Published: Anything But Ordinary—Inspiring and Unique Flowers

23 11 2011

As a gardener and as an artist and photographer, I have long been attracted to more unusual plants—those that are showy, quirky, alien-like, and over-the-top—anything but ordinary. Any plant or flower that makes me ask,“what in the world is that?” has a place in my garden! Many of these flowers can also be used in bouquets, adding a touch of the exotic and unusual to any arrangement.

In the link below, you can read my latest column for the Bloomin’ Blog, a monthly newsletter published by the flowershopnetwork.com.

http://www.flowershopnetwork.com/blog/unique-flowers-photos/

You can see my previous columns in the links below:

http://www.flowershopnetwork.com/blog/got-the-blues/

http://www.flowershopnetwork.com/blog/passion-purple-flowers/

http://www.flowershopnetwork.com/blog/fall-garden-flowers/





Published: A Passion for Purple Flowers

3 03 2010

I recently wrote an article for flowershopnetwork.com for their monthly online newsletter. All but three of the photos in the article were shot by me (shown below); the others were purchased from istockphoto.com. The Flower Shop Network Newsletter is a free monthly e-mail featuring articles based on the knowledge of floral professionals across the country. Once a month, they provide interesting information about all things floral. You can view their newsletter archive and sign up for an e-mail blast here. To read my article, click on the link below:

http://www.flowershopnetwork.com/blog/passion-purple-flowers/





Carmen’s tableau

28 07 2009

This weekend Regina and I joined Karen at her lake house for a girls-only retreat. Our friend Carmen drove all the way up from South Carolina to join us and Sue happened to be in town from Alabama and stopped by to join us for several hours on Saturday. En route from South Carolina, Carmen bought this beautiful bouquet as a lake house warming gift for Karen at a farmer’s market in Petersburg, VA. She called ahead to see if we had a vase available. Since we were already out running errands, I hunted an appropriate vessel (without even knowing the color scheme of the bouquet) and found this beautiful glass vase on clearance at a local Michael’s Crafts for just $4.00! Karen had the fabric handy in our project stash to serve as a table scarf (thanks to Sue for suggesting we scrunch the fabric). I added the glass bowl and Carmen added the yellow and purple bell peppers. She then declared, “what a lovely tableau.” I teased her about her “fancy college word,” but it was a perfect noun for the finished result. I have to admit I don’t remember ever hearing anyone actually use that word—maybe in college in Art Appreciation 101 class, perhaps? And in the end, as you know—I love any opportunity to shoot a photo, so this was a photographic-can’t-not!

Floral arrangement courtesy of Carmen Mezzacappa.
Photo © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Carmen's Tableau





Afternoon tea on a rainy day

6 09 2008

This afternoon I attended a baby shower and tea party for Elizabeth—a friend, neighbor, and “Weedette” in my Garden Club. Her first child, Baby “Snapdragon,” is due October 6. Elizabeth’s favorite colors are pink and green, so her friends decorated the party in that color scheme. Her friend hosting the party has worked as a caterer, so the food was delicious and beautifully presented, too. Elizabeth’s friend, Susan, a graphic designer, made the invitations, name tags, party favor hang tags, and a beautiful handmade guest book. Party favors included a white teapot-shaped teabag holder, a teabag, a baby carriage-shaped cookie, and a little tin of mints—all carrying the pink and green theme throughout. While I took a fair amount of people shots, I especially enjoyed photographing the flowers, decorations, and appetizers. Thanks for including me in your celebration, Elizabeth!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Party of six…

22 06 2008

Yet another favorite thing to do—set the table for a small dinner party. I should throw more of these smaller, more intimate gatherings (rather than the large “let’s invite everyone we know—and then some” parties). I picked up the gorgeously graphic tablecloth from a Crate & Barrel outlet (I think), and the table runner was just three cheap twig placemats (bought on clearance, of course) strung together with wire. The small salad plates, a recent acquisition, are from Home Goods, have free-form edges, and are embossed to look like rings on a tree trunk (way, way cool). Tableware was a forged “fiddlehead” pattern from a Pottery Barn outlet (really, really cheap; couldn’t pass them up)—very organic and earthy, even if the three-prong design on the fork requires an attitude adjustment. The etched “grass glasses” were on sale for $1 each at a Pier 1 clearance store…couldn’t pass those up, either. Yes, I have a thing for leaves, grasses, and trees. Oh, and don’t get me started on bird- and feather-related things!

This was a very last-minute gathering (although it was called a “Mexi-fest, we joked about it being “The Last Supper” since my sister Debbie was flying home the next day). Debbie made her signature enchiladas and the rice and beans were from Baja Fresh (we cheated on the sides, which made it so much easier on us!). The salad was gathered from our garden (lettuce only). Regina made her “Nana’s Sweet Pie” for dessert and Tom brought Corona and Sangrias (very appropriate for a Mexi-fest!).

The centerpieces were made with flowers from the garden, too—white lilies, yellow yarrow, “unknown” greenery, and past-their-bloom Purple sensation alliums (very architectural in their current state)—all tucked into two sand- and water-filled square glass vases (cheap, from IKEA).

And those two narrow hutches in the background? They’re unfinished pine cabinets from IKEA. I painted them with leftover Home Depot’s Behr Swiss Coffee (a slightly warmish white color) eggshell paint, slathered on a walnut stain, then rubbed burnt umber acrylic paint onto embossed wallpaper (a leaf pattern from Home Depot) that was cut to fit and glued into the recessed squares on the cabinet fronts. The cabinets were used in my painting studio until I relegated them to service as both a drink buffet and dish storage unit in the kitchen. I’m going to submit the project to the website IKEAHacker. If you’re fortunate to live close to an IKEA store, check that site out. You’ll be amazed at the things you can do with all the inexpensive products from that store!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.