Flower Friends / summer

A seasonal get together with other floral designers where we pick from our gardens and forage to make no-fuss arrangements and bouquets on the fly. Somehow I missed spring, but with summer in full swing I asked my sister, Zoe and mom, Lisbeth, both veteran designers if they were up for it again.  We had worked on a couple for winter which were so much fun.  

Zoe holding a bouquet I made with herbs from my garden and lavender, Shasta daisies and the cutest asters I picked from her's.  A true hippie at heart, I found this breezy vintage dress from India at an estate sale a couple of years ago.  It looks wonderful with this loose bouquet.

This cafe chair has been beautifully enveloped by some grapevines over the summer.  Makes for the perfect spot in the garden to enjoy a glass of wine.

Summer is all about color - look at these mirabelle plums and borage together!

A basket full of plums, asian pears and borage gathered from Zoe's garden.  Find other season's here, spring / summer / fall / winter.  Or, scroll through them all.

All flowers & styling by Zoe Honscher, Silvanie Farmar Bowers and Lisbeth Hansen.  Photos by Silvanie Farmar Bowers

Flower Friends, Winter, Part Two

After several days of rain, we got a beautiful misty morning for this second part of the winter flower friends.  My sister Zoe and I where joined by our mom Lisbeth.  I love going back to our roots and mixing everyones style together.  My parents raised  our family on a cut flower farm so flowers have always been a huge and important part of our lives.  When my sister and I were kids, instead of having a lemonade stand we picked bouquets for Mother's Day and set up a little roadside stand.  It was the late 80's just as Martha Stewart was becoming popular and the wholesale markets hadn't caught on to our product yet, so in order to sell the flowers from our 87 acre farm, my mom got a stall at a few of the local farmer's markets.  In the summer and on weekends, my sister and I would help her at the markets.  I loved getting into our big refrigerated Iveco truck and heading out into the cold morning.  Those years taught us so much and eventually, people caught on to garden roses and scabiosa (thanks Martha Stewart!) and the wholesale markets did too.  

I have always loved this Bjørn Wiimblad vase my mom has had for as long as I can remember.  As a child, growing up in the Danish countryside she loved to pick bouquets of poppies, wheat, daisies and cornflower from the fields near her house.  With such dark winters there, she feels "its especially important to have flowers inside in the winter to lift the energy".

This monkey egg cup belonged to my dad as a child.  Filled here with violets my mom picked from her garden.  

My mom also dug up violets for us to use.  Here's Zoe rinsing off some of the mud.

Heavenly scented, violets and daphne (again from my mom's garden).

"Look for the beauty in winter, bulbs are the optimistic and sure sign of spring" - Zoe

A little posy I made with roadside ferns and acacia Zoe cut and thanks to all of this rain, some oxalis I picked from the grass and ditch in front of her house.  Tiny bits can make the sweetest posy.

More Hellebores (also known as Lenten Rose and Christmas Rose).  Such a beautiful flower to give life to even the coldest winters.

I cut these beautiful magnolia branches from my friend's tree, not open yet, here they look like giant roses!  We are mid-way through February and here in California spring is just around the corner.  Literally blooming every day.   I'm already looking forward to the next season of flower friends.  

Some previous seasons; autumn, summer and spring.   

All flowers and styling by Zoe Honscher, Silvanie Farmar Bowers and Lisbeth Hansen.  All photos by Silvanie Farmar Bowers.

Flower Friends, Winter, Part One

Winter is mild here in Northern California.  My sister, Zoe and I spent a recent morning gathering bits and branches from her property in Sebastopol.  This area of Sonoma County, called West County is prized for fertile soil and considered by many to be a Utopia.  Zoe has always been an avid gardener, preferring to be outside most of the time, working.  We were incredibly lucky to have grown up on a cut flower farm and nursery so flowers and plants have always been an integral part of our lives.   Being so close in age, we spent our childhood together, outside exploring on our farm and most of our twenties working together as a design team for our family business.  This flower friends series is about getting together just to talk and cut things and put them together without worry.  

Ceanothus with a few gathered heart-shaped rocks.

The delicious smell of daphne, a true sign that spring is on it's way.  Paired here with scented geranium and bare walnut branches in one of Zoe's vintage ceramic vases.

Zoe's chickens were quite happy we found some strawberries in her vegetable garden!

A few beautiful stems of a native flowering Ribes with dusty pink yarrow, artichoke foliage and a sweet, wispy pittosporum.

All flowers and styling by Zoe Honscher and Silvanie Farmar Bowers.  Photos by Silvanie Farmar Bowers.

Flower Friends, Autumn Part Two

Inside Summer Cottage , my mom, Lisbeth and I added a few pumpkins and winter squash with clematis and grapevine we cut from her garden to the booth in the antique collective she share's with Julie Chiodo.   Simple and sweet.

Assorted bits we gathered in a fruit box.  Cut a few apple branches earlier in the morning from my mom's garden.  You really don't need much, just bring a little natural element from the outside.  Whatever is growing in your garden.

This beautiful green pumpkin is from my sister, Zoe's garden.  Julie's demijohns with a bit of apple branches and clematis.  

More of my mom's beautiful hand-dyed vintage napkins and linens.  She uses natural plant based and high quality textile dyes that she mixes herself for her desired color.  Her father in Denmark was a house and fine-art painter who mixed all of his own pigments and paints in his workshop.  He would paint each wall a slightly different shade based on the light.  I think she takes after him in so many ways.   More of the garments she sews in our first part or check out her website.

Check out the first part of our autumn flower friends at Summer Cottage.

All flowers by Lisbeth Hansen and Silvanie Farmar Bowers.  All photos by Silvanie Farmar Bowers.

Flower Friends, Autumn Part One

As autumn is one of my favorite seasons I thought it would be fun to collaborate with my mom, Lisbeth for the flower friends series.  She has been my biggest teacher in style from setting the table to doing flowers themselves.  She and I decided to go to Summer Cottage, the antiques co-op where she sells her aprons and tunics that she sews herself, mostly in linen or denim, as well as her natural - dyed vintage table and bed linens and other antique collectables. 

Beautiful garden roses cut from my sister Zoe's garden.

One of her beautiful linen aprons.  You can find some of her sewing and knitting projects as she works on them on her Instagram.

Who says autumn means orange?  Be creative with what is growing in your garden. 

This is one of the best styles I have ever tried, with roomy front pockets and crossed high in the back so it doesn't shift while you're working.

Take a look here and see my mom's sweet 1940's house visit from last October.  Check out summer flower friends.

All flowers and styling by Lisbeth Hansen and Silvanie Farmar Bowers.  Photos by Silvanie Farmar Bowers.

Flower Friends, Summer Part Two

For this summer post, Brooke and I were joined by another flower friend, Adrianne Smith an Encinitas based floral designer and artist.  Adrianne is always up for something new and three of us had so much fun putting together arrangements and bouquets with flowers from my garden, local zinnia from Sebastopol and the wonderful cutting garden at Valley Flora.  

Adrianne and Brooke, such good flower friends.

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Flower Friends is an ongoing seasonal series between friends who love and work with flowers.  Our spring series with Laura Miller can be seen here (four parts total).

All flowers and styling in this post by Adrianne Smith, Brooke Harrington and Silvanie Farmar Bowers.  All photos by Silvanie Farmar Bowers. 

Flower Friends, Summer Part One

Brooke and I are back with our Flower Friends for summer.  She and I both are inspired by nature and like to keep things as natural as possible and not too fussy.  We cut most of the flowers ourselves and used leftovers from Valley Flora that were headed for compost.   It was a beautiful evening in Napa and we came upon the best wild camomile that we added to this bouquet.  Here in California, summers are golden and dry with the amazing evening light.  

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We thought this arrangement of flowering cilantro, Queen Anne's lace and feverfew looked pretty amazing just as it was, blowing over in the wind.   

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Check out some of our spring Flower Friends here.

All florals and styling by Brooke Harrington and Silvanie Farmar Bowers.  Photos by Silvanie Farmar Bowers. 

Flower Friends, Spring Part Three

Another in this series of spring florals done by Brooke Harrington, Laura Miller and myself.  All working in floral design, we love to do floral things when we get together.  Last week, we spent a few hours in Laura's beautiful garden in Oakland making vignettes using mostly flowers from our own gardens.

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Cheers!

Flower Friends, Spring Part Two

Another spring vignette from our day of floral styling in Laura's beautiful garden.   Brooke brought some fava beans and fresh eggs from her hens to share.  

All flowers and styling by Laura Miller, Brooke Harrington and Silvanie Farmar Bowers.  All photos by Silvanie Farmar Bowers.

   

Flower Friends, Spring Part One

I love to get together with my flower friends and have some fun.  Earlier this week, Brooke Harrington and I met up at Laura Miller's sweet house in Oakland.  You may remember Laura's house and studio visit I did last spring (here).  The three of us styled a few little vignettes in her beautiful garden.  All of the flowers we used were gathered by us from our gardens.  

Laura working on her tool alcove and potting bench.

We borrowed some of my mom's enamelware.

Laura beautifying!

All flowers and styling by Laura Miller, Brooke Harrington and Silvanie Farmar Bowers.  All photos by Silvanie Farmar Bowers.

Check out my visit to Brooke's garden and floral design studio.  Thanks to my mom, Lisbeth for enamelware and roses.  You can see a visit to her sweet house.