DITCH DIVING

This past Saturday we had our annual Benefit. I would like to say Thank You to all of you who attended and made the night so successful. It was a busy week getting the grounds prepared. One of the things that I was responsible for was the floral decor. Most people would go to the market or local florist and buy flowers. This just doesn’t make sense to me when there is beauty all around us, we just have to look for it. It seems that we rush through life never taking time to notice the little, beautiful things in our surroundings.

Two weeks before our big night, I started scouring the roadsides on my drive to and from MHP, for what nature had to offer. I knew I would have pink Astilbes and chartreuse yellow blooms of Lady’s Mantle from my own garden, but I was going to need a lot more than that to make our barn extra special. I’m not a floral designer and have never had formal training as such but I did learn some of the basic principals from my friend Claire Bean http://www.clairebeanevents.com. She is an amazing lady with great talent. Below is a link to learn the basics of flower arranging: http://baxtercountyfair.org/pdf/Principles_of_Floral_Arrangement.pdf

The secret to every good event is to have a consistent fluid story being told. Our story was casual country barn and oh yes let’s not forget wear something white. I was astonished with all the great material I found, like Queen Anne’s Lace, Honey-Clover & Blue Weed. You must be careful when harvesting your roadside finds as some plants can cause horrible allergic reactions. If I’m unsure of a plant I will take one of my wildflower field guide books with me to make sure it’s safe to handle. One such plant that you should never handle especially on a sunny day is Poison Parsnip. It’s sap is caustic and cause severe burns on your skin. It’s about 3-4” tall with yellow flowers that resemble dill on steroids. See image below.

THE SCARY POISON PARSNIP

THE SCARY POISON PARSNIP

So please don’t overlook the beauty that is in your own backyard!