Just back from Richmond and two great shows with Mac Events. Check out what blogger Samantha Wiltshire with i heart mini had to say about my seminars on color! So while I had the honor of headlining the Home Show, our new friend Tara Dillard spoke at Maymont, the flower and garden side of things. It was there that I discovered my latest obsession—Peony's Envy (no comment)—a fantastic resource for lush, beautiful peonies, my absolute favorite flower! Another one I love for their old Hollywood appeal is mums, the incurving variety with round, full blooms. While prepping for Tea At Two, the framing event with Larson-Juhl in January, the mums I found at at the flower market that morning were fantastic and the perfect inspiration for the centerpieces. 


To those I added pale yellow and white stock for a more tonal color palette, moon lagoon eucalyptus and variegated ficus for greenery, and pussy willows for height. The atrium lobby at Larson-Juhl, where we planned to host the tea, had super high ceilings, so these arrangements would have to be big. 


Something small, on the other hand, for the tops of tables would be nice as well. This was a tea, after all, so what better vessel for flowers than tea cups? And what better place in Atlanta for pretty castaways than Scott's?


Back to headquarters with vessels, big and small: Fiberglass urns (loved the shape; hated the finish), along with antique Wedgwood tea cups, two bucks each. 


To give the urns a more aged effect, I used wood stains in varying colors, layering one upon the other with a rag and brush until I achieved a finish I liked.  


While the urns were drying, I began, as I always do, by separating my flowers into piles (or, if you have them, buckets). That way, I can see exactly what I'm working with for each arrangement and plan accordingly.


How much better (and more expensive) do the urns look now? Less plastic-ey, more stone-ey, liked aged cement. Try it your garden this year and tell me what you think. 


Arranging flowers, even at this scale, shouldn't be so scary! Just make sure you have a good pair of clippers and plenty of Oasis floral foam. I used the bricks, giving them a good soak before filling the urns. To start, I used the pussy willows and ficus to establish the height and overall shape of the arrangement. 


Next, I added in the mums and stock, constantly working my way around to make sure the arrangement was even, as I did here.


And voilà! 


Big and beautiful, just what the double-height space needed. The table toppers are simply widths of burlap, their edges frayed for a more finished look. Planning this party, I'd been inspired by Afternoon Tea at the Plaza, where dainty tea sandwiches and linzer torte cookies are served on sterling silver platters. If high tea is something you're thinking this spring, save yourself some time and buy your favorite chicken or egg salad from the grocery store, give it a few pulses in the processor, and spread onto Pepperidge Farms Very Thin Bread. Cut into finger sandwiches and serve on platters at varying heights. Oh, and if you need a cute centerpiece idea, this one on the smaller side, stuff tea cups with floral foam and fill them with pretty garden roses.  


Paired with gilded frames from Larson-Juhl, they were the perfect arrangements for a tea party and framing event to remember.


What flowers are you dreaming of for spring?

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