Star of the Show

Star is definitely the star of the show right now. Fluffy, white blooms puffing out all along her outstretched branches signal warmer temperatures; Spring has arrived; more sun will be coming….Promise! At least that’s how I take her message! She is light and beauty and fragrance and she’s bloomed in our yard for probably over twenty five years or more. She is Star Magnolia.


My Star Magnolia in bloom April 3, 2017

Star’s blooms are the inspiration for our photo shoot this coming weekend. A new photographer to the area, Laurie Jean Photography, approached us with the idea of doing something different in the way of a wedding shoot combining elements from the beach, vintage dress (which she found and purchased at Phoenix Exchange, here in downtown Tillamook; it’s gorgeous and was in excellent condition) and vintage men’s wear. Laurie wanted a unique look for the bouquet as well. Her vision was something more horizontal (as opposed to roundy-roundy)—which is definitely a new trend. I don’t know if it will catch on here this year as sometimes it takes awhile —-but we will also be using grey and white tones, more muted shades with draping greenery and different textures in ribbon and maybe a surprise or two just because I can’t resist with what I like! The draping greenery seems to be catching on. I don’t know if it’s because the Pantone Color of the Year is green, but brides are trending more towards greenery this year it seems.

Intrigued with a new challenge as far as the bridal bouquet and getting to create something that appealed to me, had me hooked on wanting to collaborate with Laurie. Plus, it would be good practice to actually put one together to experience the challenge and have the practice before I actually needed to do one for a real bride. Patti (one of our designers), had designed a horizontal bouquet with an armature (a structure that gives the flowers and greens support) for her niece’s wedding years ago, and I remember that being a challenge. But, I loved how Patti’s turned out because I loved the colors, and that it was so different than anything we had done.

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Patti’s horizontal bouquet designed 10+ years ago for her niece, Jen.

I knew Laurie’s bouquet vision could be accomplished, so I started thinking about what I might use as the armature for this focal piece for the wedding shoot. Star was the answer!!!!

I decided I wanted to have some of the blooms still in buds and probably some of them just starting to crack out of their soft, velvety gray cocoons, while others will be fully popped from their cocoons. Since it’s warming up and the rain continues, I also knew I needed to slow down the process of all of the blooms being full-blown so I cut a bucket full of branches, and placed them in a bucket of water in the cooler at the store to hold them until I start putting the bouquet together. Star’s branches are somewhat flat with many laterals down a branch. I’m thinking this will work well as the base of the bouquet structure, and will give good support to the greens and flowers that I will add to form the bouquet. They seem to have just the right amount of curvature to add interest and texture against the softness of the blooms I will add.

I’ll keep you posted here on how it all comes together!

Oregon Coast Forest Boho Wedding – Oregon Coast Florist

Summer 2014 was a wedding season heavily dominated by babies breath and peach and coral flowers. So when Stephanie asked us to design her wedding flowers with a different approach, more of a Boho flavor–bold color and even beyond that, unique designs–we were eagerly anticipating the opportunity to bring Stephanie’s dream flowers to reality for her. We talked about colors and flowers that she did and didn’t like, dried pods, feathers, curly willow, cotton and other textures that appealed to her as well. Stephanie preferred more of a vertical design for her bridesmaids’ bouquets rather than the round design usually chosen. She also wanted more cascade to her bouquet than usually chosen.



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Unique Bridal Bouquet

After our discussion, we decided what flowers, berries, pods and other textures were in season or on the market at the time, and if they weren’t, what makes a perfect substitution? Stephanie also helped us out by bringing in several pictures of elements from arrangements she liked which often gives us a better idea of what the bride likes…sometimes it isn’t necessarily the entire picture, but just the colors or the flower types while sometimes it’s the feathers used or the touch of curly willow.

Bridesmaid's Bouquets

Finally, Stephanie let me know she trusted me to “go for it” and do my thing….and so I did considering the theme, the dress, the family, the bride, the groom, and all of God’s awesome and amazing abundance of the fall season flowers and textures, the chenille-like drape of amaranthus against the curling velvet, ruffled edge of the cockscomb, the grace of the pheasant feathers, wild and free curly willow, tissue paper thin petals of the compact, cupped ranunculous.  And all the berries to make it all pop:  pepperberries, privit berries and fall’s sweetheart:rosehips…can you ever get enough of such richness? Not me!

Wedding Flower Details

And I loved (LOVED) getting to design the altar arrangements around and in the light green squash.  Doesn’t it just speak of hearts overflowing???  It does to me.  Can’t wait to do something like this again – hopefully SOON!

Altar Flowers

Thank you, Stephanie and Anthony, for the opportunity to capture your love in flowers.

All images captured & provided by:  Imago Dei Photography.  To view Xiomara’s blog post and see all the lovely details of this event, click here.

This wedding was featured as one of Oregon Bride’s “Best Real Weddings of 2014.” See their feature here.

Honoring Your Loved One With Flowers – Oregon Coast Florist – Flowers for Sympathy

“To be kind is more important than being right. Many times what people need is not a brilliant mind that speaks but a special heart that listens.” Unknown.

So true, especially when you have lost someone you dearly love.

One of the most difficult situations in the flower shop is to meet with grieving family members, who while in the depths of grief, are trying to make decisions about flower choices that will honor and reflect who their family member was, and be something their loved one would love and appreciate as a tribute.

We want to listen first to hear what he or she loved in life. What was she interested in? Did he have a favorite hobby? Did she love bright, vibrant colors or did she prefer pastels and soft colors? What color reminds you of him? Would you like a certain amount of roses in the arrangement to reflect the number of children in your family? What should we know that would help us get a better idea of what would reflect his or her personality? Was she a nature lover? Did he serve in the armed forces?

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Once we know about your loved one, if family members aren’t comfortable or are too overwhelmed with making floral choices, we are here to help make the situation easier by offering suggestions as far as colors, flower types, and even design ideas. Sometimes customers don’t have any idea at all what they would like. In that case, we have many books of ideas to look at as well as photos of our past sympathy work which can be customized with your own ideas. Of course, we are always comfortable after listening to family about their loved one’s favorite colors, flowers, and interests, designing a vase or basket arrangement or an easel arrangement based on what we’ve heard. We have an area in our back workroom where you and your family can take the time you need to sit, look through our resource books,and discuss what you would like your floral tribute to look like.

Many services are now a Celebration of Life, which often calls for vivid and bright flowers. Sometimes family members want to include momentos in an arrangement reflecting a special interest of their loved one. Recently, a family brought in their father’s beautifully woven fishing creel and we filled it with a vibrant mix of yellows and blues along with fashioning a fishing pole out of vine maple and accenting it with a burlap bow. Another unique arrangement was an evergreen wreath accented with several sets of deer antlers which served as the focal at the church service. Probably the most unusual arrangement we’ve ever created was an easel to look like a hamburger as the family said that was their loved one’s favorite food and she would have loved it. (wish we had pictures of all of these!) In this day and age, there aren’t any set expectations as far as what you must do for floral arrangements. You can be creative or keep with tradition—it’s up to your wants and needs as a beloved family member, and it’s always my intention to have that special heart that listens—especially in your time of loss.

The Trilliums are blooming!

This particular plant was given to me several years ago by a friend.  I planted it on the north side of the house beside a stump, because I knew they preferred shade (even though I realize there isn’t much bright, hot sun in the spring on the Oregon Coast!)  So far this year, my plant has eight to ten blooms, but eventually it will probably have around twenty blooms – at least last year it did.  I love watching it bloom and bloom and bloom.  We are also fortunate to be able to find wild trillium in our Tillamook County forest lands.  My Trillium reminds me that the wild Lamb’s Tongue might be blooming soon, too.



All of this spring blossoming reminds me of a story that my dad told me.  Every spring when Trillium and Lamb’s Tongue bloomed, my Grandpa Jacob would venture up on the hill behind their farmhouse, where the under-brush was cleared and amongst the rotting limbs, logs and sword fern, there was a good sized patch of Lamb’s Tongue and Trillium.  My grandfather would pick a small bouquet and bring it home for my Grandma Wilma to enjoy on her kitchen table.

I’ve always like this story, because it seemed so out of character for my Grandpa Jacob.  One wouldn’t have guessed that he was a romantic at heart.  He was a very hard working & successful farmer with a pretty gruff and hard exterior.  He was direct (no small talk).  But as his granddaughter, I did know another side to his seemingly rough exterior.  He did take the time out of his “sun up to down down” day to “stop and smell the roses.”  He loved nature and appreciated the woods, including it’s wildlife and wild flowers.

What is extra special about this story, is that the blooming season is short and you could easily miss out because it’s still cold and not much else is blooming.  He always took the initiative this time of year to go find the blooms, knowing that my grandma would love them particularly in this dreary, wet season.  He was thinking of what she would love – some wild flowers:  Trillium and Lamb’s Tongue for his one true love!

A Balcony Person

Sunflower Flats

More and more I realize how fortunate I’ve been to have family in my life, who are what I think of as my “Balcony People.”  Someone (I can’t remember who or how long ago), wrote a book I read about the people in your life who you can count on to be there always cheering you on, no matter what.  I’ve had that with my family all my life and what a huge blessing!  It started with my grandmas, grandpas, aunts and uncles, and of course, my dad and mom.

Linda Jane Jacob, my dear sweet mother, is one of my Balcony People.  In her eyes I can do no wrong (nor can any of my siblings!)  She thinks we all work way too hard, too many hours, etc. etc.  She would do anything in the world for me.  That’s a true Balcony Person.

It’s not unusual for me to call her early in the morning, rain pouring, wind blowing, “Mom, would you be able to pick me one last bunch of forsythia?”  She replies, “Sure, no problem, when will you be here?”  I say, “Ten minutes.”

She wouldn’t be happy about this picture, as this isn’t her usual dressed-to-the-nines-self.  She’s always the one with the coordinated outfit, matching purse, earrings and shoes.  But remember, I just got her out of bed to pick forsythia!  So, she’s sporting her new gardening boots from Sunflower Flats, her stocking hat, and her helpful side-kick Corgi named Bella.

She’s my mom, always and forever my Balcony Person.


“Surviving is important, but thriving is elegant.”  ~Maya Angelou

Star Magnolia

Spring seems to sit well with my dancing lady.  How could you not with Star Magnolia as your backdrop?  And the fragrance?  Heavenly.

One would never know what she’s endured this winter by looking at her now – rain, hail, snow, and even wind that flipped her onto the muddy ground at one point.  (ever had one of THOSE days?)  But, it didn’t matter, because she’s not only a survivor – she THRIVES elegantly.



Made in Tillamook County, USA!

Do you love to buy products that are made in the USA?  How about made in Tillamook County, USA?  Here at Sunflower Flats we appreciate the talented individuals in our county and we are supporting them by offering their products a platform in our shop.  We will dedicate several blog posts to featuring their work so that you can get a glimpse of the 12+ local artists that we work with.

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Cami Schild and Samantha Wagner started out knitting headbands for a hobby and adding some sort of extra flourish to them – usually buttons or flowers.  Like most hobbies, it got out of control, so they formed Proverb Sisters and have been working together to create products as well as market them locally.  Perfect ear protection for our cold, spring winds and many color combinations to choose from, their headbands keeping us warm and stylish at the same time!


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Jan Woodbury – besides being a lovely, sweet lady (like SAINTLY kind) – teaches kindergarten in South Tillamook County.  Not only does she teach, but she has a passion for constructing felted purses in rich, earth tones with classy details – all truly one of a kind made with up-cycled material.  Jan also knits hats, mittens and scarves.  All made right here in Tillamook County, USA!


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Like flowers, words inspire.  Sometimes they go right to your heart and soul and connect.  Maybe it’s even a card with a saying on it that it just too true and you keep it in your card shuffle to ponder yourself.  I have one of those in my endless shuffle from many years back, and it’s always good to read it and yet again, think about it and realize, hmmmm still no one to send it to!  Dana Anderson Cunningham of ArtLight Media in South Tillamook County creates these cards on quality paper using found inspirational quotes against a backdrop of her block print designs.  They’re perfect for sending, but can also be placed in a spot at work or home where inspiration is needed throughout your day (as in EVERYWHERE!)


Come in anytime to engage your senses and see what’s new from our local artists!


Don’t Be Tamed!

“You were once wild here.  Don’t let them tame you.”  ~Isadora Duncan

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Chloe, Mom and I painted last week.  We missed Carsen, but he was in Central Oregon visiting his cousin, Sawyer.  Don’t let the picture above fool you!  This was in September 2009 when Chloe was painting my sunflower patch, but I can’t help but long for days of summer and bright sunflowers….it will come soon enough!

Anyway, back to painting last week, watching Chloe in action, I’m hoping:  ”don’t let them tame you.”  Whatever it is within her that gives her the ability and confidence to go for it comes out.  The week prior she decided to paint a cow skull for her Aunt Becky using a palate knife with all kinds of colors, so she added more color this week after seeing she had toned it down more than she liked.  This week’s new subject was an owl’s face on the entire canvas.  With piles of paint on the palate and a big brush already heavy with paint, she dove in starting with it’s big, bold chartreuse eyes.  (I thought the eyes would have been last, but what do I know?!)  She always works it all out in the end!



Painting requires losing yourself in the task and I love that about these several hours.  One doesn’t have to think about anything (translation: work) except how to get the bird the right shade of blue, a little snow on the branches and berries that are a reddish, brownish color.  Being consumed by something other than work is a welcome break from it all!

Carsen will be back at it next week, finishing the horn on his buffalo head and mom will continue to paint grass over the pond because “water is too hard to paint.”  That’s okay, mom, “don’t let them tame you.”  And you either, my dear Chloe.

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Blooming Branches

Three forsythia shrubs in our yard are work-horses for me this time of year as far as providing height to bouquets and a bright yellow texture for winter/spring arrangements.  Closer to Easter, forsythia can be used to form basket “handles” for basket arrangements.

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Forsythia takes me back to college days, specifically my freshman year at Willamette University in Salem.  I was a fish-out-of-water there, struggling, ill-prepared for the rigor of a private university.  Usually 10 chapters (at least) behind in my reading, papers due, test tomorrow…Yes, your basic freshman nightmare!

Continuing my quest to avoid study, I walked downtown Salem to the local florist and bought a huge bunch (branches were at least 4-5 feet tall) of budded forsythia.  I lugged these back to my dorm room and placed in a bucket of water.  It did wonders for my mental health to bring nature in!  The bright yellow branches bloomed for several weeks in my institutional green cement-walled dorm room.

I don’t even remember the eventual test grade, the reading subject or what my paper was about.  I only remember the forsythia and how it helped me in the winter of 1974, and yes, it is still a favorite of mine!

You can often find a similar bunch of forsythia branches in the front window of my shop this time of year.

You can often find a similar bunch of forsythia branches in the front window of my shop this time of year.

Gratitude goes a long way – Oregon Coast Florist – Oregon Coast Gift Shop

Beach gifts


Sometimes you never really know how simple two words like “thank you” can mean so much.  Today was a day when kind, positive words were especially appreciated.

Rich Jenks made a special trip into the store to tell me that the flowers he ordered earlier in the month lasted for a week longer than expected.  And that was a good thing because they were for a memorial service that was postponed for a whole week because of the snow.  He wanted to let me know that the flowers looked as good seven days later as the day he picked them up.  (I reminded him that sitting in a cool church all week helped make that happen!)  But still a very thoughtful gesture for him to take time out of his day to let me know.

Another lady came in to browse and once in the door said, “Oh, it smells WONDERFUL in here!”  We do hear that often and appreciate hearing that because of course a flower shop should have a wonderful fragrance!  And there was another lady who said, “Thank you for being here.  The energy feels really good in here.”  And at that point that was good to hear, because most of mine (energy) was depleted!  And still another…”Everything’s so colorful, thank you, I’ll be back.”

So, thank you for the thank you’s!