An inspirational escape to Northern England

 
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In July I flew to Manchester for a few days to meet floral designer Fiona who runs Firenza Floral Designer (she was listed by the Telegraph as one of the 20 top florist in the country). I’ve been following her work  and I like very much her style, so I decided to have a one to one workshop.

It was a beautiful sunny day  when I  met Fiona surrounded by  her dogs in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside. We chatted in her romantic, peaceful garden and it was hugely inspirational to compare our styles. We both discovered that our main source of inspiration came from nature.

 Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

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Ph @Belle and Beau

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Ph @Belle and Beau

Als she showed me how to create one of her unique bouquets, I felt elated at designing something so different to my usual style.

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Ph @Belle and Beau

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Ph @Belle and Beau

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Ph @Belle and Beau

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Ph @Belle and beau

With the same flowers we both made completely different creations.

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Ph @Belle and Beau

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Ph @Belle and Beau

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Ph @Belle and Beau

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Ph @Belle and Beau

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Ph @Belle and Beau

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Ph @Belle and Beau

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Ph @Belle and Beau

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Ph @Belle and Beau

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Ph @Belle and Beau

Over lunch in the sunny garden I got to know Holly an incredible photographer who took some beautiful photos of the day.

What do you do to find inspiration?

 Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

 
 

4 essential tips for an impeccable table

 
 Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

 
 

In October I organized a one day floral workshop focused on how to decorate a table from start to finish. I asked Manuela Piccoli an expert interior designer, to join us and to  give inspirational insights on table etiquette.

During the preparation of the course I kept in mind 4 key points :

  • Style

  • Palette and flowers

  • table preparation

  • less is more

Style

First of all I chose the style. I went for a very romantic, elegant and baroque look. While I was looking for inspiration  I discovered that  next year one trend in wedding decorations will be  “New baroque”. I’m curious to see how the baroque style will evolve this time around. Baroque style always includes ornate gold, extravagant locations and luxurious decorations; how interpret it is completely up to you.

Palette and flowers

I always choose the style and colours at the same time. It’s so important to have a clear idea of the palette from the start. For this event I went for opulent shades of burgundy paired with bright pearl-ivory and gentle gold/caramel tones.  The selective use of colour gave me the freedom to choose the best flowers and greenery. Thanks to the different shapes and petals, I could express the uniqueness and elegance of baroque.

Among the flowers chosen there were:

  • “Antik caramel” garden roses for their sumptuous candy caramel shade

  • Yves Piaget “Ivory” garden roses with their ethereal petals reminiscent of  Japanese silk paper.

  • “Dark chocolate” dahlia with its velvety opulent dark chocolate hue

  • Intense burgundy and light cappuccino carnations

  • Translucent pearl leaves of  Lunaria

  • The beautiful long lithe shape of Stock and Cat’s tail

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Ph @Paolo Castagendi

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Ph @Paolo Castagendi

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Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

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ph @Paolo Castagnedi

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Ph @Paolo Castagendi

 Table setting

After deciding on the style, colour mood and flowers  I met Manuela in her atelier to select all the necessary items. Keeping the style and colours in mind we chose  elegant and timeless white. We picked out old linen table cloths,  fine white bone china dishes decorated in gold, French cutlery and antique crystal glasses.

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Ph @Paolo Castagendi

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Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

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Ph @Paolo Castagendi

Less is more

When I’m decorating I never forget this golden rule. For this event it meant not adding  any more colours to the ones we already had. Manuela and I immediately agreed that the best and only choice was white for everything.

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Ph @Paolo Castegnedi

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Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

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Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

To wrap up:

  • Don’t forget to use candles

  • Find objects in yours cupboards and use them in an unsual way

  • Don’t forget to decorate the rest of your home or location with a detail inspired by your table design: a colour, a flower or …

  • And don’t forget to enjoy yourself!

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Ph @Paolo Castagendi

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Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

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Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

A big thanks to Orietta for having us in her beautiful relais and to Paolo for the incredible photos.

 Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

 

A medieval castle shoot

 
 Photo @ Valentina Fraccaroli

Photo @ Valentina Fraccaroli

 
 

At the end of winter, just before the approach of spring I was invited to do a shoo in a medieval castle.

When I received the moodboard about this shoot I started by choosing the  colour.

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Burgundy was my immediate choice for its elegance, timeless style and versatility. This shade always gives a deep and dramatic note to each creation.

Starting with the bridal bouquet, I paired  the burgundy to different shades of pink in order to highlight the romantic style of the bridal gown.

 Photo @ Valentina Fraccaroli

Photo @ Valentina Fraccaroli

I wanted to create a luxurious and opulent bouquet where  different textures, petal shapes and flowers would add an ethereal and flowing style.

 Photo @ Valentina Fraccaroli

Photo @ Valentina Fraccaroli

 Photo @ Valetina Fraccaroli

Photo @ Valetina Fraccaroli

For the table decoration I picked flowers with amazing tones of burgundy: ranunculus, spellbinding anemones and dramatic tulips. To give a sparkling light I added  some peach tone flowers. Antique candleholders and small vases with candles added  a magical touch to the whole evening.

 Photo @ Valentina Fraccaroli

Photo @ Valentina Fraccaroli

 Photo @ Valentina Fraccaroli

Photo @ Valentina Fraccaroli

 Photo @Valentina Fraccaroli

Photo @Valentina Fraccaroli

 Photo @Valentina Fraccaroli

Photo @Valentina Fraccaroli

 Photo @Valentina Fraccaroli

Photo @Valentina Fraccaroli

 Photo @ Valentina Fraccaroli

Photo @ Valentina Fraccaroli

Many thanks to an incredible team

Photo / Valentina Fraccaroli
Video / Forever Film di Paolo Brentegani
Drone / Andrea Bianco
Stationery / Bee in Love – Wedding Design di Elisa Tedesco
Mua & Hair / L’officina del MakeUp di Claudia Jclo Make Up
Wedding Cake / Cremerie
Dress / Marianna Michelon
Suit / Baratto Lavis
Shoes / Anniel
Rings / MIOeTUO
Venue / Ai Conti – Break, fast & slow
Patrocinio / Wedding in Arco
Bride / Caterina Brazzoli
Groom / Fabio Porta

 

An impressionist garden in the Tuscan hills

 
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I’ve just come back from a short stay in Tuscany where I visited the beautiful ‘Podere Puscina Flowers’ owned by 3 sisters.

A family run business in the very heart of Tuscany where Teresa, Mara and Laura grow their own local flowers respecting the biodiversity and nature.

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I was greeted by Kira, their friendly dog and an incredible landscape. Walking through the fields was like being part of an impressionist painting. The colours of flowers, the bright blue sky, the magical wood at the end of the valley, together with the golden wheat fields were truly inspirational.

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There were many amazing varieties of flowers such as: romantic English garden roses, corn flower, lavender, veronica, false goat’s beard, love-in-amist, scbious, alchemilla …

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Cotinus

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Cosmea simple and double 

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Sanguisorba, amni, love-in-a-mist, strawberry scabious

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Acquilegia

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Scabious

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The one that captured my attention the most was the poppy. I’ve never seen so many different colours and varieties.

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I really enjoyed my wonderful stay at Puscina an enchanted place where 3 families live and work in harmony with nature.

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6 floral installations at the Milan design week

 
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Every April Milan opens its doors to the design week and events of “Fuorisalone”.

For me the Fuorisalone has became an absolute must. In this edition two elements that immediately caught my attention were: flowers and the combination between modern and antique.

As soon as I arrived I went straight  to see the Danish brand “Hay” which was hosted at Palazzo Clerici. The Nordic style was perfectly integrated in the magnificent neoclassical rooms decorated with marble and golden stuccos. The floral arrangements added a cosy atmosphere to the grandeur of the palace.

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Moving on I stopped at the baroque Palazzo Litta, that held the installation  “Temple in the forest” designed by the London studio of Asif Kahn.

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Next I was taken by surprise by the pop up store that Raw had created especially for the Fuorisalone. The new collection of floral fabric born from the collaboration of the amercan brand John Derian and the English  Designer Guild, had a very romantic feel.  Intense pink flowers styled by “Flo” were surrounded by candles to set the scene.

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Arriving in Piazza Duomo I went to see Tiffany’s shop windows. For this occasion Tiffany had asked 5 artists to create a special installation in a silver greenhouse. When I stepped inside I was immediately enchanted by a spectacular curtain of flowers displayed before me.

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In the afternoon there were 2 palaces to visit.

In Palazzo Serbelloni’s courtyard there was the “Swarosky palace”. Upon entering I marveled at the effect of the glittering dancing lights everywhere.

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On the first floor of Palazzo Serbelloni I was blown away by the incredible and stunning floral arrangements created by Christian Tortu for  the Danish brand Gubi. The choice of colours, flowers and natural elements from the vegetable world were perfectly matched with the awesome rooms and furniture.

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To end this amazing day I visited the installation created for Louis Vitton at Palazzo Bocconi. Just inside the courtyard was the incredible Hexacube House “Bubble house” designed by the Greek designer Goerge Candilllis in 1970. Stepping inside the palace, at the top of a majestic staircase I was welcomed by a cascade of 10.000 paper flowers.

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Did you have any chance to visit the Fuori salone? Let me know what surprised you most!

 

intensive floral workshop in Milan

 
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Last March I organised the intensive floral workshop in a new location “Le spezie gentili” in the heart of Milan. Spring was in the air as I strolled down on an unusually quiet tree line street showing the first signes of blossom on the trees. Once  arrived Valeria, the owner, gave us a warm welcome and looked after us very well throughout our stay.

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On Saturday we focused on how to create a basic bouquet. This was followed by the creation of a floral arrangement using a sponge base. I chose shades of pink to introduce the concept of colour. Pale pink scented “O’Hara” roses, radiant pink anemones were a perfect combination topped off with the dramatic purple-red ranunculus.

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On the second day we played around with a palette of spring colours. Deep red tulips, intense burgundy scabious were intertwined with romantic vintage “Garden” roses, lilac clematis and peach branches.

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For the floral arrangement in sponge the essence of spring was my inspiration.  Pastel tones of pink, light blue, delicate yellow were combined with a touch of vivid orange and red. Orange centred narcissus and bright red strawberries were perfect for this purpose.

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The next intensive floral course will be held in the beautiful hills of Custoza in Verona.

If you are interested please don’t hesitate to contact me.

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the magical world of pictures meets the magical world of flowers

 
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I’ve been always attracted to stationary, paper and drawings and that’s the reason why I want to introduce you to a group of talented young girls who goes by the name of  “This is Fairground”. They saw the light 6 months ago when Rebecca, Jesna and Petra decided to turn their love for illustrations into an adventure.

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They deal with every aspect of wedding stationery,  birthday invitations and every type of special occasion, from the inspirational moodboards right down to thank you cards. All their graphic work is inspired by their passions: music, art, video, cinema and travel.

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When I first read their “about page”  I was very intrigued with how they described their work:” We adore every kind of paper. We mostly love creating wonderful tales tailor made for you, so that you can keep them as a reminder of your happiest moment… We create magic. We take you back to the fairground”.

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In their work nature, flowers and colours are essential and are perfectly matched with the way I create with flowers.

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In December we started with a Christmas card. They immediately understood what I wanted to transmit: joy, light heartedness and magic.

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In January I finally found a way to mix photos and illustrations. I talked about  this project with them and so the drawings on my wedding page became reality.

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And what about you?  Do you prefer images or illustrations? Let me know!

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4 reasons to choose carnations

 
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Today I would like to write about carnation, a flower that is very often underestimated without being able to stand up for itself. These opinions come from the past when the floral arrangements were very basic or because here in Italy the custom is to use them on sad occasions.

But I think the time has arrived to open up the doors to this special flower which has a lot to offer.  Let me give you at least 4 reasons to change your mind about carnations

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First of all nowadays there is an incredible variety of colours which always leave me speechless. Since the start of my career I’ve discovered numerous carnation varieties.

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The second reason is that carnations keep you company for quite a long time, nearly a week or more. A tip they don’t like much water in the vase and the stems are quite fragile.

Thirdly carnations can be found throughout the year and they are fairly cheap. For these reasons they are ideal to complement any floral arrangements.

 Ph Paolo Castagnedi

Ph Paolo Castagnedi

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And finally they have a wonderful delicate scent and are very soft to touch. A bunch of white carnations  looks like whipped cream. Their consistency and the movement of the petals remind me of sumptuous velvet.

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Don’t forget that in flower language they mean pure love.

 Ph Paolo Castagnedi

Ph Paolo Castagnedi

Have you ever thought about giving them or  decorating  your home with them?

 
 

Backstage at a Verona wedding

 
 

Action!

Last October we made a video and I had real fun. It was the first time for me.

The main characters were:

Cristiana the wedding planner, who directed the whole day

Tiziana the make up artist who did the make up

as floral designer I created the bridal bouquet

Guido, the photographer

Noemi, the videomaker

Two beautiful young models

Not forgetting an orange red Fiat 500

And last but not least amazing Verona at sunset

Here is the day in photos.

During the preparation

 @ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

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@ Guido Pera

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@ Guido Pera

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@ Guido Pera

Last touches

 @ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

 @ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

 @ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

 @ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

Creating the bridal bouquet

 @ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

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@ Guido Pera

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@ Guido Pera

The happy ending

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@ Guido Pera

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@ Guido Pera

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@ Guido Pera

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@ Guido Pera

 @ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

 @ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

Take a look at our video and let me know what you think! Il completo lo troverete stasera alle 21.00 sulla sulla mia pagina Facebook e sul mio nuovo canale Vimeo

 
 

YOUR ITALIAN COUNTRY CHIC PICNIC WEDDING

 
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Searching for an idea for an original and stylish wedding? A picnic wedding could be just the thing!

Imagine a beautiful 16th century Italian country house, Relais Corte Guastalla, surrounded by Custoza vineyards, just a short distance from stunning Lake Garda and romantic Verona, the city of Romeo and Juliet and eternal love.

 @ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

 @ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

An exclusive picnic wedding in the shade of majestic trees, amidst bouquets of peonies, roses, lisianthius and many other hand-selected spectacular flowers. Only the finest china, crystal and original French silverware will be used to make your special day absolutely perfect!

 @ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

 @ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

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@ Marco Bravi

 @ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

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@ Marco Bravi

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@ Marco Bravi

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@ Marco Bravi

Our team of highly qualified professionals will help you create your unique picnic wedding with an unforgettable magical atmosphere in a stylish setting.

 @ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

A typical picnic wedding package for 25 people includes:

•    3 nights accommodation including international breakfast at Relais Corte Guastalla in a double or triple room

•    Exclusive use of Relais Corte Guastalla location for 3 days

•    Wedding Photography service  by Marco Bravi

•    Floral design and decorations by Tania Muser

•    Wedding Planner: Cristiana Sarego of My Perfect Day

•    Place settings by Manuela Piccoli

•    Food and drinks for the picnic

We create made-to-measure packages according to your special requests.

Get in touch with us!

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 @ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

 
 

A peak behind the scenes of a country chic picnic

 
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A country chic picnic is  an unusual way  to celebrate  your wedding reception, a birthday or a bridal shower. I’d been thinking about this ideas for quite a long time. Then when I met Orietta at Relais Corte Guastalla I knew that I’d found the perfect  location. So a couple of days later  I decided to organize an inspirational picnic shoot with: Orietta, Cristiana, Manuela an Marco.

 @ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

 @ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

Let me introduce you to this wonderful team:

Orietta and her husband who welcomed us in their fabulous park and villa.

 @ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

Manuela Piccoli a romantic interior designer who’s passionate about shabby chic! She spends most of her time at antique markets in France searching for unique pieces. She turned the park into a magical setting with wrought iron lanterns, floral patterned armchairs and soft mauve velvet cushions. She laid out a white linen tablecloth on the grass with floral bone china dishes, French silver cutlery and crystal glasses.

 @ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

Marco Bravi and his son always manage to capture incredible emotional moments.

 @ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

Cristiana, a very capable wedding planner coordinated the whole day magnificently.

 @ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

My job was to organize the flowers. In keeping with the country theme I chose delicate wild flowers paired with luxurious peonies, elegant roses together with olive, rosemary and seasonal greenery.

 @ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

 @ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

The mood was: fresh and sparkling, romantic and elegant with a retro feel about it.

These were some of the behind the scenes moments.

 @ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

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@ Marco Bravi

Check my blog tomorrow for the picnic package details.

 @ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

Thanks to Gaiadi for the stationary!

 
 

4 pink combinations for your Christmas table

 
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Last week on a grey cloudy morning I met  Manuela Piccoli to create an unusual and inspirational Christmas corner. As soon as I arrived Manuela took me to her deposit full of antiques, a real treat for my eyes. It was like opening a door and take a glimpse into the past.

I discovered an amazing 18th  century dresser where I created a magical winter wonderland. I used branches of rosehip, silver and green cypress, pine, moss, a magnificent Hellebore and masses of glowing candles. To make the atmosphere even cozier I  added a green velvet armchair and a pink  one, a crystal chandelier and  two white wrought iron lanterns.

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A sunlit corner filled with plants was a perfect location for the Christmas table. I wanted to create  a romantic and vintage look. So we used an embroidered white tablecloth, mismatched wrought iron with soft white  wollen white blankets. 19th century  Sheffield dinner  plates from 900, fine bone china dishes, antique silver French cutlery, Liberty green glasses and small 50’s style bowls adorned the table.

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For the flowers I chose the different shades of intense pink. This tone is perfect for its versatility and meaning. A few days back I read an article about pink which signifies  kindness, romanticism and gratitude.  I daresay “perfect” for this festive period.  Use this palette to surprise your guests this year!

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The flowers were: Ranunculus, Carnation, Cymbiudim, different types of berries from light pink to dark violet.

Here are 4 possible combinations with pink:

  • Pink/violet: violet Anemones and blue Hyacinth
  • Pink/red: intese red roses "Red Naomi" and pillar box Ilex
  • Pink/Bordeaux: bordeaux Ranunculus, Anemones, Carnation and Skimmia
  • Pink/silver: silver berries

Don’t forget to add seasonal greenery!

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Hope you are getting into the Christmas spirit.

Best wishes!

See you in January!

Send me some photos of your seasonal decorations!

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Flowers and wine

 
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Amidst the vineyards of Valpolicella (northern Italy) the well known Allegrini winery organized an event to showcase the “Fieramento Amarone” wine, "riserva D.O.C.G 2011".

I had the pleasure to arrange all the floral decorations. With wine being the main theme I played around with ruby red colours.

The lunch had a rustic feel about it and was served in the vineyards from where there was a spectacular view of the valley. To  highlight  the colour of  the grapes I picked out yellow, orange and a touch of red. The flowers were: Golden rod, orange Dahlia, and some red berries of rosehip.

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For the gala dinner the bold ruby red  Dahlia held pride of place in the floral design of the table. Being September I had the chance once  again to accentuate the elegance of the Dahlia with the dramatic intensity of the Cosmos and the violet of the Viburnum berries. To provide a light note I added some peach light carnations. To finish off I arranged the flowers in special wine glasses for the occasion. The cut glass crystal amongst the flickering candles added movement and brightness to the dinner table.

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The aperitif was held outside where I created an autumnal wood in the stone fountain. I used different types of branches to create a magical fairy like setting. I like to think that tiny fireflies lit up the scene.

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Intensive floral workshop with an autumn twist

 
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There was a unique vibe during my last intensive floral work-shop in October.

The special ingredients that made these two days so incredible were: an amazing group of curious and focused women: Natascia, Alessia, Nadia, Giorgia, Caterina, Silvia and Elena. Each one with her own dreams, passions, but above all very determined to share this experience.

The wonderfully welcoming Relais Corte Guastalla location set amongst the Custoza vineyard was the perfect backdrop for our week-end.

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I chose the vibrant autumn palette of : the bordeaux chrysanthemum, the chocolate of the Cosmos, the ruby red of the hydrangea  and the more delicate tones of pastel pink of the perfumed O’Hara roses.

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At the beginning of the course I gave a small  floral patterned notebook to each partecipant. Here they could note down any tips that they’d picked up during the week-end.

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This was my fourth  intensive floral workshop and I must say it was a really magical experience for us all.  Here are some special words from Natascia from Parma:”Wood of Ceylon, powerful, crisp, exciting, magical, special  and unique. This was how Tania welcomed us on the  first morning. The morning light shimmering through the windows of the villa, candles flickering, a folded apron on the table, and a unique patterned  notebook. A small branch of red apples laid out to remind us that nature is a work of art, and all our flowers displayed magnificently on the mantelpiece.

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A special thanks to Elena, who captured those two days beautifully with her camera.

 

An autumn wedding with an essential flower

 
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Hi again, hope you had a good summer I’d a splendid one. As the leaves are starting to fall I thought I’d tell you about a wonderful autumn wedding I did last year.

Paula and Adam are a lovely couple who live in London and wanted to celebrate their union in Northern Italy. They chose the romantic location of Valpolicella amidst the vineyards.

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Paula had a very clear idea of the style, the hues and the atmosphere that she wanted for their wedding. Being passionate about flowers herself it was important that they played an important role on their special day.

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Constance Spry the English floral designer was a source of inspiration for Paula. This innovative floral designer was behind the creation for Elizabeth II’s coronation and many other royal events. She was a very strong, independent woman, passionate about flowers who brought flowers to the masses. Nowadays her elegant and natural style is very much in vogue and she wrote many books about floral design.

Going back to Paula’s wedding she chose a palette made up of different shades of bordeaux, burgundy, green and cream. A touch of light peach was added to give light and to create and edgy contrast. The chocolate hue of her moodboard conveyed elegance, smoothness and consistency.

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For the flowers we chose:

  • Dahlia "dark chocolate", a flower with a dramatic red-chocolate colour;
  • Dahlia “cafè au Lait” which I love deeply and its sole presence brightens up every floral arrangement;
  • Cosmos an ethereal flower with a bold almost black hue and velvet petals (check out my link);
  • Stonecrop and Amnivisnaga, the first is fleshy and the second has a vintage lace look;
  • Berries of black and red Viburnun, pink Symphoricarpos, peach St. John’s Wort and branches of small green rosehips;
  • Foliage of different shades together with the unique burgundy violet Cotinus.

And last but not least black grapes and pomegranates were placed on each table for good luck.

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Paula’s gown  was simple in style and light golding colour, a perfect background for her beautiful, big bridal bouquet. The curvaceous branches of green rosehip and cosmos gave a lightness and flow to it.

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As you can see from the photos the final result was stunning"!

Take a look for yourself and let me know what you think.

PH: Dave Watts

Some photos are from Pinterest and some are mine.

 

A JOURNAL OF THE INTENSIVE TWO-DAY WORKSHOP

 
 
 
 

It’s been a few months since  Marco Bravi gave me the photos of the last intensive floral workshop which I held in February. In the meantime I’ve restyled my website, a hard but rewarding task and I’ve launched a new series of floral workshop focused on wedding and event design.

When I saw the images for the first time I was left speechless. It was incredible what Marco managed to capture through his lens. Small details about the location were brought to light, the concentration, attention and joy on the faces of the participants. It was wonderful to see each participant opening up to this new world and growing in knowledge.

Being spring, I was spoiled for choice by the variety of species and colours of the flowers. From tulips to ranunculus, hyacinths, anemones right down to the intense blue iris.

If you would like to know more about my intensive workshop click on the link for more information.

Before leaving to enjoy the images I would like to thank  all the attendees, Chiara, Federica, Bianca, Martina, Samantha, Sara, Caterina, Arianna e Cinzia, Marco for the amazing  photos, and Giulia the owner of Villa La Valverde for her wonderful hospitality.

 

A romantic shoot in the vineyards

 

A hazy September day was the perfect backdrop for this shoot. Just a few words about the flowers and colours that I used, for the rest I’ll let  Sotiris’s gorgeous photos speak for themselves.

Colours: the choice of the colour is the first thing to decide when planning floral decorations. I pinpointed two main colours: pink and green in different tones. Then I added a touch of burgundy and blue/violet to add intensity and give an edgy contrast to the decorations.

Flowers: the texture of the petals and the shape of the buds are very important. It’s like with fabrics: there are different weights, weaves and materials.  I’m always trying to create unusual combinations. For this shoot the delicate petals of Eustoma were set against the heavier consistency of the blue/violet Viburnum berries. The silk smoothness of the roses were perfectly matched to the lace transparency of the Amni Visnaga. Not to mention the Cosmos (a seasonal flower found from the end of September to mid October) whose corolla seems to have been drawn by a child. The intense velvet bordeaux petals together with its slender stems add lightness and gentle elegance to the scene.

A huge thank to all the team who worked on this amazing shoot. The photographs have since been published in various on line magazines.

Style me pretty: Debonhair Vineyard Garden wedding in Verona

Adorn Magazine: Italian garden wedding at Hotel Villa Giona

Dear Gray Magazine: Verona wedding morning

Wedding Planner: Alessandra Benedett

Makeup: Michela Dalla Brea 

Hair: AN-J

Wedding Dress: Mara Rossi, Tiffany Atelier Sposa, Villafranca (Verona) 

Jewelery: Skusa 

Venue: Hotel Villa Giona

 

HYGGE AND FLOWERS

 
 

The Danish untranslatable word “Hygge” is the latest trend at the moment. What does it mean exactly? The meaning is more or less: “how to create a cosy and pleasant atmosphere, enjoying life with our loved ones.” Recently we were in Copenaghen and we felt this way of living everywhere. Upon our arrival we were impressed by the lack of noise and this calmness stayed with us all day long. A very relaxing and liveable city with an intense light and nature was very strongly present everywhere.

It was so inspiring for me. I could dedicate myself to the discovery of the Danish design (which I’ll be seeing again next week during the Milan design week).

What impressed me most? The constant presence of flowers and plants. Flowers and plants everywhere: in vases, hanging from the ceiling, on tables and even decorating the plates. Everywhere you go from the small bar to the design store the attention to details is amazing.

 

A beautiful historic palace was the setting for the Danish design company of Hay House. We stepped into a world of hygge design and from the tall impressive windows we had an incredible view over the busy square.

Next stop was the Royal Copenaghen store, one of the world’s oldest companies, established in 1775. Easter was the main theme with moss, trees, flowers, bulbs and fine china eggs in every corner.

Moving on we arrived in a quaint, little street home of the romantic and eclectic shop Stillleben.

From there we headed for lunch to a nice restaurant with an incredible inner greenhouse.

In the afternoon although the elements were against us, we popped over to The little mermaid on the sea. We stopped off at a coffee shop along the way to warm ourselves and to try a delicious Danish pastry.

 

Don’t miss my post next week about the Design Week in Milan.

A special thanks to Pauline  of PetitePassaport for her very useful guide of Copenaghen.

 
 
 
 
 

an unusual Saturday in Berlin

 
 

Destination Berlin to meet a very close friend for a 24 hour stay.

Two absolutely essential places to visit were Fiona Bennet’s hat laboratory and the Soho House Berlin space.

With Giselle, my dearest friend, I headed immediately to visit Fiona the “hatmaker”, who dresses many Berliners heads for every occasion. Stepping inside the shop, once an old soap factory, you enter a beguiling timeless world. A white fairy world where hat boxes, ribbons, little pearls, silk flowers and feathers vie for space and I just felt like Alice in Wonderland.

Pop next door, you find yourself in the future, in a space with mirrored and silver plated walls where colourful dresses, shoes and accessories are showcased.

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After a well earned break in a cosy bar we took an unusual taxi, a 1963 Peugeot to the Soho House Berlin.

A two floor building with huge windows where modern and vintage is perfectly balanced. Inside the store you can find a barbershop, a florist, books, a coffee-shop, a corner with old vinyl records and of course the latest fashion. Dotted around the store are many little sofas and tables where you can stop and watch the world go by.

During my short but sweet Berlin stay I was pleasantly surprised to notice that everywhere was decorated with plants. In a nutshell the latest trend is definitely the Jungle urban style. Obviously there are always flowers to go with it!

 
 

discovering hellebore

 
 

Today I’m going to tell you all about my morning with Laura the owner of “The Unsual Garden” where I had the pleasure of discovering new varieties of hellebore. I met Laura in September in Mantua where she was showing off her recent crop of tulip, daffodil and iris bulbs. I immediately bought some colorful tulips and daffodil and so now I can’t wait to see them bloom. In the last few months I’ve been keeping in touch with her in order to know when the hellebore was ready to blossom. Usually they start blossoming in December but this year it was delayed due to lack of rain and the intense cold. Finally the message arrived and so I jumped into the car and went to see her.

Twenty years ago Laura and two families bought a piece of land where they built their homes. They left the garden unfenced so as to enjoy the countryside at its best. On clear days they have an amazing view over lake Garda and the nearby mountains and it’s a haven of peace and tranquility.

In spite of the greyish day, the garden had a magical atmosphere. I was immediately attracted to an impressive tree boasting tiny red apples and to delicate bunches of Viburnum dawn foresi. Laura was the perfect host accompanying me to explore her garden, pointing out the different varieties of hellebore scattered all over the garden. I even discovered some uncommon ones such as: hellebore picotee with delicate burgundy veining, a polka dot variety, a doubled petal one and even a blue one (I couldn’t resist buying one of the blue ones and I can’t wait to see it bloom).

Having spend a wonderful morning with Laura I’m anxious to return in April when the garden will be in full bloom.

Just a word about caring for your hellebore. It’s a hardy perennial, rustic plant and starts blooming at the beginning of winter until April. This plant likes half shade, and in April when it finishes blossoming it’s essential to keep it in the shade until autumn. In the Uk and northern America it‘s also known as the Christmas rose as it was traditionally used as a Christmas decoration. The most common variety is the Helleborus niger with its pure white flowers.

Hope you’re keeping busy in the garden as spring is on its way!

See you next time!