A container of earthly delights

Locally grown organic flowers + unattended, often forgotten garden clippings + some flown-in stuff from around the world + the magic of the four seasons + a good sense of humor + a deep compassion for all living things = OUR SECRET RECIPE.

...can you dig?

When I'm not traveling I actually have a day job. And it's a pretty great one at that. I own and operate A Garden of Earthly Delights, a high-end floral design studio in Maryland. We specialize in big events like weddings, corporate parties, special occasions and interior floral decor for the holidays. To describe our style I would have to say: magical and earthy, straight from the garden with a twist. There is a terrific mix of the natural with the supernatural. Intrigued?

Well, to give you an example of the design process, I'll start from the beginning. First I make a trip to our local wholesaler and see what seasonal, and hopefully organic product they have in stock that week. Then I bring the flowers to our studio where we condition them, providing enough water and love to ensure that they open nicely and in a healthy, growth-oriented environment.

After that, my designers are encouraged to make a trip to our studio's garden out back and start clipping some gorgeous foliages we plan to combine with our wholesale flowers. We finish the process when we create the actual design. I have 5 designers, all with a different eye and artistic style, so each arrangement is very special and always unique. Each of us is a little A.D.D. and has a highly over-active imagination, so we mix in those wonderful ideas that are floating around in our brains and come up with some pretty spectacular creations. The end result is always magic and beauty.

Some hints if you try your hand at design:
Many seasonal summer blossoms prefer to drink water directly as opposed to struggle with hydration in oasis. Therefore, glass cube vases and cylinders are sublime for a summer floral bouquet.

If you get in a bind and need some floral assistance, give us a call, we'd be happy to help. I also teach courses in natural design, meaning- a no 'FTD' style design. Look for the Creative Alliance Schedule of Workshops in Sept. '08. I'll be teaching a class 9/17. I'd love to share my secrets in creating the earthly magic with you.

PHILOSOPHY= To always maintain a true and deep love for all flowers and plants both living and dead, including the insects and fauna that survive off of them.

LOCALE: Paradise, MD, "A Garden of Earthly Delights" floral design studio

FLORALS SHOWN: Pic 1) Large Arrangement: oakleaf hydrangea, mophead hydrangea, purple allium, delphinium, cherry brandy roses, kiwi roses, yellow Asiatic lilies, bamboo, springerai, ruscus, hanging amaranthus, beech tree foliage, baby maple leaves. Pic 2) Centerpiece: Salmon French tulips and birch branches. Pic 3) Staggered arrangements: blue birds and purple dendros, blue hydrangea and purple anemones, and green cymbidiums and grape hyacinth. Pic 4) Dolores conditions spring tulips. Pic 5) Bridal bouquet of flowering kale, rose hips, amaryllis and banksia foliage. Pic 6) Ivory mini callas overflowing in vase. Pic 7) Square vase arrangement: hydrangea, peonies, gloriosa lilies, veronica blue, dendrobium orchids, orange unique roses, lisianthus. Pic 8) Keenan plays with blue garden hydrangea, pink crown asters, green cymbidium ochids and pincusion protea. Pic 9) Square vase arrangement: allium, cymbidium orchids, antique green hydrangea, arabicum, stars of bethlehem, mountain fern, red maple leaf, tulips, peach stock, rosemary, lambs ears, vinca vine, eucalyptus leaves and huckleberry. Pic 10) Bouquet of eggplant mini callas with cymbidium orchids.

More gorgeous flower pics on web site:

Sri Lanka's national flower is in my pond...

Known in Sri Lanka as the Nil Mahanel flower or Nympheae Stellata for the latin lovers, this gorgeous blue lotus flower was declared the national flower of Sri Lanka on February 26, 1986. The Nil Mahanel is found in all parts of the country as well as here in the U.S.A. The flower is purplish blue in color. The Nil Mahanel flower is considered a symbol of truth, purity and discipline. It has been a part of Sri Lankan history for centuries-- it is mentioned in many Sinhala, Pali and Sanskrit Literary works. The flower which is also referred to as "Kuvalaya", "Indheewara", "Niluppala", "Nilothpala", and "Nilupul" occupies a pre eminent position in Buddhist literature as well. It is said the "Nil Mahanel Flower" was among the 108 ceremonial designs found on the footprint of Prince Siddhartha-- a pretty impressive portfolio for a flower that grows in swamps and ponds!

It is believed that the damsels depicted in Sigiriya Frescoes also carried this sexy blue blossom in their hands as offerings. Traditional poetry known as "Sandesa Kavya" likened women's eyes to the Nil Mahanel flower which can also be used as an ear ornament. I doubt even the International Flower Spy would attempt that style of floral jewelry, but would consider floating a few in her tub or pond for some fierce exotic ambience.

A very spylicious flower if ever I saw one. And quite sexy too.

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