the off season: a floral finale

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It’s that time of year again, time to bid farewell to the summer and to welcome back football season.  Summer is officially over.  This realization smacked me in the face while out for a run as I passed the crowds of people exiting the fair grounds [Canadian National Exhibition -CNE] on its closing day and witnessed the traffic on the Lakeshore begin to move again.  Mike and I live right by the CNE and every year we are faced with all its associated madness; increased people + increased vehicles + stuffed streetcars [to name a few].  This year, we were able to escape most of it as we spent our final summer days in Winnipeg.

Together, Mike and I hadn’t been back to Winnipeg since our wedding, over 2 years ago.  Though it’s always nice to go back home and visit with family + friends, this trip was a little more major than others in the past.  Beside the fact that it was our post wedding Winnipeg debut as husband + wife,  we had a brand new human to meet -my 1st EVER niece + had a special event to attend -my best friend’s wedding.  To say that it was an action packed trip would be quite the understatement.

haileyFirst order of business…meet baby Hailey and take a million and 1 pics.  I met her 1 month into her life and she is the most precious little bean I have ever seen.  It’s official, I’m an aunt and Mike gets squirmy carrying next to fresh babies.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Mike and I arrived Thursday and were locked and loaded in a car en route to Brandon [a town 2.5hrs fr Winnipeg] on Friday.  Our friends, Erin + Riley, were set to be married Saturday evening and we arrived early to help wherever needed.  Erin’s favourite movie is Sabrina, so it was only fitting that her wedding was an outdoor garden party affair hosted in her parent’s back yard under strung white lights + a tent + stars.  As Mike helped with tent duty, I jumped right into the florals.

I spent Friday night along side the bride to be surrounded by pails and pails of beautiful roses + hydrangeas + spray roses + spiders mums + baby’s breath arranging centre pieces and catching up over beers and breezers; just perfect.  Erin’s floral centre pieces were individual arrangements bundled together in mason jars and then arranged in wooden grey troughs.  It all came together so well and I think was exactly what she had envisioned.

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Congrats Er + Ry!
Erin and Rileys Day69

My wedding floral duty was what sparked the main topic for this post.  Flowers.  Flowers. Flowers.  One of my favourite flowers are hydrangeas.  I love their round shape, their broad green leaves, their timeless simplicity, and their eye-catching impact when arranged together in a vase.  They are my go-to flower for gift giving and were amongst my flowers of choice for my wedding.  They were in my bouquet, my centre pieces, and even on my cake.  The more the merrier!

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There’s nothing like crisp hydrangeas to brighten up a space and if cared for correctly they can last for more than a couple days.  Unfortunately, I learned this the hard way.  I would buy them, cut them, and place them in a vase only to wake up the next day to a wilted puff go white.  However, after doing some research, I learned a simple trick that helped to keep these bulbs fresh and plump for up to a week.

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This easy hot water trick works magically

(1) pick out a vase and fill it with room temp water
(2) cut the stems @ a 45º angle to a length in accordance to the vase height
why?  cutting @ an angle vs straight across allows for a greater surface area for water intake which will help to prolong the life of the flower
(3) boil hot water
(4) dip the stems in the boiling hot water for 30 seconds
why? this prevents sap from forming at over the bottom of the stem which blocks water intake
(5) arrange flowers in your vase and enjoy

hydrangea_04note: this method can also be used to revive wilted hydrangeas

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Prior to Erin + Riley’s wedding, my experience working with flowers was limited to the occasional arrangements I would bundle together for holiday dinners.  I’m now inspired to learn more and to be more adventurous with the florals in my life.  Who knows, maybe I’ll end up a florist one day.

farewell summer
farewell Winnipeg
farewell the off season

-madelaine

Erin + Riley’s wedding picture by Sean Braconier
my wedding pictures by Kamp Photography

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