summer florals: hues of summer

From the bold and the beautiful, to the washed out and sun-bleached, I LOVE COLOR.  Perhaps more than any other design principle, color guides my choices and can easily dictate the overall feel of an entire floral event.  This summer I have been working with a range of palettes and challenging my compulsion to constantly kick up the “hot and bright” meter with the hues.  What can I say?  I was thrilled when neon came back in vogue for even a split second this season.  And yet, sometimes less really is more.  I have found you can make a powerful impact with nothing but sleek and modern whites.  In this week’s post, I have selected some recent arrangements and events and share my thoughts on the color and design choices.  Note how I start with my most vivid hues and let them fade, fade, fade…

Peonies, roses and hydrangea are staples for making a color statement.  These chunky “face” flowers have a round, fluffy shape that allows whatever color they are to saturate and dominate the arrangement.  I love working with soft blooms on their own, or adding textured tropicals (like pincushion protea) or berries (like viburnum berries).  This summer, I have been using a lot of hot pinks and peaches with dramatic violet shades.  This combination feels like an ice cream sherbet fantasy.

CLICK HERE for the rest of sarah’s post after the jump!


My inspiration for this palette was a California summer sunset. Sometimes a girl has to go back to her roots. I worked with this bride on identifying the perfect peach tones (on which I based the primary blooms for all the bouquets and arrangements) and honoring her wish for “not an overwhelming amount of pink.” This wedding in Rye, NY made me want to sail away on gorgeous yacht…after attending to every flower detail, of course.

[image above: sunset spectrum]

[image above: sunset spectrum]

[image above: sunset spectrum]

[image above: sunset spectrum]

For this wedding, I worked with a creamy palette as the basis for the florals, using white, ivory and pale yellow. After adding pops of violet, pink and burnt orange and using an array of English garden blossoms, these arrangements had the character of an era gone by. Fresh and fragrant muscari (or grape hyacinth) lent a very Victorian touch. And how spectacular are those satin-y creme de la creme roses with the peachy centers?

MODERN COUNTRY FRENCH – all images by Kelly Guenther
One of my favorite summer palettes is bright white with yellow and blue, especially for an intimate wedding at a French venue. The dutch blue hydrangea, yellow roses and yellow freesia juxtaposed with the white peonies and bright green hypericum berry reflect a vibrant summer event. And Kelly Gunether’s photos make the whole thing look other-worldly and ultra modern.

[image above: modern country french]

[image above: modern country french]

[image above: modern country french]

MUTED PREPPY – all images by Missy Photography
Hydrangea, tweedia, eucalytpus OH MY! Proving, once again, that a simple and whispery summer palette can get the job done – I present “barely there” pale blue and bright white with silvery accents. This bride was a gem and took me back to sensational Rye, NY (and now you already know that I want to set sail from there). I included eucalytpus in everything in homage to her Australian groom. The dream-like quality of this affair was captured so sweetly by Missy Photography.

[image above: muted preppy]

[image above: muted preppy]

[image above: muted preppy]

[image above: muted preppy]

CRISP COOL WHITE – all images by Image Singuliere
Finally, an object lesson in minimalism. This wedding took place in a very chic restaurant in midtown Manhattan and the bride had a vision of monochromatic whites. White hydrangea is perhaps the best antidote to a hot summer day in the city. I used different textures and slight variations in the white shades to give these florals some movement. I used touches of phlox and elegant cymbidium orchids with the good old fluffy hydrangea, roses and peonies. The bride was a knockout with an all white hydrangea bouquet that had nothing but a variegated lily grass loop accent – perfection. Virginie from Image Singuliere illuminated all the soft whites with her wonderful photography.

[image above: crisp cool white]

[image above: crisp cool white]

[image above: crisp cool white]

[image above: crisp cool white]

  1. Beautiful colors and very clever to use the CA sunset as inspiration. My daughter loves to draw/paint sunsets and I am always intrigued by the wide array of colors that she chooses to add (or not add) into her sunsets.

  2. Stacey says:

    I am loving these puffy colorful flowers and I wish that wreath were on my door right now.

  3. floral design is truly an art and a form of self expression. i have always adored the unruly, “just picked” arrangements of pop and pale hued peonies, dahlias, garden roses, and ranuculus – with a dash of berries, herbs or lavender in between.
    thanks for sharing these inspiring photos!
    sylvie of silver lining

  4. Tanya says:

    So many varieties of beauty. I just love flowers

  5. That first bouquet is gorgeous. I love all the colors and the height. Beautiful!

  6. alicia says:

    absolutely divine floral design!

  7. Courtney says:

    beautiful as always! LOVE the blue white and yellow event!

  8. Eva says:

    My, all of these are so pretty! The coloured arrangemants are my favourite though. And neon is goooood.

  9. Lucy Skye says:

    luscious…what an inspiration for summer!
    couldn’t decide which I loved most!

  10. Jess says:

    I am suffering from flower envy!!! I am constantly drooling over the floral arrangements I see in the blogoshere. Where I live there is such a limitation in the varieties of flowers available. I know Australia is a long way from anywhere but surely in this day and age they could grow peonies and other faves in special designed environments???

  11. Tammy says:

    Wow, I feel cooler, calmer and inspired just for having admired these well-thought out bouquets of absolutely pristine blossoms. The skills of the photographer also add greatly to the serenity and beauty of the images. That wreath made it impossible not to click through for the rest of the post. Thank you so much.

  12. Shelly says:

    Love, love the hydrangeas. I did a very similar theme for my daughter’s wedding last summer.
    Mother nature really is an awesome designer!

  13. Becca says:

    The modern country french are by far my favorite.


  14. Vanessa says:

    I LOVE the “Muted Preppy” post- maybe I’m partial because it’s my own wedding, but still, I was so thrilled with how Sarah at Blossom and Branch designed the flowers for the event and how Missy Photography captured the whole event. Love, love, love!!!


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