April Powers

April should be the REAL New Year!  For me it’s a month of promise where the energy of the earth is unavoidable to witness. Despite the uncertainties of Winter, April brings with it urges to get up off the couch and contribute to new beginnings.  Feelings of hope, happiness and anticipation that come with planting a cutting patch have been irresistible and the springtime flowers that are already blooming recklessly are playing the messenger….I actually forgot about the forget me not seeds I scattered in the fall and when I saw them blooming I felt like they were screaming out ‘remember me!’.  Every single morning I witness new arrivals. Everything seems to have grown since yesterday! Spring just can not be restrained. And neither can I. So begins my second year of growing flowers to cut and fill our house with their beauty.








A Year in Bloom

Welcome 2016! It has been a year since I began my 4 Blooms and a Bee journey, and I have to say, when I think back to this time last year, I had no idea how much beauty, discovery, and hard work I was about to encounter!

With the garden looking so bare right now it’s hard to believe that flowers actually bloomed, that bees busily buzzed and that aromas filled the summer air of our little garden.IMG_1847IMG_2295IMG_3961IMG_1594IMG_4782IMG_4769IMG_5602When I look back at these photos it reminds me what an amazing year our family had in our garden. It was so worth it. The happiness and contentment I felt when working in the garden was enough to get me officially hooked. Not only that, our house was filled with seasonal flowers all year round which always brightened my day.

Here are a few of my favourite arrangements, one from each season.IMG_1157IMG_3156IMG_4853FullSizeRender-2Another great pleasure I have had over the last year is having the chance to share the whole experience with my friends and family. The original aim of 4 Blooms and a Bee was to get people thinking about the origin of the flowers they are buying, inspire others to seek out more local, seasonal alternatives and even try to grow their own seasonal blooms. On occasion I think I may have achieved this, but mostly I have opened a new discussion with friends and family that I had not had before, and for that I am grateful.



Seasonal Berries

I can’t get enough of these Ilex berries that are everywhere in the flower shops right now.

IMG_6218I have been desperate to buy them, their seasonal presence being so profound. So when I found some that were BC grown, I was so chuffed! 

I mixed them with some fallen stems of winter foliage I found on my local weekly forest walk and here is the result.





Encouraged by the look of my door wreath and the fun I had making the base by weaving grape vines, I decided to do another one for a table centerpiece.  I made this one a bit thicker so I could insert into it some single candle holders I bought from the craft store and spray painted silver. I then used some ivy, berries, and fir cones from the garden to decorate it.  FullSizeRender-6I was mostly able to attach them by winding the stems into the vines, but for the candle holders and some of the fir cones my glue gun was a requirement!IMG_6278Another option for such a centerpiece is demonstrated by Willow Crossley in her book Inspire, The Art of Living with Nature, who ties a similar peppercorn wreath from the ceiling over her kitchen table.  I much preferred the look of this option but it didn’t work for our kitchen table.  Here are a few pictures anyway for an example of how the centre piece could hang.FullSizeRender-7FullSizeRender-8






Christmas Wreath

Don’t forget to dress your door this christmas! I wanted to try something a little different from the evergreen wreath I made last year.  I’m lucky enough to have grape vines in the garden so I wove these to make the base of the wreath. The vines are really quite easy to work with and stay in place without needing any tape or wires.  If you wanted to try something similar but can’t get hold of grape vines, something like willow, honeysuckle, or ivy might work just as well. I was really pleased with the result.IMG_6023My daughter and I then went on a little foliage gathering expedition in our garden and our neighbours garden (with permission of course!).  Using florist wire I attached our gatherings to the base of the wreath and this is what I created. IMG_6331 Traditional looking in foliage and colours, but not your average christmas wreath. IMG_6340IMG_6334


Christmas Colours

With less than 3 weeks to Christmas it’s about time I got into the spirit of things with a Christmas arrangement.  I bought some lovely locally grown Alstroemeria and bright white Chrysanthemums from the local corner store and put them together with a few sprigs of Christmassy foliage from the garden.  To me, the red, white and green colours just scream out Christmas and make a pretty addition to any coffee or side table.


Beauty Berry

Week 40 of The Blooms

I have been dreaming about using branches with this amazing coloured berry in an arrangement, ever since I saw them this time last year in a garden in my neighbourhood.  When I first saw them I was on a run and I had to stop as I literally couldn’t believe the beautiful purple colour of the berries.  I was not shocked when I returned home and found the name of the shrub to be Callicarpa, better known as Beautyberry. I thought about looking in the garden centre to see if I could buy myself one of these beautiful berry producing shrubs but of course I didn’t get around to it.IMG_6018I couldn’t believe it when last week I stumbled across the purple berries again a year later, this time on some fallen branches by a bigger Callicarpa bush at a local woodland park.  I salvaged what I could from the fallen branches and had to restrain myself from picking some of the larger branches from the shrub!FullSizeRender-3If anything was going to crank me up a notch and get me blogging again, this was it.  Even though it’s really just a few short twigs in a jar, they really do look beautiful to me!

Veggie Vase

Week 39 Of The BloomsFullSizeRender_2Inspired by a book by Willow Crossley called ‘Inspire – The Art of Living in Nature’, I decided to make some red cabbage vases for a Halloween arrangement this week.  Crossley explains how great cabbages are as vases because the layers of leaves act as natural ready-made drainage, so whatever you plant in them should have a good chance of living as long as it would in its original pot.  All you need to do it cut a hole in the top of the cabbage and dig down using the knife or spoon until you have a hole big enough to plant your favourite plant with a little compost. I chose Violas in some Halloween colours.FullSizeRenderFullSizeRender_1FullSizeRender_3