{vertical flowers}

What better way to spend a Saturday than to play with flowers (free flowers at that!)? It was the annual Flower Grower's Ball on the weekend and as such the Sydney Town Hall was decked out from top to toe in flowers, of course!

We were fortunate enough to be working under the guidance of the very talented Head Florist for the Merivale Group, Genevieve. She creates amazing displays for the Merivale group of establishments including the likes of Hemmesphere, Ivy and The Beresford. I've admired her from afar as she collects all her goodies at the markets, and was thrilled to see her in action putting it all together.
The 'Before' shot
Jen being cheeky! The 'In progress' shot
Each individual flower stem was wired, tied to a 3m length of fishing line and then attached the netting, with the end effect of them to hang from the ceiling in a very 'wonderland' kind of way.
All strewn out: a carpet of flowers!
Up she goes!

Sadly I couldn't stay right to the end to see it all come together, but we (I went with a good friend from College) were determined to see the netting display be lifted up in all its glory!With dramatic lighting it would have looked amazing and of course with a better photographer the photos may just do it justice!

So then it was onto the table decorations, which were to be "punchy" as Genevieve described them! Apparently colour blocking is in this season - even with flowers!!

I loved watching Genevieve in motion, especially when she put these amazing table centerpieces together using only the flower stems themselves as support structure - no oasis! Which I love as this stuff is completely toxic and I swear against it (but it does make a florists job much easier...). She kept telling us the importance of "building trust with your flowers", I love this!

It was a long day, tiring but hey there were flowers galore to play with so it was a bit of a dream playground for me! I hope everyone at the ball had as much fun admiring them as we did putting them together!

Photos: {hort couture}

{the 'Sow's ear to silk purse' garage project}

I spent a whole day during the week cleaning and organising my shed/garage into a more usable and workable space. Years of collected dust and spiderwebs made it a less than appealing space to want to work in let alone feel creative in. I have high hopes though for my little fibro shed after evicting the spiders that had taken to squatting in it and filling the dustbin with enough dust to make the Sahara jealous.

I have great intentions of turning my 'Ugly Duckling Shed' into something a little more pretty and inviting, but have you ever heard the saying, "You can't make a silk purse out of a Sow's ear"? Something makes me think I might be over estimating my abilities with this little project. I'll be doing well if I can just keep it tidy for more than a day, especially after coming home from a job with another boot full of plastic pots I refuse to throw away to landfill...

I'm a little bit too embarrassed to show the 'Before' images just yet so will just share what I would like it to look like 'After'!

Organised and lovely potting area
via: Simply Fabulous Garage
Loving the red floor and timber work bench!
Via: California Closets
Love the stable door! One of these has been on my wish list for ages. And always a fan of the Butler's sink!
Image: Dana Gallagher for Country Living
Loving the organisation, the tools and those YeLLoW!! gumboots!!
Image: Dana Gallagher for Country Living
Perhaps a little more within my budget and capabilities
Image: Andrew McCaul for Good Housekeeping
Swoon worthy florist area!
Via: Sweetpea's, Toronto
With an exterior like this who wouldn't want to go inside?
via: Tiny House Design
So that's my little wish/dream list, I'll keep you posted on my progress!

{out in my garden}

When my spirits get a little low I resort to my garden and find solace in the little universe that exists within it. I love that I'm finally beginning to make it mine after two years. Unlike designing a client's garden with very clear and defined objectives set out in a plan I'm taking a more organic approach. I know how I want it to look and feel but I'm allowing the process to occur freely and without restriction.
What I started with...
Vegie patches in - pardon the sugar cane straw everywhere
my little four legged assistant loves it!
Our front yard has gone from a patch of lawn to the beginning of what will be a mixture of productive and ornamental gardens filled with an assortment of edible plants and flowers, as well as those which attract the birds and bees, and ones whose flowers I can pick for the house.

A small patch of lawn will remain with an arc of lawn surrounding it. There will be little delineation between what is ornamental and what is productive. I've just placed an order for a Punica granatum 'Wonderful' (Pomegranate) and my Malus ioensis Bechtel Crabapple is about to come into bud - will be definitely taking photos when that happens! Pebble paths will soon be constructed between the beds with creeping herbs to spill over the paths. I'm also on a mad search for a bird bath like these, but a little more in my price range perhaps!

My inspiration comes from this garden. I have long admired this beautiful garden designed by Hendrik Van Leeuwen (it's actually his own personal garden). Early days yet for me, but stay tuned!
Neighbour's bamboo encroaching on our
garden is put to good use as stakes!

A fresh crop of swiss chard
We've been harvesting bag fulls of lettuce and baby spinach for weeks and passing it on to anyone who steps foot in the gate. And the Bok Choy went a bit ballistic but I adored the yellow flowers so much, as did the hover-flies and bees!
My busy little hover-flies and bees hard at work!

The peas have been super sweet and crunchy, I love just walking past and snapping off a few for a quick snack whilst working out in the yard.

The broccoli has been delicious, tender and tasty. We're hoping we'll get further crops, small little shoots are appearing beneath the harvest point, fingers crossed!

I'm a big fan of beneficial insects in my garden - they are welcome anytime! I was delighted to see the little ladybird in the below photo taking good care of my Pansies! And if you look closely enough to you can see all the pollen collected by the busy bee amongst the lavender!

Today is our first really hot Spring day - 32 degrees as I type this... I hope it can all hang on over the hot summer months to come. I'm not a fan of summer with its scorching hot days and dry westerly winds. I've primed myself however with new hoses and a mountain of mulch - wish me luck!

Photos: {hort couture}

{hort couture v. haute couture: floriography}

"Like no other deparment store..."

I can't believe I've been sitting on this post all this time and haven't posted it. It is much to special not to share!

The first week of spring brings with it the most gorgeous event to hit shop windows in Sydney (well apart from the adorable Christmas decorations - that probably aren't too far away). For two weeks in September David Jones brings their ground floor Ladies department store and windows to life with the most amazing floral displays - very hort couture!!

This year's theme was: Floriography ~ the language of flowers. Which reminds me of this earlier post. I love that flowers have meaning beyond their visual appeal, that you can express feelings and words through something so beautifully tangible.

For anyone visiting the city during this time they must think we have the most glamorous place to shop!

Yellow you are the loveliest!


This year's display was particularly special I thought as it was a riot of yellow and golden hues. I simply couldn't resist being snap happy - so be warned there are more than a few photos!

 Window 1: YeLLoW!! Simple & stunning: singapore orchids (my favourite window - who would've guessed?!)
Window 2: A little less yellow, but still beautiful! roses and baby's tears in glass cloches
Window 3: Soft & pretty: orchids, baby's tears, carnations, arum lilies (& my gorgeous friend in silouhette!)
Window 4: Spring!! A rainbow of colour: roses, stock, tulips, daffodils, ranunculus, anemones carnations and singapore orchids
Window 5: A little bit dark, a little bit moody and spooky: everlasting daisy, burnt banksia seed pods and white cymbidium orchids.
Window 6: On the dry and prickly: banksia, orchids, agaves, cacti, succulents (assorted) and aeonium

I highly recommend you put it in your calendar to see it for yourself next year (if you didn't get to see it this year)!

Photos: {hort couture}

{Styling it up for Sumo Salad - Part II}

So after potting up more than just a few Sumo Salad pails with assorted lettuce and swiss chard, {hort couture} was engaged to style a sit-down lunch for Sumo Salad's summer menu media launch!

The event was held in the Rose Garden Pavilion set within the grounds of Sydney's beautiful Botanic Gardens. Really this location could have had nothing done to it and it would still have been stunning. The roses are just coming into bloom and the spring flower bed displays were a riot of colour and activity with bees and butterflies buzzing around just as busily as I was!

Being the 'Healthiest Fast Food Franchise' the brief from the client was to keep within the theme of fresh and healthy. So of course this called for the use of beautiful fresh produce such as the gorgeous ruby red stems of rhubarb, scarlet skinned pomegranates with their luscious juicy-pop seeds, fire-engine red truss tomatoes, and the architectural form of artichokes. 

(C) Belinda Roland Photography
The setting was to be clean and crisp with a touch of picnic. I was also very keen to incorporate the branding colours of Sumo Salad - green and orange - so I used a vast array of striking green foliage, bright green Granny Smith apples and limes, along with adorable Dutch Carrots and mini pumpkins.
(C) Belinda Roland Photography
(C) Belinda Roland Photography
(C) Belinda Roland Photography
(C) Belinda Roland Photography
(C) Belinda Roland Photography
This was such fun day and the food was amazing (yes, even the hired help got to taste test the new menu! Yum!). Although a little stressed about the inclement weather leading up to, and in the morning, we were blessed by the Weather Gods with the sun shining down on us providing us with the most amazing afternoon.

.. The End
Photos: {hort couture} & Belinda Roland Photography