Mountaintop Anniversary

I couldn’t help but smile at those two darling dogs, and the shoot wasn’t even all about them!!!! Courtney, of Courtney Ess Photography, asked me to help her with floral pieces for an anniversary shoot taking place in a local mountaintop location. What a perfect, perfect day of weather it turned out to be for an anniversary shoot of a wedding we designed the florals for several years ago.  Courtney wanted to have a bouquet, dog collars and a couple other pieces she could use as backdrops.


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At first I was thinking of ordering flowers in from my wholesalers, but then walked outside the other evening in our yard and gardens, and it hit me: I can use “stuff” from here!!!! Why not? It’s in the mountains, the Northwest, outdoors—we all have the finest to choose from right out our door, right here in Tillamook, Oregon. These are the greens and flowers people from everywhere else, yearn for!!! I started looking around and the Oregon Grape, vine maple, huckleberry and blooming thimble-berry with its delicate white flowers-would work perfectly as a backdrop to a few flowers. The sword fern and deer fern, with its curly que tops give another whimsical look and texture. I wondered though if it would all hold and not wilt once picked since some of the greens are so newly emerging from this LONG winter. I tested it overnight, and had only one issue. This may seem really weird to most, but there were some huge Man-in the Ground vines (a pungent weed that takes over large areas in a rain forest)BUT, it would make a cool viney looking thing draping from a bouquet with it’s feather feelers and little white stephonotis-looking flowers—or so I thought! I was secretly thinking how funny this would be to make it into a bridal publication with this big ‘ol weed! But, it wilted overnight so I knew it wasn’t going to work. I found some other grass, as well as the smaller deer fern and hoped Kathryn didn’t have allergies. Blooming profusely right now flower-wise were little lavender bachelor buttons and lupine. We have all shades, and while it probably isn’t the variety found in the mountain, I decided it was close enough and would give the bouquet a different structure and some color. Usually our foxgloves are blooming by now, but only the white ones were budded and looking photo-worthy so I picked a big bunch of those for a vase arrangement along with the vine maple as filler.

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I thought about walking up the hill to see if I might be able to find some bleeding hearts or other flower—even down by the creek—they grow under the shade there, but we have a resident bear—a huge bear making himself comfortable in our field, so didn’t feel like seeing him face to face and nixed that idea.

Courtney’s only request was to have roses or dahlias, but the dahlias were two inches out of the ground, so I ordered in one bunch of a white garden roses to give the bouquet a more wedding/anniversary feel. Other than the roses and the seeded eucalyptus on the dog collars, it was a foraged floral shoot! And I loved the process and the end results too!!!! And those two darling dogs looking all anniversary-like.


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Click Here for Courtney’s Blog Post

Anniversary Inspiration

Florist on the Oregon Coast

Some husbands go above and beyond to show their love.  Kevin is one of those men.


Sixteen years ago, Kevin Queen married Debbie at the Garibaldi Museum where she carried a bouquet of Stargazer lilies and Fire and Ice roses, her favorite flowers at the time.  Every year since, Kevin spends the year prior to their anniversary researching and thinking about how he will recognize their upcoming anniversary with a floral arrangement that incorporates something that signifies that particular year of marriage.  For example, paper signifies year one so Kevin made a paper replica of Debbie’s bouquet for their first year anniversary.  For the last twelve years, Kevin has collaborated with Sunflower Flats to come up with a design in whatever idea he decides on.  One year, he purchased a steel card holder and had us attach orchid florets and roses to the holder.  Another year was aluminum, which was the most difficult for him, but he finally settled on folding his own roses using aluminum paper and incorporating them into a fresh rose arrangement.  Kevin says his goal each year is to find something practical that Debbie will be able to use in their home.  Last year, because it was the year for crystal (15), he chose wine glasses and a baking dish as the base for his arrangement. 


This year, for year sixteen, Kevin decided silver halloware meant a new set of silverware (which he said they needed) and a new stainless (silver) Kitchen Aid mixer.  A couple of weeks ago, Kevin brought in the mixing bowl for Patti to design an arrangement in, but this wasn’t to be just any fresh arrangement—not when Patti is the designer—and Kevin expects out of the ordinary–always– so, Patti started gathering her ideas.  And true to form, Patti came up with a design perfect for the mixing bowl that incorporated Intuition roses and Sterling roses (now Debbie’s favorites)—in a layered cake design!!!!  But not just a simple layered cake design…no, this cake had pieces of the silverware incorporated around the edges of the bowl along with a silver armature out of wire to accent the Intuition and Sterling roses along with the eucalyptus and the light pink genestra to give it a little pop and sweet fragrance.


We loved how it turned out and Sherri, our delivery lady, said Debbie did some little hops up and down when she saw it. Obviously, she loved it too!  Congratulations, Kevin and Debbie Queen on sixteen years of marriage and best wishes for many more to come!