Gardening at Beaumont House Series: Installation One - Sowing the seeds

Dear Flower Friends,

A few years ago I read a memoir about a couple that lived on one of the barrier islands off the coast of Virginia.  The wife was a few inches shorter than her husband. One day they were walking and the husband mentioned being able to see a certain landmark.  The wife responded she had never seen that landmark when they were walking.  It then occurred to her that their difference in height gave them different perspectives on the island.

I recently had a similar epiphany.  We just finished our construction project and Beaumont House now has a second story.  My perspective to the southeast is 20 feet higher.  The field next door, owned by a neighboring farm, is now in my line of sight everyday.  Over the past few months, as I was planning my cutting garden, I realized I needed/wanted more space.  The field wasn't being used for much and the area just on the other side of our fence would be perfect for an expanded cutting garden.

A few conversations later with farm manager, the expanded cutting garden is going to be a reality!  Two weeks ago, my husband, the studio dogs and I staked out a 60' x 30' area.  With a clean spade, I dug soil samples and sent them off to the Virginia Tech soil testing lab.  Within a week, the results came back and I have my recommendations for soil amendments.  My plan is to beta test the plot this year (my husband is an IT consultant - we throw the term 'beta testing' around a lot).  The garden will be all annuals, grown directly from seed. 

I'm adding dahlias to the cutting garden this year as well as some David Austin garden roses.  I'm thrilled to have dahlia tubers from Floret and my friend Ali of Hidden Hive Flowers in Illinois.  Planting time is coming up, as the threat of frost is usually around Mother's Day (I'm in USDA hardiness zone 6b/7a - the line literally goes through our property - talk about micro climate).  Curious about your hardiness zone, you can find it here.

Expanding the garden is new territory for me.  All of sudden I'm spending a lot of time thinking about irrigation, managing pests (insects, groundhogs, ticks) and weed suppression.  I'm a bit nervous, hoping I haven't overextended myself but the motto at Beaumont House tends to be "How hard can it be?".  I promise regular updates on the progress of the garden.  This is just the beginning of something good, I can feel it. 

XO,

Julie

These tete-a-tete daffodils are from the Beaumont House garden in a thrift store silver pitcher.  The work table is circa 1880 from a pewter manufacturing studio in central Pennsylvania.  Photographed on Fuji 400 film at Hip 'N Humble Interiors.

Photography by: Norman Photo + Paper

How to Make the Perfect Flower Crown

Spring is finally here!

The first flowers to bloom were the crocus, followed by a rush of tiny tete-a-tete yellow daffodils.  The cucumber magnolia is just beginning to open with its magical yellow blooms just outside the kitchen window.  What better way to celebrate than with a flower crown?!

Flower crowns are one of my favorite things to make, especially for young flowers girls.  At the end of the evening, I usually see flower girls fast asleep in an auntie's lap and their moms are tearing up the dancefloor wearing the flower crown! This proves that flower crowns are for any age. 

If we are having friends over for dinner, I love to make crowns for each of my girlfriends.  What a treat to find a sweet flower crown at your place setting when you sit down for dinner.

I love making crowns with whatever is in the garden, no matter that season.  Of course in spring/summer/fall, there are lots of showy blooms but winter crowns can be a study of evergreens, twigs and dried flowers.  You are only limited by your imagination!

Below are some simple steps for you follow to create your own lovely flower crown. Enjoy!

All photos by Love Knot Photo

Supplies:

  • Flocked Floral Wire (you can find this at your local craft store) or pipe cleaners
  • Floral Tape
  • Floral Wire Cutters (this is the best to cut wire - save your good scissors!)
  • Greens
  • Feature flowers

Steps:

1. Create The Base:

Take a piece of floral wire and form it into a circular shape. If you are using pipe cleaners, you may have to link two together.  Rest it atop your head to see how long you need the wire to be to form a loose crown around your head. Leave a bit at each end - these will form the loops and allow you to adjust the crown. 

2. Choose Florals + Greenery:

Lay out your greens and feature flowers.  Here is where you can be as creative as you want.  I like to cut the greens in 2 inch pieces.  This makes taping them on the crown much easier.  For the feature blooms, leave about 1 - 11/2 inches of stem.  Sturdier stems are much more forging than delicate stems and don't require wiring.  Experiment with different layouts of greens and blooms.  I love full crowns with lots of feature flowers that circle the head.  Others prefer a delicate grouping of greens with a few blooms on the side - again, it's totally up to you!

3. Assemble The Crown:

I like to create "packets" of greens and flowers.  These little bunches make for a full crown and are easier to work with.  You will be layering these bunches on top of each other as you assemble your crown.  Group your first bunch about an inch from the end of the crown.  Attach the stems with floral tape, wrapping firmly on the wire a few times.  Remember to pull on the floral tape so it will stick to itself.  Attach the next "packet" to the wire, with the full end greens/flowers covering the stems of the first "packet".  Continue attaching the "packets" until you are about an inch from the other end of the wire. 

As you begin to add on, take a break every once in a while and place on your head and look in the mirror.  You want to make sure you don't have pieces sticking out at odd angles or large gaps.  The trick is to have the flowers lay smoothly against your head. 

4. Pulling It All Together: 

Once you have attached all the greens & flowers, lay the crown flat and double check that everything is securely fastened to the wire.  Flower crowns lead to spontaneous dancing so those flowers should be ready for some serious moves.  Turn the extra wire at each end back to form a loop.  This is the closure of the crown.  You can tie ribbon on here if you like.  I love using multi color ribbon in different widths. Link the loops together and voila - your crown is finished.

Practice makes perfect - I won't tell you how long it took me to make my first flower crown.  Let's just say my speed has improved greatly over the years!

Do you have any flower crown making tips? What do you want us to make next?

Spring 2017 Floral Favorites

Spring is exactly four days away, so now is the time we start to source beautiful spring blooms for our brides. Here are some of our favorite florals that are now in season...

Ranunculus: They are bold, beautiful, interesting and no two seem quite alike. These beautiful florals are great for making a statement in a centerpiece or bouquet.  My Instagram feed is filled with sumptuous photos of locally grown ranunculus right now.  As I type this blog post, I have a lovely bouquet filled with delphinium, spray roses, scabiosa pods, cherry blossoms, Queen Anne's lace and ranunculus on my grandmother's writing desk.

Poppy: These flowers are known for the vibrant color and delicate petals. These are a perfect addition to any centerpiece or bouquet but tend to need much more water and care than the average flower. They will not last long out of water but they are definitely a show stopper! When I was just starting Beaumont House Design, I traded a huge bouquet of locally grown poppies for headshots!

 

Tulip: The classic spring flower. Tulips comes in many varieties and colors which make they perfect for any occasion or style. Right now I have my eye on the little patch of orange flame tulips that are the first to come up every spring in the Beaumont House garden.  While I over the top Dutch tulips make my melt, there are terrific local growers that I love to support. 

 

Garden Rose: Roses are probably the most popular flower in the history of the English speaking peoples. It is the ancient heraldic symbol of England as well as being their national flower, and it is also our national flower. Evidence suggest that roses have been used by mankind for thousands of years. They have been valued for their fruits as well as for their restorative powers and also for their beautiful wood. Roses are a highly valuable ingredient in essential oils and perfumes. Roses come in many variations (as seen below) and Juliet is one of my favorites.  My plan this year is to add more roses to the Beaumont House garden.  I have my eye on some David Austin beauties and want to plant a climber to arch over the studio door.  This will require me to beef up my defenses against the dreaded Japanese beetles.  I'll keep you posted!

Juliet Rose

Juliet Rose

 

Anemone: When it comes to looking delicate and graceful, anemones are experts. These charming blooms inspired poets, artists, and songwriters for centuries with their colorful cup shaped petals and contrasting dark or yellow center. As a staple of cottage gardens and path side plantings, this common flower is tied to a surprising amount of symbolism for different cultures.  The anemone is especially dear to my heart as my bridal bouquet was all anemones.

 

Lavender: Brides looking for a natural, sweet smelling floral arrangement, fresh out of the fields, need to look no further than lavender. It has been treasured by humans for several thousand years for its medicinal and aromatic properties.  This is a classic herb and a new addition to the Beaumont House garden last summer.  It has wintered over nicely so I will be adding a few more plants this spring.

Peony: A fan favorite. These big blooms are bright, colorful and sure to fill your bouquet with gorgeousness! These blooms are desired by many but come at a luxurious price.  These lush blooms pair beautifully with garden roses.  If I could, I would devote a large portion of my garden to peonies.  I have added a few new varieties to the garden this year and shamelessly keep them just for me.  When peony season is in full swing, I cluster blooms in a silver julep cup by my bed - a necessary luxury!  

Sweet Pea: These sweet smelling flowers make excellent accents to bouquets and centerpieces.  I find that sweet peas tend to evoke strong memories with the mother and grandmother of the bride.  They often remember them as a childhood favorite and are quite sentimental when they see them.  One of my favorite memories from last year was walking through the greenhouse full of sweet peas at my local farmer with the studio dogs trailing behind me checking out the blooms.

These are just a few of spring's gorgeous blooms. I can't wait to share the local goodness over the next few weeks!  Now, we are off to start locally sourcing the best florals and more for our upcoming spring couples!

But before we go, what is your favorite spring flower? 

Valentine's Day inspiration

Cupid, draw back your bow
And let your arrow go
Straight to my lover’s heart for me
— Sam Cooke

Love is in the air today!  Happy Valentine's Day!  I hope you have fabulous plans that involve some sparkle, shine and of course, flowers. 

Whether it's a hand drawn card from your little one, sassy sentiments celebrating friendship from one of your gal pals or something for your eyes only from your sweet pea, celebrate in style.  In a perfect world, my Valentine's Day would be breakfast in bed, serious snuggling, a long walk with the dogs, a nap and then cooking dinner together.  The reality is breakfast in bed means sharing my waffles with two little white dogs, a walk and then right to making dinner (can you tell who is in charge at Beaumont House?). 

A few days ago, I put together a little inspiration photo shoot with two of my super talented girlfriends - Krysta Norman, the genius behind the lens at Norman Photo + Paper and Cathleen Titcomb, the genius running her 19th century presses at Curious Fox Press.  All three of us thought breakfast in bed with beautiful flowers and a love note would be the perfect way to start February 14th.  If you need some help inspiring the love of your life, hopefully these images will do the trick!

Sending you love and flowers,

XO,

Julie

87.jpg

Film Photography: Norman Photo + Paper

Letterpress by: Curious Fox Express

Silks:  Silk and Willow

The Best of 2016 Recap

2016 was a big year for Beaumont House Design. We created florals for the most beautiful in-love couples, hosted four floral workshops, expanded our team, spread our creative wings in some gorgeous styled shoots and have enjoyed every step of the way. I am so grateful to all those who have supported Beaumont House since our beginning in 2014. You continue to make this journey a true delight.

Below you will find our recap of 2016's best moments. Thank you to everyone who made these moments possible. You are a gift!

XO,

Julie

Photography by: Amanda K Photography

Photography by: Amanda K Photography

Photos by: Victoria Selman
Photos by: Love Knot Photo

Photos by: Love Knot Photo

Photo by: Green and Grey

Photo by: Green and Grey

Inspired by the winter landscape

When I left my corporate life behind a few years ago, I remember telling someone that I needed to touch the earth again.  I spent my childhood in the country and something in me was longing for wide open spaces again.  While the summer and fall landscape in the Shenandoah Valley are spectacular, I look forward to the stillness of winter.  The fields are golden and dried remnants of wildflowers and grasses have taken the place of green vines and wild roses.  Morning frost highlights the intricate patterns on fallen leaves and the beautiful forms of trees are revealed against a pale blue sky.

I wanted to capture this icy stillness in a foraged bouquet.  After a season of creating lush bouquets filled with petal rich flowers, I was ready for something lean, spare and quiet.  These looks have me wishing for a winter wedding.

GGP-129.jpg

Creative Team

Photography // Green and Grey

Dress // Elaya Vaughn

Florals // Beaumont House Design

Hair & Makeup Artist // Liz Miller

Invitation Suite // Curious Fox Press

Models // Sierra Ward & Stephen Nickens

Tuxedo // The Black Tux

Venue // Hip and Humble

 

Style Resolutions for 2017

The first few weeks of a new year are always brimming with promises to eat right, exercise more and be better organized.  I'm off to a good start. I stocked the cookie jar with fig newtons and jogged to the mailbox.  Our house currently looks like an episode of Hoarders.  I blame this on the extensive construction going on and not my less than stellar housekeeping skills.  Nothing interests me less than sorting through boxes. 

On the eve of 2017, rather than beat myself up about diet and exercise, I made some style resolutions.  These were infinitely more fun to come up with, will nourish my soul throughout the year and be WAY easier to keep. Below you'll find my six style resolutions for 2017.

Resolution One

Always have flowers in the house. This may seem like a no brainer for a floral designer but it's not always the case.  Right now I'm eyeing the soft purple heather that's blooming just outside the studio window, thinking it would look beautiful in a simple white pitcher by my bed tonight.

Resolution Two

No more Sunday best.  I pulled out the wedding china and family silver and resolve to use it ALL THE TIME.  While it requires more hand washing and polishing, it means more time chatting with my husband after dinner.  There is something special about those after dinner moments that I love.  Sometimes it's as mundane as reminding ourselves to buy more dish soap but other times it leads to an impromptu dance party in the kitchen with the dogs barking madly as we twirl around the island.

Resolution Three

Dress up for the day. While working from a home studio may sound like a dream to many, it can turn a beautiful swan into a sloth in a matter of months.  I've been caught a few times running errands in town wishing I had coordinated my ensemble a bit better.  I treated myself to a grey felt hat this winter which hides some serious bedhead and paired with a scarf, dark jeans and killer shades, makes me feel like a million bucks.

Resolution Four

Wear lipstick. In a previous life I trolled the cosmetic counters at Nordstrom like the shark pursued the Orca in Jaws.  That, combined with a late night weakness for QVC, has resulted in a lot of lipstick and lip gloss needing attention.  Right now I am crushing on Mac's Deelight.

Resolution Five

Read for pleasure. There is nothing more stylish than a beautiful mind.  At some point over the past few years, I fell out of the habit of reading for pleasure and I miss it.  Right now I have an eclectic stack of books onthe bedside table including H is for Hawk, The Juniper Tree and Other Grimm's Fairy Tales illustrated by Maurice Sendak (talk about wanting to keep the lights on when you read these stories), Gertrude Jekyll's The Gardener's Essential and a stack of New Yorker magazines from the past few weeks.  It's exciting to travel between the story of keeping a goshawk, reading darker fairy tales and keeping up on the latest museum openings in NYC.

Resolution Six

Say no to the ordinary. We are nearing the end of the construction on our house and choosing finishes.  While it would be easy to do with ceiling white or a stock finish, I'm giving myself permission to explore all the options and not be afraid to try something outside of my comfort zone.  While I have spent way more time than I care to admit on looking at door hardware, it's been a fun journey to explore what's out there.

I'd love to know what your style resolutions are for 2017! Leave them in the comments below.

XO,

Julie

{Photos by: Norman Photo and Paper}


 

Looking to add beauty to your wedding or event?

Beaumont House Design is a boutique floral design studio that serves the Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland area. 

Wreath Making Workshop

Dressing the front door of the house with the wreath signals the beginning of the holiday season.  The door wreath is like the piece of fabulous jewelry you put on your house when dressing it for the holidays.  This year, holiday season is construction season at Beaumont House.  While no Christmas decorations are going up in the house, we finally have the technical expertise to place a huge bolt in the side of the house to hang the 5' wreath I bought a few years ago.  It looks great and is a beacon for planes landing at nearby Dulles airport.

 

To get my fix of fresh fir, I reached out to my good friend Alicia at Love Knot Photo to see if she wanted to host a wreath making workshop with me.  We had done a flower crown workshop in March and were eager to do another class together.  Elizabeth at Modern Mercantile in Berryville, VA hosted us and within 24 hours, we sold out the morning workshop and added an afternoon workshop.  In the days leading up to the workshop, I foraged a beautiful collection of dried grasses, sparkly bits and brought in a collection of fragrant greens like noble fir, western cedar, fraser fir, juniper and Douglas fir.  Workshop Saturday was perfect - bright, sunny with a little nip in the air.  The space was filled to the brim with greens as well as Duck Donuts and Cordial Coffee.  Cathleen from Curious Fox Press did a special run of letterpress Christmas cards for us as well.  I'm continually amazed at how creative and different each wreath was considering everyone was working with the same materials.

 
 
wreath-workshop-264.jpg
wreath-workshop-225.jpg

For me, the best part of teaching these workshops is watching the creative process.  I like to give a lesson on technique and then set everyone loose to create their color palette.  It was fun to walk around and watch how each wreath came together.  As the wreaths were finished, Alicia ushered everyone into our photo booth and captured her creation.   

Photography: Love Knot Photo

Space: Modern Mercantile

Holiday Treats: Ducks Donuts // Cordial Coffee

Letterpress Christmas CardsCurious Fox Press

 

 

 

 

 

the Beaumont House Holiday celebration

If it were up to me, I'd have you over this Sunday morning for a beautiful Christmas brunch.  On the menu would be some of our family favorites - oysters on the half shell, Virginia ham, pannettone from our favorite bakery and a decadent sansrival cake. Since I know you are probably busy with your own holiday feast, I thought I could bring the party to you. 

Gathering around the table with family and friends this time of year brings me great joy.  Our celebration includes lots of dogs, a roaring fire in the dining room and red wine.  As Beaumont House is a construction site this year, we moved the celebration to a friend's beautiful 100 year-old barn in the middle of a Christmas tree farm. 

This year's party was a thank you to the amazing tribe of people who have helped Beaumont House Design grow into a beautiful floral studio. Around the table were family, old friends and new friends.  Thanks to Hidden Julles Café for bringing The Rambler filled to the brim with the tastes of the season and Krysta Norman of Norman Photo + Paper for capturing the evening with her keen eye and sense of style. 

A special thank you to Logan Martin from Talewind Visuals who told a story of love, light and magic on film. This glimpse into our Christmas celebration is my love letter to you.  From our house to your house, we wish you peace, love and joy. 

XO,
Julie

NormanPhotoPaper_HomeHolidays_Styled-151.jpg
NormanPhotoPaper_HomeHolidays_Styled-52.jpg
NormanPhotoPaper_HomeHolidays_Styled-159.jpg

Elopement Under the Horse Chestnut Tree

Beaumont House sits in between two enormous farms.  To the north is a farm with a long history of raising champion thoroughbreds and was once the home of Nellie Custis.  To the south is a farm that has been in production since the 1750's.  It's this farm that has captured my imagination.  From my kitchen window I can see the old farm house which is shaded by an enormous horse chestnut tree.  Earlier this year I was able to create a beautiful table under that tree.  I imagine this tree has lots of stories to tell from shading family picnics on hot summer afternoons, couples stealing kisses behind its enormous trunk and children using it as base during games of tag.

Together, our gang of creatives set up a simple table set for six, imagining a lovely couple exchanging vows under the big branches with the magnificent Blue Ridge mountains in the background. 

We sourced locally grown flowers and used heirloom china, crystal and silver from our own mothers and grandmothers set on a locally made farm table.  I love using heirloom pieces for many reasons.  People can actually enjoy them instead of just looking at them behind glass in the china cabinet.  Each of these pieces has a story.  As we were setting the table, we shared stories about family dinners, holiday traditions and favorite recipes.  The silver on the table was my mother's.  We have used it at every family gathering for as long I can remember and now my sister continues the tradition at her house with it.

The flowers were the highlight of spring. The locally sourced poppies and sweet pea vines make me melt.  The vase is an aged terra cotta urn, one of my favorites to design in.  It has a beautiful shape with green moss growing on the terra cotta.

The fun part about this table is that after we photographed it, we sat down and enjoyed it with the finest take out pizza and bottles of red wine.  We talked around the table until it was dark, laughing and telling stories.  I know the tree was listening.

Photography: Norman Photo +  Paper

Vintage metal garden chairs:  Hip and Humble Interiors

Anniversary Dinner

Ten years of marriage is something to celebrate. One year ago, with family and friends gathered for an intimate dinner for 25, we toasted to a decade of  "Paradise Found". We wanted a small celebration that would give us a chance to spend time with those closest to us.  Almost everyone at the table had been a guest at our wedding. 

It was a treat to be my own client and bring our vision to life.  We knew we wanted to celebrate the colors fall and made a commitment to locally source as much as we could.  To that end, almost all of the flowers were grown within a 20 mile radius of Beaumont House and we spent time in the fields foraging for greens.  The majority of the menu came from local farms as well.

It's been said that marriage is about compromise and learning to embrace what your partner loves.  In our case, I have learned to love professional ice hockey (Go Caps!) and my husband has supported my addiction to entertaining.  As we were planning this little soiree, he was the one who pushed for the crazy fabulous tents in the backyard and made the final wine choices.  I'm thrilled to share this little glimpse into our life at Beaumont House. 

Thanks to Lace and Loyalty for featuring our celebration on their blog in September.  I won't deny that it is great to have some wonderful creative friends who helped make our celebration one for the books!  Check out the list of creatives at the bottom of the post. 

 

 
 

Invitation suite - Momental Design | Photography - Love Knot Photography | Linens - La Tavola Fine Linens | Tent & Event Rental - Grand Rental Station | Catering - WK Hearth | Cake - Market Salamander | Flatware - private collection

Foraged Fall Blooms

After a long dry end to summer, fall has arrived.  Walking the dogs in the evening we can smell the smoke coming from our neighbors' chimneys and just last night we had our first fire of the season.  The light at sunset is magical and we find ourselves sitting on the patio soaking it in and enjoying the chill in the air. 

This morning I gathered some of the best blooms fall has to offer.  They are a mix of locally grown flowers as well as some from my cutting garden.

Hello cosmos!  I can't get enough of this delicate flower that loves to shimmer in arrangements.  I grew two varieties from seed this year and it just made me smile every time I walked by the cutting garden.

Lavender has been a challenge for me to grow but I decided to give it another try this year.  Two of the three bushes I planted have survived and I am hoping that they will make it through the winter.  It's been a beautiful addition to bridal bouquets and boutonnieres this wedding season.  

Mounds of this silver artemisia line the entrance of our driveway.  It's one of my husband's favorites and is soft like a cat's paw!  I love to use it in bridal bouquets.

I'd have an entire grove of dogwood trees if I could.  The delicate flowering branches in the spring are stunning.  However, the red/green leaves this time of year are beyond amazing.  I spent this past weekend watching the birds descend on the tree and eating all of the bright red berries.

These are stalks of wild goldenrod.  The muted yellow weeds are great filler in arrangements.  You've probably seen its cultivar cousin, solidago, in mixed bouquets.  The wild variety is a bit softer and perfect tone for fall.

I love rose hips.  These are one of my favorite flowers to forages.  The wild rose hips I find the nearby fields are from the wild roses and provide wonderful texture in bouquets.  They play well with other flowers and can go orange or pink/red.

This bright pink/fuchsia celosia is a winner.  This came from an enormous pot we keep by the front door.  It's furry and full of texture.  Celosia comes in many different varieties and colors.  I have some bunches drying in the studio to use for wreaths later this fall.

This is sorghum, a cereal grain used for animal feed.  I found this at the flower market was intrigued by its soft orange color and beautiful texture.  It was a natural in centerpieces and looked amazing paired with locally grown orange dahlias for a barn wedding last week.  This is another beauty I am drying the studio.

One in a Melon Styled Shoot

I was delighted to be featured on The Perfect Palette this past month! This gorgeous styled shoot exuded romance, mystery and elegance.  This shoot was all about color and details.  Using a melon inspired palette, the creative team made some magic.  The combination of pinks, reds and greens told a beautiful color story.  Locally sourced blackberries, nigella pods and amaranth provided wonderful texture that combined beautifully with secret garden roses and baptisia greens.  The trellis backdrop was a wall of carnations echoing the color palette.  Carnations some times have a less than stellar reputation.  I love using the antique varieties featured in these photos.  Stringing them is a labor of love but the end result is a curtain of flowers - how lovely is that? 

Community: 48 Fields Dinner

Earlier this summer, friends from the creative community of the Rising Tide Society - Tuesdays Together, gathered for an evening of fun.  Usually we are working weddings and events and never have a chance to sit and enjoy our work.  This time was different.  We created this lovely dinner, featuring the work of some of the most lovely creatives I know.  When creatives get together, watch out!

We created a beautiful dinner at 48 Fields just outside of Leesburg, VA, filling the space with 3 king's tables.  These farm tables were the perfect backdrop to showcase floral design by Lark Floral, La Fleur du Jour and Beaumont House Design.  We each brought our own style to the tables and the overall effect was magic!  

I love designing long tables!  The inspiration for this table came from an English potting shed and featured a collection of potted plants, cut flowers, boxwood and vintage books on gardening from my library.

I love designing long tables!  The inspiration for this table came from an English potting shed and featured a collection of potted plants, cut flowers, boxwood and vintage books on gardening from my library.

This was one of my favorite photos of the evening.  The late afternoon light was perfect and it shows off each of the table designs.

This was one of my favorite photos of the evening.  The late afternoon light was perfect and it shows off each of the table designs.

Tulips in a silver vase is a look I never tire of.  This julep cup was a wedding gift to my parents.

Tulips in a silver vase is a look I never tire of.  This julep cup was a wedding gift to my parents.

I spend a lot of time reading through gardening books.  This guide to roses is my mother's.  I have big goals to successfully grow roses but haven't had great luck.

I spend a lot of time reading through gardening books.  This guide to roses is my mother's.  I have big goals to successfully grow roses but haven't had great luck.

These hellebores came straight from my garden and were perfect in this wooden box.

These hellebores came straight from my garden and were perfect in this wooden box.

I love this little barrel container with a boxwood in it. All the flowers for this tables were locally sourced or foraged. 

I love this little barrel container with a boxwood in it. All the flowers for this tables were locally sourced or foraged. 

These are onion sets from the local feed store and honeysuckle vine from our fence row.  I planted the onions and enjoyed them on our early summer salads.

These are onion sets from the local feed store and honeysuckle vine from our fence row.  I planted the onions and enjoyed them on our early summer salads.

Very rarely do I have a chance to sit for a photo during event set up.  This is not a military jacket but rather my dad's gardening coat that I love to wear.  He was career military and my mom sewed his name tag on this jacket, in case anyone forgot who it belonged to!  I love wearing it and thinking of him tending to his garden. I'm thrilled to happy to share this evening with you and share credit with the uber talented creative team that made for a magic evening.  Photography and Design: Bethanne Arthur Photography Instagram: @BethanneArthur   www.BethanneArthurphotography.com Planning and Design: The One Moment Events instagram: @TheOneMomentEvents   www.TheOneMomentEvents.com Cake Topper: Lauren Heim Studio www.LaurenHeim.com Instagram: @LaurenHeimstudio Venue: 48 Fields Instagram: @48Fields   www.48Fields.com Table and Chair Rentals: Jefferson Rentals www.Jefferson-Rentals.com Tableware Rentals: Grand Rental Station Instagram: @Grandrentalstationwincva http://grandrentalwinchesterva.com Vintage Furniture and Cake Plates: Faccia Fresca Vintage Instagram: @FacciaFrescaVintage Catering: Hidden Julles-Haymarket Instagram: @HiddenJullesCafe Florals Table 1: Lark Floral Instagram: Lark Floral http://www.larkfloral.com Florals Table 2: Beaumont House Design Instagram: @Beaumontflowers   http://www.beaumont-house.com Florals Table 3: La Fleur du Jour Instagram: @lafleurdujour   http://www.lafleurdujour.com Signage: Shrimp Salad Circus Instagram: @Shrimpsaladcircus   http://www.shrimpsaladcircus.com Paper goods: Caitlin Creative Works Instagram: @CaitlinCreativeWorks   http://www.caitlincreativeworks.com Wine: Zephaniah Farm Vineyard Instagram: @zephwine   http://www.zephwine.com Cookie Favors: Noshy Instagram: @getnoshy   http://www.getnoshy.com Amazing cake: Sweets by e Instagram: @Sweetsby_e   http://www.sweetsbye.com

Very rarely do I have a chance to sit for a photo during event set up.  This is not a military jacket but rather my dad's gardening coat that I love to wear.  He was career military and my mom sewed his name tag on this jacket, in case anyone forgot who it belonged to!  I love wearing it and thinking of him tending to his garden.

I'm thrilled to happy to share this evening with you and share credit with the uber talented creative team that made for a magic evening. 

Photography and Design: Bethanne Arthur Photography
Instagram: @BethanneArthur  
www.BethanneArthurphotography.com

Planning and Design: The One Moment Events
instagram: @TheOneMomentEvents  
www.TheOneMomentEvents.com

Cake Topper: Lauren Heim Studio
www.LaurenHeim.com
Instagram: @LaurenHeimstudio

Venue: 48 Fields
Instagram: @48Fields  
www.48Fields.com

Table and Chair Rentals: Jefferson Rentals
www.Jefferson-Rentals.com

Tableware Rentals: Grand Rental Station
Instagram: @Grandrentalstationwincva
http://grandrentalwinchesterva.com

Vintage Furniture and Cake Plates: Faccia Fresca Vintage
Instagram: @FacciaFrescaVintage

Catering: Hidden Julles-Haymarket
Instagram: @HiddenJullesCafe

Florals Table 1: Lark Floral
Instagram: Lark Floral
http://www.larkfloral.com

Florals Table 2: Beaumont House Design
Instagram: @Beaumontflowers  
http://www.beaumont-house.com

Florals Table 3: La Fleur du Jour
Instagram: @lafleurdujour  
http://www.lafleurdujour.com

Signage: Shrimp Salad Circus
Instagram: @Shrimpsaladcircus  
http://www.shrimpsaladcircus.com

Paper goods: Caitlin Creative Works
Instagram: @CaitlinCreativeWorks  
http://www.caitlincreativeworks.com

Wine: Zephaniah Farm Vineyard
Instagram: @zephwine  
http://www.zephwine.com

Cookie Favors: Noshy
Instagram: @getnoshy  
http://www.getnoshy.com

Amazing cake: Sweets by e
Instagram: @Sweetsby_e  
http://www.sweetsbye.com

Photography by: Bethanne Arthur Photography 

Featured: The Observer of Clarke County

Reading the newspaper has been a habit of mine for as long as I can remember.  Growing up, we received 3 newspapers each day - The Washington Post, The Winchester Star and the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times on Sunday.  Today I still walk with the studio dogs to the end of the driveway to pick up newspaper each morning.  I love the feel and smell of the paper in my hands and just can't get used to reading the news online.  I'm honored to be featured as the cover story on The Observer's September issue.

I spent a wonderful morning in late August with Claire Stuart, a fellow flower lover, talking about how Beaumont House Design began.  It was wonderful to sit in the studio and chat.  Of course there were flowers involved!  After our conversation, we sat and made beautiful flower crowns, talking about flowers, insects and gardening.  You can find the feature here

Capturing the Essence

I’ve been binge watching Downton Abbey lately.  While the tension between upstairs and downstairs is interesting, I really just watch for the flowers and architecture.

Some of my fondest memories are pouring through shelter magazines with my mother. Together we would go down the rabbit hole, thinking about what it would be like to live in an Irish Castle (the gardens would be spectacular) vs. a sleek penthouse in NYC (clean, modern and no clutter).  Those lazy Saturday mornings in her bed feasting on warm homemade doughnuts from the Soda Shoppe and black coffee for mom in a Styrofoam cup helped solidify my love of bloom and building.

When I first started thinking about creating Beaumont House Design, I knew I wanted to infuse a sense of time, place and history in everything I did.  The foundation of my vase and prop collection comes from inherited and found pieces.  Some of the pieces are real treasures, like the 18th century primitive pine cabinet, known as Miss Rose, won by my father in a poker game while others are thrift shop treasures picked up for a song.

In an effort to continually evolve and grow my brand, I gathered my tribe to create some beautiful images. My tribe is an amazing mix of talent.  Krysta Norman of Norman Photo and Paper and I met last year doing a wedding.  Her style and eye are incredible and I learn something from her every time we get together.

Cindy and Liz Miiller are the dynamic duo.  Cindy is planner and designer in her own right and her daughter is a hair and make up artist with a great sense of style as well.  My connection to Cindy and Liz goes way back – Cindy’s mother used to practice her dance moves perched on top of my father’s feet.

I knew I wanted to feature my flowers in a place that had a sense of history. Our 1960’s ranch wasn’t the answer.  Calling in a favor from a family friend, we spent the day on a farm that has been in production since the 1750’s.  Our yard adjoins the farm and I often see our red shouldered hawk couple hunting along our shared fence line.

The farm runs beef cattle and hairless sheep.  A few weeks before the shoot, we visited and spent time in the lamb nursery, conjuring up ways to get a few photos of newborn lambs with flower crowns.  That was not meant to be as Kelsie, the resident guard llama, was not too keen on letting us too close to her flock.

One of the lambs in the nursery.

One of the lambs in the nursery.

We decided to concentrate on three parts of the farm: the slave quarters, front porch of the main house and under the spectacular horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) in the front yard.  The slave quarters had recently undergone extensive preservation and stabilization and while the outside of the building looked new, the interiors hadn’t been touched in years.  Between the weathered walls and beautiful light, we made some magic!  I have decided that the slave quarters would make the perfect floral studio.  One day I will recreate this building!

Our home for most of the shoot, the recently preserved slave quarters.

Our home for most of the shoot, the recently preserved slave quarters.

Bouquet with hosta, astilbe, garden roses, stock, tulip, campanula and pea shoots resting against a 19th century cane chair.  Photo by Norman Photo and Paper.

Bouquet with hosta, astilbe, garden roses, stock, tulip, campanula and pea shoots resting against a 19th century cane chair.  Photo by Norman Photo and Paper.

This wedding dress was worn by both my mother and sister.  It was a thrill to take it out of the box before the shoot and remember my sister’s wedding day.  It was the first wedding I had ever been in.  Photo:  Norman Photo and Paper.

This wedding dress was worn by both my mother and sister.  It was a thrill to take it out of the box before the shoot and remember my sister’s wedding day.  It was the first wedding I had ever been in.  Photo:  Norman Photo and Paper.

The gorgeous light poured through the windows all afternoon.  Photo:  Norman Photo and Paper.

The gorgeous light poured through the windows all afternoon.  Photo:  Norman Photo and Paper.

The front porch had a beautiful marble table, perfect for a tea party.  With borrowed china and linens and my own family silver, we created a charming tablescape using thrift shop pitchers and locally grown bachelors buttons and ladies mantle.

The marble table on the front porch was in the inspiration for this table.  Cindy’s mother’s china with a forget-me-not pattern was perfect paired with the bachelor buttons and ladies mantle.  Photo:  Norman Photo and Paper

The marble table on the front porch was in the inspiration for this table.  Cindy’s mother’s china with a forget-me-not pattern was perfect paired with the bachelor buttons and ladies mantle.  Photo:  Norman Photo and Paper

For the main tablescape, I wanted to put together a table that was the essence of simple, elegant and just right for the setting.  I’ve spoken often on the blog about my love of trees and this horse chestnut is spectacular.

We set the locally made farm table up under the large tree branch and used a palette of cream, yellow, green and gold featuring locally grown poppies. Cindy’s vintage china and crystal combined with my mother’s circa 1950 Danish modern silver and made for a beautiful table.  We suspended an arbor of fern and foraged bush honeysuckle above the table, because every table needs greens hovering just above it.

The tapestry chairs are from my mother and the garden chairs were on loan from Hip and Humble in Berryville.  Photo:  Norman Photo and Paper.

The tapestry chairs are from my mother and the garden chairs were on loan from Hip and Humble in Berryville.  Photo:  Norman Photo and Paper.

The pea shoots were an added bonus.  My wonderful local flower farmer and I talked via phone earlier in the week about what was in bloom.  She mentioned the pea shoots as we were finishing up and I of course said yes.  Photo:  Norman Photo and Paper.

The pea shoots were an added bonus.  My wonderful local flower farmer and I talked via phone earlier in the week about what was in bloom.  She mentioned the pea shoots as we were finishing up and I of course said yes.  Photo:  Norman Photo and Paper.

After the shoot finished, the clouds cleared and the views across the valley to mountains opened up.  Not to let the table go unappreciated, we all enjoyed dinner and cigars under the tree until the light started to fade.

As I sat there, I could only imagine the generations before us who had gathered in that same spot.  To me, that is what Beaumont House is all about, sitting together under a magnificent tree after a long day, sharing stories and making memories. — XO, Julie