End of My Third Chapter

Junior year is probably one of the hardest years in college – you’re so close to the end, yet too far from the beginning for people to take pity on you for having a rough time. Not to say that any year is easy, but junior year is usually when it hits most people. My junior year just ended (today actually), and it’s honestly not sunk in yet that come August I will begin the last steps in my education. I mean, a lot is about to change now, too. My best friend and her fiancé are graduating and moving back to Texas (it’s fine I’ll just stow away nbd), most everyone I’m close to is leaving Starkville; I AM NOT READY. There’s only so much of college left, and I want to make the most of it before real life starts. My last football season as a student at Mississippi State, my last sorority date function, my last BDB or SBW, my last late night Bop’s run; it’s all coming too fast.

So I want to take a moment, before senior year begins, to take a recap on junior year. A lot of good happened, a ton to be thankful for, and quite a bit that I’ll remember my college career by.

Here we go . . .

I got to serve my pan fam as a Gamma Chi Recruitment Counselor for fall formal recruitment. It was one of the most difficult experiences and the most rewarding. Love your buddy, love your girls, love yourself.

I finished my last semester as Zeta Tau Alpha’s Director of Sisterhood. I threw some ballin’ events, if you missed out. It runs in the family.

My best friend got engaged over the summer (in Paris btw, look it up if you haven’t read the story or click here!) and I get to be a BRIDESMAID!! So excited for June 9, 2018. I love y’alls love.

I was able to attend National FFA Convention and wear my corduroy one last time in the city where I spent two years in the National Chorus – Indianapolis. I got to sing on stage as a choir alum, and I got to meet my favorite National Officer from the 2011 team, Wyatt DeJong. The main event of this trip was meeting Mike Pence before I went across stage to receive my American Degree. I am now part of the 1%.

I turned 21 in April; that’s something to celebrate! Here’s a toast to friendship.

I was nominated and accepted as an undergraduate member of the Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society for Agriculture, and I was also chosen to be the newest Plant and Soil Sciences CALS ambassador. #AGvocate

White Wedding Wednesday became a thing this spring semester, and it was a hit! Love my flower gals and our drive to never been the boring ones in the room. May our flower walls stay upright and our kale only be for salads.

To wrap up the year, I was chosen to serve a second term for MSU SAIFD’s exec as chapter president. The current year has been great, and I’m looking forward to seeing our club grow and flourish (much like a flower, wow!)

Over all I’d say it was a pretty successful year, BUT that’s not the only reason I’m here. I wanted to formally announce how I’ll be spending my summer! (drum roll please)

. . .

This Sunday I will be moving to Birmingham, AL!!

I will be with HotHouse Design Studio this summer as a floral design intern! 

This is an incredible company, and I have so much to learn. I’m nervous (but mostly excited) to take on this journey in a new city, in a fast paced industry, and with some of the best. I cannot wait to tell you guys all about it. So stay tuned, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

To check out HotHouse, click here !

XOXO, J

April Showers May Bring Flowers

Stories about the dos and don’ts of planting have been circulating for ages – and no one really knows what to believe. The Old Farmer’s Almanac is published every year since 1792 with advice and tips on planting for the upcoming seasons of the current year, but how much truth are in the predictions?

I checked out their website, and found a frost predictor. According to TOFA, Mississippi State was supposed to get its last frost on March 24. Since that was only a few days ago, it’s been accurate so far. They do rebut their prediction with the fact that it’s a “50% probability”, so I wouldn’t completely rely on just this resource for protecting your plants against sudden cold.Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.13.04 PM.png

On to the next question: do April showers really bring May flowers? It’s been said that March is actually the rainiest month out of the twelve, but that’s not to say that April isn’t bringing it, too. Soil that has too much moisture is not good for planting, so a lot of people do wait until after March to begin. Research shows that if you can hold a small handful of soil and form it into a ball, it is too wet to plant. If when you hold it in your hand and it is moist, but crumbles, you can begin your garden.

Temperature also plays a large role in growth and bloom times. While rain is a contributing factor, warmer temperatures mean more in the long run. Earlier warm temperatures are going to mean earlier blooming time. This may be counteracted with a frost or freeze, so these early bloomers probably won’t make it, but it’s a novel concept. Your plants haven’t heard this old wive’s tale, so they don’t know to be on the look out for rain in April, but that doesn’t mean they’ll miss out on it.

 

What about planting on Good Friday? There are actually a few of these – plant your potatoes on this day and never before or after; only plant Parsley on the Good Friday or you will have a death in the family (slightly extreme that an herb would control this??); Good Friday is best for all summer veggies. In my research on Good Friday planting I found a reoccurring theme: everyone seemed to think this was too late. Easter is established by the lunar calendar, so unlike Thanksgiving on the last Thursday in November, there isn’t a set date. We know it falls in March and April, but the consistency after that point is lost. In some years, planting on Good Friday may be perfect; in mid-March. If it’s like this year with Good Friday falling on the 14th of April, the planting season has already began.

A lesson to heed: plant your vegetables and flowers by the instructions provided on the seed package or on a trusted website – NOT by a holiday!

For general fun and enjoyment, I found this list of interesting folklore about gardening from Blind Pig and the Acorn:

  • Trees that bloom twice in one year will have a bad crop.
  • If you spit in your hands when cutting wood-you’ll have good luck.
  • Don’t plant your corn until the oak leaves are the size of mouse ears.
  • Always plant your potatoes on Good Friday.
  • Plant your greenbeans on Good Friday.
  • Anything planted on the first day of Spring will live.
  • Bury nails around the roots of Hydrangea to make the blooms blue. (My Muner always told me this!)
  • Never plant vegetables that sound alike together. Think potato and tomato.
  • Never say thank you if someone shares their flowers or plant cuttings with you-if you do they will die. (This is so ODD! Maybe that’s why my houseplants die??)
  • If you find a horse shoe in the garden you should hang it in the nearest tree for good luck. (I’ve always heard barns instead of trees.)

What are some of your favorite old wives’ tales? Know any that you want to add? Let me know in the comments below!

XOXO, J

Landscaping: Greek Life’s Greatest

If you’ve never been to Mississippi State’s campus, one of the first things that people notice is how clean our campus is. Our landscape staff works incredibly hard to make sure that our campus is visually appealing and that what’s in season is showcased. Throughout the year we see beautiful beds of coleus or sweet potato vine, bright lantana, or tulips peaking through the pine straw. Our campus has tons of diverse native species utilized, so it’s a great teaching tool. 

Being part of the Greek Life on campus, I walk past sorority and fraternity row nearly every day. Our houses are magnificent so it’s really no surprise that the landscaping is great as well. I am a ZTA and our chapter house has four very large crepe myrtle trees out front, so my favorite time for our landscape is late spring and summer when the trees are in bloom. Today I want to talk about my top three favorite landscaped sorority or fraternity yards.   

3. Chi Omega, Phi Delta

From the white azeala bushes on the sides of the home, to the beautiful pink knock-out rose in the center, this yard makes a statement. This house is relatively new, so it’s no surprise that the exteriorscape is consistently great as well. The yard is framed by a few larger trees, so it’s a pretty cozy landscape.

2. Pi Kappa Alpha, Gamma Theta

ΠΚΑ recently had some work done on their existing house, and with it came this beautiful new yard. They have utilized the already standing white oaks in the front and have created large flower beds underneath. You can find pink azeala bushes, a few cast iron aspidistra plants, and quite a few monkey grasses. They also added a brand new fence for their back yard where you can find more azeala.

1. Delta Delta Delta, Beta Mu

The number one spot is going to the newest house on campus, ΔΔΔ. The previous house was torn down in the fall of 2015, and this beautiful new house was unveiled to the newest class of Panhellenic recruits in the fall of 2016. A dream come true for our Tri Delta girls, this house has a very nice outdoor garden patio to the left side of their house with a bench,several potted plants, and trees. The front of their house carries on the trend with white azeala bushes.


We are very lucky at Mississippi State to have as beautiful a campus as we do – I know it was one of the first things I personally noticed when I toured. The landscapes on Greek Row are what help make those houses homes. So tell me, what is one of your favorite parts of your college campus’s landscape?

                                                           XOXO, J

Displays with a silent ‘H’

From adding flavors to your food or being diffused as Essential Oils, herbs are pretty versatile plants. They are easily grown indoors or out, and can go straight from garden to table. They can grow in almost any soil type, don’t require much added fertilizer, and tend to not be bothered by pests or insects.

Some of the most popular herbs include:

  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Thyme

While outdoor gardens have more space, are able to produce more usable product, and are sometimes more flavorful; indoor gardens have the advantages of a year-round growing season, the ease of access, and the fact that you don’t have to weed them. Today I want to show you 5 different ways to display your indoor Herbs.

  1. Window Walls

Trying to save space? Use the wall around your kitchen window and a few planters. These will be out of the way, and will receive light from the nearby window.gallery-1435936986-hanging-planters

2. Little Labels

No matter what type of pot you use, it’s always important to label your plants. If using the seed packet is not your style, try these cute labeling techniques.

3. Delightful Drinkware

Mason jars aren’t just for jam, and your drinking glasses aren’t just for tea! With these containers you’re able to see what’s going on ‘underground’. You’re definitely not stuck just lining them on the counter, either – try mounting them to a wooden rack.

4. SOUPer-Duper Display

Instead of throwing out your old tin soup and coffee cans use them as planters. You’re going green by growing  your own plants, why not recycle, too!small-pots-1-e1368066207664

5. Terrific Terrariums

We’ve talked about terrariums before, but this is a great growing habitat for herbs. They come in various shapes and sizes, so this is definitely able to be personalized.

Herbs are a great starter for the beginner gardener or something to add for the most experienced, so get growing!

XOXO, J

Take Me to Texas

11046958_889608331081018_3241835390480256971_n

After 8 strenuous weeks of accounting and plant propagation, we are finally to the week college students dream about all year long: Spring Break. To most it means taking week-long beach trips or going on cruises – mainly tropical destinations. For others it’s a once-in-a-lifetime trip to New York City or Los Angeles. The past two Spring Breaks for me have been spent in one of my most favorite cities in the country with one of my very favorite families.

Abby and I share a lot of things: a sisterhood in ZTA, our major and a love for all things floral, an extreme passion for Facebook food videos, and there’s a special place in both of our hearts for Pusheen the Cat. She’s my best friend and my Big Sister in the sorority, and I’m immensely thankful for her and her family for a lot of things, but for letting me experience Austin is a pretty big one. I have been on 3 separate occasions, the most recent being this past January.

This year I’m not spending Spring Break on a trip, so I decided to focus on my past trips. I have made a list of the top 10 things (in no order) that I think you should do while in or near Austin, TX.

  1. Find the wall murals; Austin, TXAustin is a very hip place; there are lots of street art and music festivals like SXSW. It’s very likely that you’re going to find a neat mural on just about every street corner! This is definitely a fun activity, and you end up with great photo-ops. They’re in crazy places, so don’t be afraid to hunt! Some of my favorites are the i love you so much, Willie for President, SMILE! (all on South Congress Street), Greetings From Austin, and You’re My Butter Half.
  2. Visit Magnolia Market at the Silos; Waco, TX

About 90 miles from Austin, this gem is worth the drive. Whether you’re a Fixer Upper fan or you’ve never heard of Chip and Joanna, this is the perfect place for the do-it-yourselfer or the gardenista (or maybe to just check off the bucket list). Smack in the middle of downtown Waco, The Silos create a completely different atmosphere; you almost forget where you are. Visit their Magnolia Market store to grab the latest innovative home decor you see on HGTV or head over to their garden store to purchase pots for your plants or trinkets for your fairy garden. There is also a bakery onsite with incredible treats. I had a lemon rosemary cupcake and it was heavenly – 10/10 would recommend to a friend. This really is a cool place to visit and relax!

 

3.  Stroll through the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center; Austin, TX

If there is one thing I love, it’s a First Lady. The Wildflower Center combined that love with my love for horticulture, so it was a good day. This botanical garden does a beautiful job of preserving the landscape to show Texas in its natural state. I was able to see this during Blue Bonnet season, and it is something I will remember forever. Great location for pictures or a family picnic. There are several walking trails, complete with tree swings and activities for kids (or big kids). They also give a few admission discounts, one being to students with a valid ID, so make sure to come prepared!

 

4. Hike to the top of Mount Bonnell; Austin, TX

This is a beautiful lookout over the Colorado River. Beware: there are quite a few steps to get to the top, but they are paved and have a rail (for the most part) unlike our #5 suggestion. The view is definitely worth it!

 

5. Take pictures on the 360 Bridge Overlook; Austin, TX

I have been here on two separate occasions and both were breath taking. The overlook gives you a view of Lake Austin, the 360 Bridge, and the Austin skyline in the distance. The terrain is rougher to get to the top; there are natural rock ‘steps’. This is more of a hike up and back down, so wear comfortable and appropriate shoes.

 

6. Visit Gruene, TX

Pronounced like the color, this quaint little town packs a punch. From the historic water tower and the Gristmill to the countless antique shops that pepper the town, there is so much character. This is the perfect place for any collector, historian, or someone who just enjoys the simplicity of small-town life. I suggest grabbing a soda from the general store, or for my readers over 21, tasting wine at The Grapevine.

 

7. Kayak down Lady Bird Lake; Austin, TX

If you’re wanting to experience the outdoor beauty of Austin without having to hike it, kayaking is a great way to do that! Austin is a very active city, and there are various locations scattered up and down the lake where you can rent kayaks, paddle boats, and paddle boards.11069925_890232377685280_2498114421808707314_n

 

8. Take a picture in the Blue Bonnets

I can imagine growing up in Texas must have been hectic around mid-March and April. Moms hauling their kids out to try and find a perfect patch of the state wildflower to then take the annual family photo. As strange as that may sound, I completely support the practice; this flower is truly beautiful. I found myself announcing when I spotted large patches several times, because it’s really hard not getting distracted. If you visit Texas in the Spring, a Blue Bonnet picture should be on your to-do list.

9. Eat at Chuy’s

The best Tex-Mex you will ever put in your mouth, hands down. This is what consumes my dreams, folks. Try the stuffed avocado at select locations, but the jalapeno creamy dip at all locations. Arrive early and plan to wait, because this place is a crowd favorite.

*NOTE: I drive nearly 1.5 hours from Starkville to Tuscaloosa just so I can eat Chuy’s.

10. Stop at Buc-ee’s 

Buc-ee’s is a once-in-a-Texas-lifetime general store experience that you need to have before you leave the Lone Star State. These stores are only found in the state of Texas, but you will see signs advertising for the famous spokesbeaver in Florida. Buc-ees is known for their incredibly clean restrooms, snack varieties like their nuggets or the jerky bar, and of course everyone’s favorite beaver BFF – Buc-ee. There is also a very extensive amount of nontraditional gas station items, much like a roadside gift shop. With nearly 50 gas pumps outside, this store is something you have to see to believe.

 

Although I’ll be relaxing at home this year, I hope that you guys have a fantastic Spring Break season! Tell me about your adventures in the comments below.

XOXO, J

Peony Perfection

Hands down, my favorite flower is the peony. Go figure, right? It’s the name-sake for my blog, so it’s finally time I made a post about these beautiful blossoms. Today I want to talk about how you can grow and care for them, pests and diseases they contact, and peonies in pop culture.

Fast facts:

  • Botanical Name: Paeonia
  • Herbaceous or woody
  • Sun exposure: Full to part
  • Soil type: Loamy
  • Soil pH: Neutral
  • Hardiness zones: 3-8
  • Flower color: Wide variety; all but blue
  • Bloom time: Spring; Mid-May until early June

Tips on Planting:

Peonies are not very picky when it comes to location, but choose it wisely because they do not like disturbance. They are a very delicate plant so it is important that it will/would have protection from damaging winds. They need to be planted away from other trees or shrubs, because peonies don’t like to compete for food and moisture.  There should be three to four feet  between plants for good air circulation. It is best to plant peonies in the fall; late September and October in most of the country, and even later in the South. (If you want to move an established plant, this is the time.)

  1. Dig a generous-sized hole, about two feet deep and two feet across in well-drained soil in a sunny spot. If the soil is heavy or very sandy, enrich it with compost. Incorporate about one cup of bonemeal into the soil. Tamp it firmly.
  2. Set the root so the eyes face upward on top of the firmed soil, placing the root just 2 inches below the soil surface. (In southern states, choose early-blooming varieties, plant them about an inch deep, and provide some shade.)
  3. Fill the hole back in with the soil that was removed, taking care that the soil doesn’t settle and bury the root deeper than 2 inches.
  4. Water thoroughly.

Tips on Care:

Peonies usually need a growing seasons to establish themselves, bloom, and grow. They do thrive on neglect, and, unlike many other perennials, do not need to be divided.

  • Excess fertilizer is not always key – try and work the fertilizer in the soil before planting.
  • It is also important to remember to not over fertilize; every few years should do the trick, especially if you have poor soil.
  • If peonies have any structural weakness, usually in the stems because of the heavy blooms, consider three-legged metal peony rings that allow the plant to grow through the center of the rings.
  • Deadhead peony blossoms as soon as they begin to fade. Cut to a strong leaf so that the stem doesn’t stick out of the foliage. You can also cut the foliage to the ground in the fall to avoid any overwintering disease.
  • Don’t smother peonies with mulch. If cold temperatures are severe, during the first winter after planting you can mulch VERY loosely with pine needles or shredded bark; remove mulch in the spring.

Potential Diseases or Pests:

Peonies are prone to nematodes, the Japanese Beetle, tip blight, Verticillium wilt, stem rot, Botrytis blight, leaf blotch, and ring spot virus. Ants are also very attracted to peony plants because of the nectar it produces. The ants fend off some of the bug-eating pests on the plant, so try to not spray them. They are helping your peony flourish! Peonies are a deer resistant plant, though. So that is one less pest you have to worry about in your garden.

. . .

I think if I were to ever be a flower, it would definitely be the peony. They really are remarkable flowers; high end, high quality, high demand. It’s not very often that you don’t hear this bloom mentioned at least once in a bride’s discussion about her flowers. Girls want this flower because it’s elegant, it’s classy, it makes a statement. They aren’t concerned that they cost $20+ a stem, they want 15 in their bouquet alone.

I think social media outlets like Pinterest and visual media like vogue or Gossip Girl have really brought this classic flower to light. While it has never really dipped in popularity, the peony did take off when that was the only flower that Blair Waldorf would accept circa 2008. She set a standard with her Upper East Side lifestyle; we all had to be like Blair and if that meant buying nothing but peonies, so be it.

What flower would YOU be?

XOXO, J

How does your garden grow?

hello-spring-quote-1

When I was growing up, both of my grandmothers always kept gardens full of flowers. Their entire yards became canvases for what would soon be filled with the colorful hues of the budding and blooming plants. They’re members of garden clubs and attend plant swaps, so something new is always being planted. Horticulture has been something I’ve been around for a while. Both of my parents keep gardens as well, even though they keep them separate because they can’t agree on what to put in them. It’s not a surprise that I chose a field in something I grew up around.

I had a climbing tree when I was little. It was a Dogwood; beautiful white blooms with branches that stretched far in any direction. I would spend hours and hours in this tree simply because I loved being outside. I was so content; spring made me so content. The spring is such a happy time – spring means my birthday, baseball, flowers, and that I can start wearing shorts again (not that I wasn’t wearing shorts in December this past season #southprobs). This week I want to talk about a few of my favorite plants that are blooming right now in my family’s gardens.

#1. Tulips – Tulipa spp.

The Tulip is one of my favorites – growing and to design with. They’re such a universally known flower with such a great historical background. Tulips were one of the first plant bulbs sold on the market at extremely high prices that took an horrible crash, causing one of the first economic bubbles. This trend is now known as ‘Tulipmania’ and was very important in the Dutch Golden Age of the 1600s. Tulips were a flower of luxury, no other flower in Europe existed at the time with such bright color. Now they can be seen all over the world. Holland has an annual festival, along with Oregon, Washington state, and hundreds of others. Niagara Falls also has beautiful Tulip gardens this time of year. They come in many different varieties, petal forms, colors, and sizes.

#2. Grape Hyacinth – Muscari armeniacum

The Grape Hyacinths are very unique spring blooms. Unlike a regular Hyacinth with a bursting flower, the flower of the grape variety has a more bell or ‘grape’ shape. They tend to only get about 1/2 – 1 foot off the ground and are most times grown in groups, so they add a blanket of color to where ever they are planted. Grape Hyacinths come in shades of blue and also white.

#3. Daffodils – Narcissus spp. 

I think this bloom is probably one of the most recognizable spring flowers whether you are familiar with growing patterns or not. You know spring is on its way when you see the Daffodil poking its little head through the ground. This is one flower that you do not have to plant yourself, and it will just come back every single year. There are lots of sizing differences, double vs. single petaled,  and color varieties (within reason) with these flowers.

#4. Forsythia – Forsythia x intermedia

At home, we call this the Yellow Bell. These plants can be very large shrubs or pretty small depending on growth and pruning. The thing to notice about them is the beautiful yellow blooms that can be seen in the spring. During the summer months, this plant is usually green; brown with no leaves in the winter. The spring is its time to shine!

I hope after reading this you take a moment to look around your own yard and notice what’s blooming – it’s not too late!

XOXO, J

How to Bring the Outdoors In

As time passes, we’re starting to see a new look on horticulture. Everything is leaning towards a more ‘green’ outlook, physically and economically; foliage arrangements and succulents, eco-friendly cars, green roofs, and going gluten free and organic. This hipster generation is all about owning the next coolest thing before anyone else. We live in a DIY mentality.

“Why should I buy it for $10, when I can make it for $95 in craft supplies!”

One of the greatest aspects of horticulture, no matter the time period, is the ability to bring live plants inside. Studies have shown that work environments with plants placed within them are more pleasant and enjoyable. Interior plants also increase air flow and air quality. Hotels and malls have been doing this for ages, and I know you’ve noticed the plants in a doctor’s office waiting room. Plants make stressful situations relaxing, even by the smallest amount. People are comforted by nature, and that’s what I’m going to show you how to do today: how to bring the outdoors in.

screen-shot-2017-02-15-at-5-39-38-pm

Today I want to give a step-by-step guide on how to build your own terrarium; let’s bring nature inside to you!

STEP 1: Gather your suppliesterrarium-1

You will need:

  • A glass container
  • Rocks for drainage
  • Activated charcoal/carbon
  • Sand (optional)
  • Sphagnum moss
  • Small plants
  • A spoon or shovel
  • Small toys or trinkets for decoration

 

STEP 2: Pick your pot

This sounds like such a simple task, but there are so many options! It needs to be clear, glass, and clean, but those are about the only restrictions. It can be anything from an old light bulb to a trifle bowl from your kitchen. Be creative! They do make pots specific to terrariums as well, so those are totally great to use as well.

STEP 3: Layer your mediums

You want to create a nice drainage space for your little plants, as well as a sturdy rooting ground.

  1. Start with the rocks; this is so excess water can drain from the soil above. Levels of thickness depend on the size of the container; bigger the pot, the thicker the layer.
  2. Next, is the activated charcoal/carbon. This is for purification purposes – it is known to ward off bacteria, prevent rotting, and lessen odor.
  3. The third layer is the sphagnum moss. You want it to cover the layer of rocks completely so no soil falls into them.
  4. Potting soil goes in after the moss. Make sure to read the bag of your soil to see if it is best used for your chosen plants. There are specific mixtures for cacti and succulents, so be sure to do a little research. Using your spoon or shovel, fill this layer about 2 1/2 inches thick. You want the roots of the plant to be able to take hold and flourish. You can also judge depth by the size of the original pot.

 

STEP 3: Prepare your plants

Pick out plants that you are going to enjoy! Terrarium plants can be anything – echeveria, cacti, nerve plants, ivies, air plants, earth stars. The possibilities are endless.

  1. Remove your plant from its original container, and dust off the excess soil from its roots.
  2. Use the opposite end of your spoon to poke a small hole into your top soil.
  3. Taller plants should go towards the back of the pot, shorter plants can go toward the front.
  4. Bury the roots into the soil, filling in around the base of the plant to make sure it doesn’t fall over.
  5. The general rule is 1 in² for every plant (6 inch pot, 6 plants)

*PRO TIP: if you are using cactus, try transporting with a paper towel so you don’t get stuck!*

STEP 4: Fill in with sand

After your plants are in place you can fill in around them with sand. This is optional, but succulents and cacti do like sandy soils.

STEP 5: Decorate!

The final step is the opportunity to decorate the inside of your terrarium with extra rocks or little trinkets. You can get creative here, too! Plastic figurines, little toys, doll house fences – all are applicable!

 

. . . 

I hope you take the time to build your own terrarium, so you, too, can bring a little of the outside in! Let me know what worked for you in the comments below.

xoxo, J

Grow your flowers and wear them, too.

IMG_5551.JPG

One of the things you can count on in the spring is flowers. Daffodils, hyacinths, and tulips are all popping up around this time of year. As much as I love live spring plants, I probably love to wear them equally as much.

– Deep South Pout –

I was recently hired as a stylist intern for my favorite retail clothing store in downtown Starkville, Deep South Pout. My job requires me to style the mannequins and focus tables in the store as well as sometimes making flat lays for their social media pages. Since it’s spring, the entire store floor is floral prints right now – anything from off the shoulder tops to really cute rompers and dresses.

IMG_5539.JPG     FullSizeRender.jpg.jpeg     IMG_5540.JPG

Deep South Pout has a following of 52.2K on their Instagram ALONE. That means that 52 thousand people are seeing these amazing floral fashions, including things I’ve put together like the middle picture (it received 340+ likes). Most all of the posts with floral prints in them have nearly 200 likes, so it’s pretty consistent that DSP’s followers enjoy them. Florals are a seasonally universal pattern, but it seems like they become more popular in the spring. This year, we’re seeing lots of pastels and lighter colors paired with brighter shades in the same garment.

Floral fashions can be worn in tons of different ways, adding to their universal versatility. A simple way to tone down the intensity of a floral is to pair it with a solid cardigan. It is still really chilly in Starkville, so this is a really easy way to be able to wear a dress with no sleeves when it’s not sunny and 75. FullSizeRender.jpg-1.jpeg

– Lilly Pulitzer –

Fashions that are inspired by nature have and will still be around for a while, no doubt. I think with companies like Lilly Pulitzer, floral printed clothing has become a norm. Lilly designed her shifts with the thought of hiding orange juice stains in mind. Icons like First Lady, Jackie Kennedy, were known to have worn LP’s clothes and soon it became a phenomenon. That was the 1960s – today, floral patterns and prints are still just as popular. Almost everyone has seen the extremely popular ‘First Impressions’ pink rose print from a few seasons ago.

Lilly had a short-term line in partnership with Target in April of 2015, but within minutes the line was completely sold out nationwide. You can still find remnants of this coveted collection on eBay or Amazon. Something to also know about Lilly Pulitzer is once a print runs its season it usually retires. Every so often they will bring back similar prints in new color options, but the likelihood of the exact print is pretty rare. Prints definitely appreciate depending on how much people want them and are searching for them. I’ve seen limited edition items go for $300+ in resale groups.

I own several pieces of LP myself, and the quality is pretty impeccable. Although it is pricey, they run sales two times a year at very large discounts – that $200 shift will probably be around $80 during the sale. This brand is more of a splurging once a year type brand than an every week ordeal.
Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 9.34.22 PM.png       screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-7-30-29-pm        Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 7.46.14 PM.png

– Sherri Hill –

Sherri Hill has also been using floral prints in their spring and summer formal dress lines for the past few years as well. Two piece dresses, a solid top and a large floral bottom, are super popular. This year, their new trend is fully floral gowns in pastels. Live flowers are usually worn to formal events via corsages, boutonnieres, or bouquets. These embroidered and printed flowers on silks and lace are extremely classy and very chic.

Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 7.42.05 PM.png       Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 7.43.17 PM.png       Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 7.43.53 PM.png

. . . 

 I love florals, and that’s not just because I study them. I think they bring a sense of fun and playfulness into an outfit, and that’s really my personality.

“Floral prints are really flattering, and they definitely help me make a statement.”               – Abigale Jenkins

Spring, summer, winter, or fall – I’m wearing florals, what about you?

XOXO, J

La Vie en Rose

screen-shot-2017-01-30-at-8-08-46-pm

He loves me, he loves me not..

February is one of my favorite months as I’m a big fan of Valentine’s Day, the Super Bowl, and currently The Bachelor on ABC. Even before I was an aspiring florist the pink and red that swarmed the stores around February 14th always warmed my heart. When I was in elementary school, parents, and the occasional secret admirer, would send balloons and bears to the science lab to be given out at the end of the day. My friends and I would walk REEEAALLLLYYY slow past the door to see if we had anything inside. You were always the envy of the group if you received flowers AND a stuffed animal and you got extra cool points if they came from a boy. It’s one of those holidays that you either love or you hate, and I just love love.

As a florist, I think it’s really important that we’re conveying the right message with our product. Every shade of rose means something different; anything from purity to friendship or royalty. I wanted to touch on a few hues of roses and when they could be sent.

Screen Shot 2017-01-30 at 9.10.37 PM.png

RED: LOVE AND ROMANCE

I think this one is pretty self explanatory. The red rose is practically the mascot for love whether it be a chocolate one from the grocery store aisle you planned to give your crush from your grade school homeroom or if it’s the rose that Nick gave to Corinne on this week’s installment of The Bachelor. It’s a classic, a staple, if you will. Bonus if it was sent to you with a silk rose in the middle and the card said “I’ll love you until the last rose dies.”

PINK: LOVE, GRATITUDE, APPRECIATION

Coming in at a close second for the most used rose to express love would be the pink. I think while the red rose is the classic, the pink rose expresses more femininity, elegance, and grace. There’s also a few differences in shades of pink roses. Light pink roses can stand for gentleness and admiration, but could also be sent as a gift of sympathy. Dark pink roses hold meanings of gratitude and appreciation. Pink roses are great for a nice get well soon or just saying thanks.

ORANGE: ENTHUSIASM OR PASSION

Our Special Events class from the fall did a wedding where the bride wanted orange roses.   These arrangements were incredibly colorful, and were accented with blue hydrangeas and orchids. Passion and enthusiasm could definitely been seen in her wedding flowers. Orange does make a statement, that’s for sure. Orange roses could be a good way to say how proud you are of someone or you could just really like the fall. Or Rocky Top.

YELLOW: FRIENDSHIP, JOY, GET WELL

The first thing I think of when this color is mentioned is the state of Texas; the yellow rose of Texas. I did a project on State Funerals in my sympathy arranging class and the First Couple I focused on were the Kennedys, Jackie in particular. The yellow rose is said to represent friendship and welcoming, bringing joy and cheer into a room. As the Kennedys visited various cities in the state of Texas in the days leading up to his assassination in ’63, Jackie was presented with yellow roses. Every time, yellow roses, except for when they arrived in Dallas where she received red. She made a comment about how even the color of the roses reminded her of her husband’s sudden death. Yellow is a subtle color, but it could definitely brighten someone’s day.

PURPLE: ENCHANTMENT, MAJESTY, LOVE AT FIRST SITE

Purple has always been a color connected to regal things. That is no different with roses! Purple roses send you into a time of princesses and fairy tales. I’m sure they were Cinderella’s absolute favorite. So, If you’re trying to win points with your future queen from your biology class you might want to start with a dozen purple roses.

WHITE: PURITY, INNOCENCE, SYMPATHY, SPIRITUALITY

In the olden days, the white rose once stood for true love; a title now held by the coveted red rose. On college campuses, white roses are used a lot in sorority rituals when flowers are needed, often representing purity and innocence. The same use of the flower is conveyed when used in bridal bouquets; the bride wears and carries white to represent purity and virtue in the marriage. White roses are often times used in ceremonies of mourning as well. It is Chinese culture to use all white flowers in arrangements to mourn the loss of a loved one, because colors are used in times of celebration. White is definitely a universal rose color – it can be used at the happiest and saddest times and still convey appropriate meaning.

Roses play such an important role in our lives whether we realize it or not. We’re told they all have their thorns, but that we’re supposed to stop and smell them anyway. Roses, and flowers in general, are pretty key to our seasonal holidays and our day-to-day activities. I hope after reading about these 6 rose colors that you’ll really think about your favorite flowers, or maybe even send some to send a subtle message. I’m a sucker for pink, what about you?Screen Shot 2017-01-30 at 8.02.51 PM.png

XOXO, J