"Tuesday with the Pros" is an ongoing blog series featuring experts in the wedding and event industry. Today's authority is Clover Chadwick, owner and lead designer of the floral company Dandelion Ranch.LI: How would you describe your job?Clover: I design specialized flower arrangements for events and restaurants.LI: What would you say makes Dandelion Ranch unique from other floral design companies?Clover: We approach flowers differently in general, I think. Each arrangement is a little homage to nature, like little masterpieces, little gardens in their own right. We focus on a lot of greens, and instead of using greens as filler like many other companies do, we use them to create lines and texture, and allow the flowers to design themselves. Everything we create is really inspired and selected by how they grow in the wild.LI: What inspired you to become a floral designer?Clover: I used to live in Napa, and the restaurants there value their floral designs very highly and encourage a lot of creativity, so I would often get really inspired looking at their arrangements. When I myself became a restaurant manager, I began doing arrangements as part of my managerial duties and was able to style my designs using inspirations from Napa restaurants. By the time I started Dandelion Ranch I already had quite a few contacts in the restaurant business and was able to start somewhere instead of entirely from scratch.LI: What are some of your favorite things about your line of work?Clover: I love working with my talented associates, and the atmosphere that we have here in our studio. I also love going to the LA Flower Market in the morning...I go every day! It's fun to be around all the growers and learn new things from them.LI: What would be a dream event for Dandelion Ranch to design?Clover: Something with an "Alice in Wonderland" theme, or "Midsummer Night's Dream." It would be SO much fun, because it would just be endless ideas and designs!LI: What would you recommend to clientele looking to save money on their florals?Clover: Trust your floral designer for a beautiful and professional look, and buy local and seasonal. If you're shopping in the height of any flower's season, it'll be be less expensive and gorgeous.LI: Do you have anything exciting coming up?Clover: We have the NBC/Universal television award luncheon coming up at the end of this month. Those are always fun because they're themed and dramatic---they host them at a Phantom of the Opera theater and we create an absolutely enormous urn arrangement! We also have this great wedding that I'm looking forward to, with a Country Fair theme. I am going to arrange baskets of vegetables and flowers for the tables, it'll be so fun!LI: What is your favorite flower?Clover: I really love ranunculus, and matricarias.LI: What would be your pro advice to clients for a fun, stress-free event?Clover: Don't plan too far ahead. There's never any less stress three months out from an event whether you had two years to plan it or six months. You should probably only plan really far ahead if you need to save up for it, then it's understandable.For more on Clover and Dandelion Ranch, visit:Dandelion Ranch's official websiteThe Dandelion Ranch Facebook Page
My mom has a green thumb--she loves nurturing things and encouraging them to grow. Last weekend she opened her backyard to the public as part of the fundraiser Mary Lou Heard Memorial Garden Tour and drew an enormous crowd of well over 500 visitors within eight hours. FIVE HUNDRED PEOPLE (or more). Five hundred people wanted to see her "floating vegetable garden" and array of drought-friendly California native greenery. She organized demonstrations of her mulching bin, gave away poppyseed pods, collected donation money on behalf of participating charities, and patiently answered endless questions about her warm and welcoming backyard.
Upon meeting my mom and seeing her garden, many of my friends say "Well, know we know where you get your creativity." And it's true. I don't think my mom is what you'd call a traditional artist, but she is an enormous advocate of shaping your own world. Don't like the state your garden is in? Make it your own! Don't like the looks of your career/attitude/lifestyle? Take action, educate yourself, try to envision where certain seeds will grow best in the garden of your life, and then plant them there. Tend to them and then try another place or different seeds if nothing happens. Stay restless---because gardens need to be maintained and eventually replanted, as many things and people will require your attention in life, and someday much of what you are familiar with will come to an end, as well.
Right now my mom's backyard is classified by the National Wildlife Federation as an Certified Wildlife Habitat due to the environmental sustainability of the foliage she rears and the insects, birds, and small animals it attracts. If you know me, you know I love animals and pets. I wonder where I get it from?
I think some people feel a little useless when they get older and their children have found new interests and don't rely on them as much for anything. But really, I still learn things from my parents and use skills and values that they taught me (both on purpose and accidentally!) every single day. It's like now as an adult I see more of my mother in me than I ever have before, and I don't just mean when I look in the mirror! I'm so thankful that she is who she is and was able to help me become who I am.
Happy Mother's Day!
Indoor boudoir sessions require a little confidence and a nice big bed. Boudoir sessions outside? Well, that also requires some downright bravado (not to mention cute shoes)!BEFORE YOU READ ON: This post contains tasteful images of a partially nude female body, and may not be work-safe. Readers under the age of 18 should obtain their parents' permission.