I have been a massive fan of Ariella Chezar for my entire flower career. I actually credit her with getting me hooked on this crazy, beautiful adventure that now envelopes my life!
The first time I saw her work was in a gorgeous spread for Garden Design Magazine, featuring clematis grown at Chalk Hill Clematis Farm in Healdsburg CA. I was designing and installing gardens at the time and it had never occurred to me that one could clip such treasure from the garden and use it in bouquets. Witnessing her approach to arranging, nature and flowers stopped me dead in my tracks. Who knew such magic was so close at hand!?
And like that, my course corrected, out came the vegetable garden, in went flowers and here we are today!
I’ve tried to get myself to one of Ariella’s amazing workshops for the past two years but just could never seem to make it work. But when I heard she’d be teaching at Chalk Hill Clematis I knew I was meant to be there for sure!
It’s literally insane that I stepped away from the farm this time of year with so much needing attention and care, but there was no way I could let the opportunity pass by, I HAD to go, I HAD to be there! So just days after the Mother’s Day madness settled and right before wedding season begins in earnest, I hopped a plane for Napa and had the time of my life.
Kaye Heafy, owner of Chalk Hill Clematis, was the most exquisite host one could hope for. She guided us through her incredible fields, shared wonderful stories, let us dine in her gardens and essentially gave us free reign of the farm for 3 whole days!
You can imagine how freaked out with excitement we all were with clippers in hand and buckets in tow!
The first day we watched Ariella create a massive, breathtaking arrangement of clematis recta, ‘Evelyn’ garden roses, giant heirloom rambling roses, large white clematis, eleagenus foliage, olive branches and other treasures from the field. We then set about making our own.
What fun to work with such amazing product, on such a large scale!
Once our giant bouquets were complete, we were shuttled down to the Mary Toomey Clematis Garden for lunch and then returned to make over our top bridal bouquets.
Ariella’s bridals are legendary and watching her create such a work of art was beyond amazing!!!
Dusky pink bearded iris, ‘Evelyn’ garden roses, phalenopsis orchids, ‘Notre Dame’ carnations, eleagnus foliage, brodea, nerine, clematis recta…. too much beauty in one place I tell ya!
Photographer Meg Smith showed up near the end of the day, at magic light hour and catured our bouquets on film. Watching her work was a real treat.
Sue Prutting, from White Magnolia Designs in D.C. knocked it out of the park with her monster bouquet. Both being troublemakers, we became fast friends and spent a good deal of the workshop laughing our heads off and having a total blast. She is one seriously awesome lady and totally talented designer!!!
As you can see, having access to the freshest local product and arranging it in a natural way, produces the most incredible results possible!
Day two we got into vines, purples and crazy color combos. Stay tuned.