata

Once favoured as Australia’s premier hardwood, the Australian Red cedar is now not commonly found. It is an extremely large tree, growing to heights up to 35 metres, so requires adequate space.

It is a traditional deciduous tree in that it sheds all its leaves and then produces a rich red new growth in spring.


White Cedar – Melia azedarach var.australasica

This cedar plant can grow up to 20 metres in height, and is a fast growing plant, favoured by many home gardeners. The tree  produces a yellow fruit which is poisonous to humans,  but much to the delight of hungry birds, remains on the tree long after the last leaf has fallen.

Both of these trees occur in subtropical rainforests of Queensland and New South Wales. In Tasmania the deciduous beech (Nothofagus gunnii) can be found.


Other deciduous trees include:

Tanglefoot Beech – Nothofagus gunnii

This plant favours colder climates, so you will see them happily flourishing in Tasmania. It is very much a traditional example of a deciduous tree in that all the leaves turn golden, amber, and red tones before shedding completely at the beginning of winter.

Some trees are semi deciduous in Australia such as:


Silky Oak – Grevillea robusta 

Semi deciduous plant, losing it’s leaves before presenting it’s showy blooms.


Illawarra flame tree (Brachychiton acerifolius)

This is not seen as a true deciduous tree as whilst it does lose all its leaves, the striking red bell flower remains. It creates a stunning contrast against the bare stems.

In the coming weeks you will start to notice more leaves on the trees turning a decidedly golden tone and from there, amber, rich rusty tones, ruby and aubergine. Be inspired by what surrounds you, and ask Florist with Flowers to create you fresh flower bouquets in Autumnal tones, full of texture and earthly delights like berries, seed pods and interesting foliage.

We hope we see some of you over this Easter weekend to create special bunches for your homes, or to organise a fresh flower delivery for someone throughout Sydney.

Wishing you a Happy Easter, here’s hopping the Easter Bunny is god to you

Fwf x



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An Open Letter to Our Customer- P.s We have our Fingers Crossed for You!

Being a florist is such a special position to be in. It is the most amazing viewing spot to many of life’s great events, and we cheer you on from the sidelines, never visible, but sometimes there helping to orchestrate special moments and make them magical.

Today’s blog is an open letter to a special customer we have encountered and worked with over the course of a few years, but having said that he is no different to many of our customers, who are loyal in their patronage and involve us in many special moments and elaborate plans to woo, to win, and to mourn loved ones. Thank you.


It was so good to see you again yesterday. You nerves were palpable and I kind of wished I could come along and lurk in a back room to help you pull off your beautifully romantic and elaborate proposal. 

I remember when you first came into the store some years ago, in the first throws of love, flushed and bubbling with excitement to buy this special someone flowers for the first time. I remember us standing in the shop perusing our full flower stand, looking for the right thing to ‘pop’ out for us as a starting point to create a bouquet that was romantic, but not cliche, and unique but not too ‘weird and wonderful’. Between the two of us we must have come up with something pretty special because I remember how appreciative she was when you first brought her in, and how she gushed that they were the most beautiful flowers she had ever seen. Then again, you had chosen them for her, and you could see the look of love in that lady’s eyes early on.


Occasionally you used to bring your mother in to help you choose flowers for special occasions, which I thought was quite beautiful. It was nice to see the close bond you had with your mother and how you valued her opinion. In the beginning you looked to her for a lot more guidance, but slowly,  you pulled away and became more independent, choosing to come in alone and talk to me or one of the other staff about the occasion and what it was you had in mind to create. We saw the transition take place before our eyes, not in an instance, but you became a man ready to make your own way in life.

Yesterday was just like any other weekday for us. There were the weekly orders to create and install, a few deliveries, and at first I did not notice the large order for rose petals sitting at the top of my pile.  I didn’t even look at the name on the order, but set upon dutifully pulling the heads off the roses to prepare the bags of petals for collection.  When you walked in early, I was just finishing up, and that’s when i all clicked…..

OH MY GOD!!!! Were you proposing today???

Three years in, and happier than ever, you had devised this elaborate plan with the help of your best mate and his wife to distract her and entertain her all day whilst you created a scene so beautiful that it could have been from the movies.

We excitedly listened to the details you were happy to share, mindful that you had just described a dessert menu that required 5 hours preparation time, and that a qualified chef would find a challenge, so we worked quickly to get you back on your way.

You spoke so beautifully about her, about how darn smart she was, and how she never missed a thing….even the tiniest thing, like the size of the lunch you had packed, all as part of the charade you had going that morning as you got dressed ready for work so as not to arouse suspicion.

With your trolley literally filled with buckets of roses, petals and a gorgeous bouquet you walked off to collect the other essential elements to bring your vision to life.


The mood in the shop was uplifted, and excited and we babbled about what a beautiful couple you were, what an amazing proposal you had planned and how lucky she was to have a man who clearly valued her so much.

We are now standing by to hear the official announcement!!!

With Love and best wishes,

Fwf x

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Eat What you Sew- Creating an Autumn Kitchen Garden

Turn on the the TV and you are bound to come across one cooking show or another. Between flicking on the cartoons in a morning, I stumble across reruns of Ben’s Menu, or Good Chef, Bad Chef, the afternoons have the up to date versions of these shows, along with Justine’s Everyday Gourmet, and the evenings have MKR. Meanwhile where has Huey gone?

For me, this kind of TV viewing inspires all sorts of culinary delights and menu planning, and gets my mouth salivating long before I am due my next meal. It is on this premise that I began researching our next kitchen garden.

Creating a kitchen garden in Autumn is ideal as the hotter temperatures have subsided (mostly) and the more moderate temperatures, rainfall and shorter days means the growing environment is more gentle on your budding plants. This also means it is an ideal time to get down and dirty and do the manual labour as the temperatures and conditions are more moderate for us too!

Autumn is the time to plant winter loving, frost resistant plants. In our temperate climate in NSW these include coriander, garlic, marjoram, oregano, parsley, thyme and winter tarragon. Appropriate vegetables to plant are; broad beans, English spinach, green beans parsnips and peas.

Think about the kinds of meals you want to create in later Autumn and throughout Winter and plant accordingly. Hearty stews, soups and casseroles usually require a healthy assortment of root vegetables and aromatics and many of these plants are suitable for planting at this time of year.


English Spinach tolerates being frozen solid and will still manage to grow and be delicious!  The winter variety of spinach, ‘Prickly Spinach’ can be identified by a single prickle on the quite large seed

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Broad Beans also thrive through the coldest months of winter. However if you live in an area where there is no frost at all, peas can also be planted. The planting for all of these is exactly the same. Dribble the seeds into the shallow drill and backfill. By using potash over the soil after planting the seeds the plants will grow resistant to pests and diseases.

Garlic is another tough winter crop that loves the temperatures of below 7 degrees over approximately 2 months of winter. To plant, remove the papery covering from the bulb and break off the biggest cloves. Place them with the base plate on the surface of the soil with the pointed end facing up and push them into the soil, without watering them in. Garlic is a versatile plant that can be harvested and frozen when in surplus.

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Parsnips are deceiving! The leaves are not looking the best, but the vegetables flourishing below are massive. They have grown so fast that they are tender and delicious. It is incredible what is can be harvested throughout the year.

Other great choices to plant right now are: Celeriac, Japanese Radish, Carrots, Beetroot, New Zealand Butter Swedes,Chili Peppers and Red Russian Kale.

When you plant and harvest at appropriate times of year, your garden will be forever giving, and as they are grown naturally (and organically) everything will taste better too. There is higher concentrations of vitamins and minerals in food grown this way also- so it’s better for you!

Autumn Herb, Fruit & Vegies Planting Guide by regional zones Aus
Image: About the Garden

Food that tastes better, and is better for you? What’s not to love? Now….just to find some spare time, and a patch of land!

Fwf x

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Florist at work. Woman making bouquet of spring freesia flowers

10 Things you don’t know about Florists PART 2

Continuing on from last week’s revelations about your local florist, this week we look at 5 more tantalising tid bits. Some of these ones are sure to surprise you, but hopefully I am able to adequately articulate the reasons why this is the way it is….for the majority at least.


6. We will under quote for a job we really want

Building your portfolio is important in any creative profession, and florists are no different. If we discuss a concept with you for an upcoming event that really interests us, or is just what we need for our body of work, we may under quote in a hope to secure it. Florists, like any design professional have to give you the confidence in their work, and their ability to fulfill your design requirements. And unlike an interior designer, or stylist where you can see the bits and pieces slowly coming together and where you can also exchange items that are not quite right, the difficulty with floristry is;

a) you are working with a fresh product, so if you have it wrong, that is a cost.

b) the ‘job’ is likely to be a one off event, where you do not have the luxury of time to ‘fix’ it or a ‘re-do’.


7. We WILL NOT wrap someone else’s flowers for you

We are not trying to be rude, or difficult. Buy whatever you want from wherever you want, BUT stand by your choice. Do not ask an industry professional to make your choice appear more exclusive, expensive, a better quality or beautifully presented. It is what it is.

If you value a florist in your local community, support them and what they do. Every purchase that is made at a fruit shop, petrol station, corner shop or supermarket, slowly kills our industry.


8. We hate dyed flowers

Whilst we humour you when you come into the shop and agree that the blue singapore orchids are absolutely amazing, generally florists are mortified with the amount of stock that is available in the market these days, dyed.

And yet, the general public do seem fascinated by it, so it would be utterly pig headed  to overlook the market and the opportunities it brings. We don’t have to all like the same things in life…..that’s what makes it interesting 😉

There is some evidence that once a systemic dye is introduced, the flower’s vase life is extended. And let’s face it, for the consumer, that is definitely a plus.


9. We Appreciate Loyalty

Nothing says happy customer like a familiar face waltzing into your shop week after week. Similarly, it is such a compliment and indication of our success in delivery, when you bring friends and family in for their special orders and events. A florist works with you on some of the happiest and saddest moments in your life, and it touches us when you ask us to look after another wedding, or christening, baby shower, birthday party, engagement, or a special farewell to a beloved family member. These things do not go unnoticed, and rest assured we put immense pressure on ourselves to get it right.



10. We Don’t Play with Flowers

Despite how beautiful and creative the environment seems, floristry is dirty work. It is also back breaking work. Floristry requires a  fitness level and stamina that surprises new trainees. The days on your feet are long, your hands cramp from what seems like endless wiring work, and little or no food at times.

It is a beautiful career to express yourself creatively, and I don’t want you to think I have a string quartet sitting on my right shoulder accompanying me while I write this blog, I love what I do….

But perhaps after a few long weeks after Chinese New Year and then Valentines day I have realised that people generally don’t understand what we do, and what it takes to succeed, scrap that, survive in this industry. Florist with Flowers is continually striving to serve our customers, and we sincerely appreciate your loyalty. Spread the word!

Fwf x

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