Tag Archives: flowers

The Flora Forager

This time of year I am almost giddy with all of the beautiful blossoms and foliage that are popping up all over the place. I may put the occasional flower in my hair or make a nice arrangement for the fireplace (the only place the cats can’t reach), but Bridget Beth Collins aka Flora Forager takes making the most from nature’s bounty to a whole other level. I first discovered her Instagram account when it was featured on another Instagram account. Instead of the “huh, that’s pretty” followed by the haphazard like and deftly moving on, I found myself fascinated by the image and the tiny bits and bobs it took to create it. Unfortunately, the other account didn’t have the artist tagged (rude), but a quick search on Pinterest got me not only a name, but several forms of social media that all contained lovely images for me to fawn over.


She makes the flower crowns for funsies, and I am so very jealous; I’d have one for every day of the week if I could. 
This lovely little moth was the first image I was talking about. So delicate and beautifully composed, like something from a fairy tale. 

I now follow Ms. Collins on Facebook as well; we could all use a bit of pretty to relieve the tedium of the incessant political debating, am I right? You can also find prints and books available on the artist’s website.

 

All images are from here


Outing & Abouting: Bok Tower

Before all the mess that happened in December, I hadn’t been back to the town where I grew up since my wedding shower, almost seven years ago. I figured since we were there, it wouldn’t be a horrible idea to schedule in a few “fun” activities to give us a break from all the stress and sadness. One of the places at the top of the “to do” list was Bok Tower Gardens. Bok Tower has been around since 1929, a generous gift to the American people from immigrant Edward W. Bok as a token of appreciation for all of the wonderful opportunities he’d found in our country.

 The original tower and surrounding gardens have been painstakingly maintained, but over the years the grounds have expanded to include a visitor center, additional gardens, a children’s area and now a gorgeous outdoor kitchen with nearby edible garden. I grew up running around the trails and feeding the lazy koi that live in the tower’s moat. We’ve been to Easter sunrise service, listened to orchestral concerts under the stars, and spent hours stretched out on a picnic blanket under their towering trees.   This most recent trip, it was monarch season and we were lucky enough to see all stages of butterfly development, although the poor milkweed plants were considerably worse for the wear after playing host to hoards of voracious caterpillars. 

When I was much younger, I was convinced that these giant lily pads were in fact, fairy stages. That the fairies waited until the gardens closed, and then hosted elaborate affairs atop these massive (easily 2-3 feet across) green boats. Fireflies would weave about over head, and the fairies who were tired of dancing could recline in the flowers and still enjoy the festivities. As the sun began to rise, they’d all return to their homes all over the garden and sleep soundly for the day while we humans explored their garden.

 When I graduated high school, I was allowed to climb to the top of the tower and run my fingers across the carillon’s “keyboard”. The tower is not open to the public, and other than being a graduating senior, the only other way to see the inside it to purchase one of their top tier memberships. It’s a lot of stairs, but an amazing opportunity that many a local would turn green with jealousy over.

Even though we’ve been before, it was nice to share this place with Andy again. No matter now much is added and no matter how far the grounds expand, this place feels like home, and every time I visit I feel the desire to curl up on the grass and just listen to the breeze ruffling the leafy canopy overhead. 
Someday I will own a fountain just like this one. Frogs, painted tiles, and all 🙂

It was a wonderful distraction, and one that I am hoping to indulge in again the next time we have to head down south for another round of cleanup.


The Lincoln Park Conservatory

When doing research for our Chicago trip, I happened upon an Instagram series of gorgeous garden pics which seemed to be taken in a large greenhouse. A quick note to the user and I had a name: The Lincoln Park Conservatory. Said user gave me a few other tips, but told me I absolutely had to pay a visit if my schedule permitted. Sunday, we found ourselves with an open afternoon, so we made our way to Lincoln Park to see what we could see.

 The first thing I want to say is that this amazing place is free to the public. FREE. As in no dollars. There is a box in the lobby for donations, but other than that, nothing. The place is well maintained and absolutely gorgeous. With the overcast day, it reminded me a little of the green house in The Haunting, but that is probably just me.     The conservatory is a series of large glass rooms all connected by a meandering path. There are flowers and plants of all types, and knowledgable staff/volunteers (honestly, I’m not sure which) are scattered about to answer any questions one might have… and also, I suspect, to keep people from touching or picking the flora.  While the ponds were my favorite, I did enjoy the orchid room. Mostly because orchids are such finicky plants and to see so many with such variety was very impressive.    It’s difficult to tell in this picture, but that little glass box is full of carnivorous plants. I know they don’t hurt people, but they still freak me out a little.   Truly, I wish Andy and I were better at gardening. He has a black thumb, and I am prone to over watering. Someday though, maybe we’ll figure it out. 

Such a beautiful place, and while a decent size, it doesn’t take long to walk through. Definitely check it out if you find yourself in the windy city with some spare time.


The Florist Bandit

As anyone who has ever received flowers as a gift can tell, there is nothing quite like a bouquet of colorful blooms to brighten your day. Now imagine how wonderful it would be to surprise hundreds of people with flowers. I read an article by Vogue about the “Florist Bandit” who is creating floral installations all over New York City. Best known for his elaborate and fantastical party and wedding creations, florist Lewis Miller started creating these “floral flashes” for the single purpose of creating a joyful moment for commuters and city dwellers. The flashes are never advertised and are usually created quickly by a team between 5:45am and when the sun rises, giving the artist time to clear out before the deluge of people heading into the office. This is without a double my favorite piece. The Alice in Wonderland statue is already incredible and then to add flowers? I don’t think it could get any better 🙂 Miller says that he and his team have no plans on stopping any time soon, and although these pieces literally pop up in a mater of hours, you can keep up with what is being created where by checking out the artist’s Instagram page or by searching the hashtag #LMDWasHere.

 

Images from here.


Pretty Petals & Charming Teacups

I love flowers and tea and teacups, so I’m sure it surprises no one when I talk about how much I like Floral Story series by artist Marina Malinovaya. Each image is created with a table, a tea set, and a lot of flowers. I’d also imagine a lot of patience. In addition, I suspect that the artist is some sort of wizard because I’ve seen her Instagram account and she appears to have a cat. I would never EVER be able to lay something like this on the table with out there being fluffy paws all up in everything.

 I need that teeny spoon. It’s really cute, plus it might be the source of her cat control magic.

You can check out more of her images as well as some beautiful behind the scenes shots on her Instagram page, and you can purchase some of her beautiful floral a resin jewelry and ornaments here.

Images from My Modern Met.