I had the pleasure of visiting Leesburg Virginia for their semi annual Leesburg Garden Club Symposium 2018.  The event took place at Riverside on the Potomac, a fabulous barn and party venue that made working in a barn a very glamorous experience.  The light inside looks as if it is open to the weather but each crack and hole has been carefully covered so that there is perfect temperature control summer and winter.  Sarah Hood Salomon came to the event and took wonderful pictures of the day.   

Caption:  The barn at Riverside on the Potomac was a magical place for arranging flowers.  

The theme of my demonstration was Fall Into Entertaining and I coordinated with the company Grit and Grace to create floral designs for several different party moods. It was great fun to work with them and see their afternoon presentation. They provided tables, linens, and table settings. Early autumn makes me think of blue skies and yellow sun so I planned the first designs to use straw, blue delphinium, sunflowers and other bright yellow flowers.  The day was rainy and gray but clear blues and cheerful yellows set the mood.

Caption:  Blue delphinium and sunflowers set the mood in a verdigris vase.  

Caption: A branch structure holds tubes for more blue delphinium, yellow marigolds and dahlias.  Balloon vine winds through the design.

Fall into Entertaining could not be done without some vegetable designs and a wonderful copper vase from Potomac Floral Wholesale which was the perfect color and size.  A tall candlestick held a topiary of grevillea, copper colored amaranthus Japanese lantern and my favorite the rose “Free Spirit.”

Caption: Copper bowl  holds eggplant, peppers, and mini pumpkins with fall flowers.  Candlestick topiary gives vertical interest.

The third party setting  had a contemporary feel with a tropical motif on the table and black and white china. .  Although tropical flowers would have been the expected choice, the black vases held autumn dahlias, hydrangeas and roses.

Holly Chappell of Chappell Designs  is a member of Leesburg Garden Club  and attended my program. I created this design in a compote vase from  Syndicate Sales using Holly’s new pillow mechanic. Dark purple grapes were wired across the vase to extend the drama of the black container.

Caption: An art nouveau midollino spiral gives drama to the contemporary table. Pictures by Sarah Hood Salomon. Waverly Street Gallery.

Grit and Grace designed a late autumn table setting with a textured gold cloth, black and white rimmed china and wine goblets banded in gold. A burgundy napkin completed their color palette. Silver vases held a variety of flowers from dark pink to dark red highlighted in a golden yellow. Pinecone garland and pheasant feathers accented the arrangements while red and gold gloriosa lilies tied the colors together.


A final piece with pinecones and pheasant feathers celebrates fall with rich yellow and red roses, pepper berry and glamorous gloriosa vines.  

It was a great day to be in Leesburg and I so enjoyed being welcomed with their southern hospitality.