Thursday, July 22, 2010 Ask The Experts (see our advice below)

Ask the Experts: How to Have Elegant Decorations in an Unusual Setting

by Marta

Dear experts,
My wedding is in 29 days and I have yet to come up with ideas as to how to decorate my reception. We are having both the ceremony and reception at my mother-in-law’s church. The reception is in their "hall" which is actually a basketball court with a stage and kitchen (which our caterer will use).
HOW DO I DECORATE A BASKETBALL COURT!? I want the reception to tie in with the rest of the wedding, which is elegant and classic. So far we have candles, candle holders and marbles to go in the candle holders. That is it as far as decorating goes. How can I turn this basketball court into an elegant wedding reception?
Bouncing off the Walls
Thea Daniel of Rose of Sharon Responds:
Basically, you want to draw the eye away from the basketball court.  To do this, you have to create other focal points.  My first suggestion would be to use a tent.  However this would depend on your budget.
Another option would be to use tall columns and drapery creating a 'room' or several 'rooms.'  You could have these over the dance floor, over the food, and over the seating.  If you're looking for something with a little more nature, create groupings of plants around your reception areas (dance floor, seating, buffet, etc.)
Use ferns, hosta, liriope, and shrubs.  These can often be rented from a garden center.  You'll need decorative containers to hide the grower's pots as well.  Here's a photo of one such grouping we created.  This was for an outdoor wedding, but you could easily move it indoors.  
About Thea:
Thea Daniel, owner of Rose of Sharon Event Florist in Fayeteville, Arkansas, has been designing floral arrangements for events for 15 years.
Ask the Experts is your chance to have your wedding questions answered by a panel of experts. If you have a question write

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Requests, Please

Waaay back in January, I set a goal: publish a blog post at least once a week.  Mostly, I've done that.  Now it's YOUR turn...

What do you, my readers, want to see in this blog?
--Educational stuff; 'how to' guides
--Information about us; get to know the personal side of Rose of Sharon
--Information about flowers; specific care tips; what you can expect from different flowers, designs, etc
--Stuff about weddings; planning tips; wedding realities
--What we've been up to
--Product information
-- Something else entirely?  PLEASE leave your comments!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

In Gratitude...Nurturing a New Florist

I started working in a florist shop (I can't say 'working as a florist' because I really didn't have any skills yet) in 1994. Manny, the original owner of the shop and a florist with 36 years of experience, was kind enough to take me in under his wing. He taught me everything from how to wire a rose, to how to make a funeral spray, and how to wire and tape a bridal bouquet. Manny gave me a strong foundation while he nurtured a long-lasting love for the art of floral design. Without Manny's instruction and guidance there is a very good chance that I would not have become a florist and would not have a career that I love.

Now I have the opportunity to share this gift. Hannah has been working for me for almost three months. In this short time, it's obvious that she has a natural talent and gift for floral design. With some guidance and background in the fundamentals, Hannah will blossom into an extraordinary florist herself.

So, we’re starting an apprenticeship where Hannah will be learning the basic techniques and the fundamentals of floral design. As she learns new techniques, she will be making arrangements for practice. The arrangements she makes will be posted for sale on Facebook at a discounted price. Feel free to leave comments, critiques, and buy these arrangements to support and encourage Hannah's progress.

Today's Lesson: The Bud Vase (You can't get any more basic than that!)

Short Daisy Bud Vase

Tall Daisy Bud Vase

Alstroemeria Bud Vase

In a side note, I was reading Preston Bailey's blog today. Yesterday's post was titled: To Do: The Gift of Mentoring. "...For me, mentoring is about helping someone discover his or her gift. ..."
Read Preston's full post here: To Do: The Gift of Mentoring.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Reasons to keep flowers in your life...

Pretty, Scented Flowers Improve a Bad Mood and Promote Wellness

A Rose Can Reduce Stress - <i>Arlene Lengel</i>
A Rose Can Reduce Stress -Arlene Lengel
People are attracted to pretty and fragrant flowers. Flowers can perk up awful moods, neutralize anxiety, and enhance sociability; all promote wellness.
People use flowers for all kinds of things, from birthdays to weddings to funerals. Flowers signify important events and offer a calming effect, as well as help individuals achieve better moods. Humans and flowers are the most evolved members of their kingdoms, Animalia and Plantae, respectively. Now research studies note that flowers support happiness and increase social togetherness.

How Flowers Evolved with Humans

The earliest evidence of a flowering plant is a fossil from China; it is about 125 million years old and scientists believe it was a water plant. Experts say flowers developed to attract animals that would aid in plants’ reproduction. One theory is that flowers developed on an island, forging a special relationship with an animal, like a wasp, which spread pollen, used to make seeds, when going from flower to flower.
Flowers are adaptations of plants’ leaves. Many flowers grown today started out as weeds and the assumption is that early humans did not disturb the prettiest flowers in their gardens; flowers were reseeded and humans became attached to them. Today’s important pollinators, bees, are descended from wasps and interestingly, have color vision.

Receiving Flowers Brings Pleasure and Increases Sociability

In a small study appearing in Evolutionary Psychology in 2005, Rutgers University researchers found that 100 percent of women smiled with a Duchenne smile after receiving a mixed bouquet of flowers. A Duchenne smile, first named by a French physician, involves use of muscles at the corner of the mouth and by the eyes; it signifies genuine, positive emotions.

Control groups received either a fruit basket or a large candle. Ninety percent of the fruit-receivers used a real smile and only 77 percent of candle-receivers smiled with a Duchenne smile. In addition, only those who received flowers reported a lasting, positive mood days later.

In an elevator study carried out by the same researchers, men or women alone in an elevator with two experimenters were presented with a large Gerber daisy, a pen or nothing. The researchers derived a total social score (TSS) by recording the type of smile, initiated talk (other than a thanks), and standing distance from the experimenters (usually strangers in an elevator retreat to opposite corners). The results showed that both men and women had higher TSS scores when receiving the Gerber daisy as compared to the pen-receivers and those who got nothing.

Living with Flowers Improves Attitudes at Home and Work

A Harvard University study, reported in 2006, found that living with flowers in the home – displaying bouquets in the most-used rooms – perked up moods in less than a week. The study, in cooperation with the Society of American Florists and the Flower Promotion Organization, discovered that people had their good moods transferred to work, and they had more compassion for their fellow beings.

Just as insects are attracted to a flower’s scent, humans have positive emotional ties with fragrant flowers. It is no accident that sensational-smelling red roses are the symbol of love. In addition, the phrase “stop and smell the roses” signifies a traditional way of reducing stress. Researchers in Japan, in an animal study, found that flower scents suppressed about 100 genes usually turned on in stressful situations.

Flower Scents Reduce Stress

Seven to ten different oils in petunia and snapdragon petals make the flowers’ scents. Other flowers may have hundreds of different oils. These oils are referred to as volatile oils as they do not last long in hot weather. Curiously, flower breeders in their quest for beautiful colors and longevity in the cut-flower market, let flower fragrance fall by the wayside for a time.

Flowers Contribute to Happiness and Wellness

Increasing positive emotions can cut stress that leads to physical illnesses. Receiving flowers, placing flowers in the home, and smelling flower scents are all simple, yet powerful, ways to boost upbeat emotions. Stopping worry, improving mood, feeling pleasure, and adding socialization are all components of not only wellness, but of happiness.

Read the original post by here: Pretty, Scented Flowers Improve a Bad Mood and Promote Wellness

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Florist Lasted

The following is by Hannah Cook...the most recent addition to the Rose of Sharon Team and budding florist extraordinaire!

Hannah--writing her
 first blog post
It all started a year ago when I myself was a young, wide eyed bride looking for a florist for my wedding.  My mom, aunt, and I had been driving around Northwest Arkansas all day looking for wedding ideas when my sister told me that I just had to go see Thea at Rose of Sharon.  Now by this time I was exhausted and well, if you've ever been a bride, wedding planning with your mom and her sister can be rather stressful.

You see my mom is one of those women who think that they can cut corners and cost on EVERYTHING by making it themselves.  After hearing my mother say, "I can do that, I can make that, you don't need to hire them, I can make that" about everything, well I just knew that meeting with a florist would not be any different.

So I made the long trip down to the Airport to meet with Thea on a Saturday afternoon.  As we sat there discussing flowers (and I even think she threw in a little relationship counseling for free!)  I must admit that I had no clue what I even wanted or what looked good.  And as I can recall, my mom and aunt changed everything that I thought I wanted.  Thea worked hard with us and we finally settled on a white and red tulip theme.  Yes I know, tulips for a late June wedding, I don't know what I was thinking. . .or wasn't.

Thea was awesome and I knew she was a keeper.  Heck, she even stuck with me after I changed my budget on her about 15 times (okay more like twice).   Months passed and I was a good little bride who begged her daddy to pay off the cost of the flowers as my due date came close.  Thea would always answer all my questions and emails!  I don't think I was bridezilla but she might have a different story. . .

March came around and the wedding date in June was getting closer and closer then. . . .


That's the sound that my life made as it blew up in front of me. 

Well one thing led to another and then the wedding was cancelled and our relationship was over.  However, Thea was very gracious and gave me a full refund, minus my deposit (which I'm still waiting for even though I know I signed a contract that said she could keep it, okay fine I guess she can keep it). 

I just knew my summer was going to be torture when my sister suggested that I start working for Thea.  Little did I know that this was the best thing for me!  After one day I knew that I wasn't going anywhere and that she wasn't going to let me go anywhere. Somehow I feel that I'm suppose to be here and I love the trade. 

Needless to say, the fiance didn't last but the florist did.