I'll be selling flower arrangements at the Audubon Park Community Market, after my day job next Monday evening! Come see me if you're in the area!!
Hi I'm MARY, a graphic designer and floral stylist based in Winter Park, Florida. My husband Tim (the city's Sustainability Officer) and I are currently working on our first major home renovation to our 1970's cottage in the heart of Winter Park. Sustainable living and simplicity are the driving forces behind our passions and design philosophies.
You can see my flower work at marymaslow.com and follow my renovation and gardening adventures on instagram, @marystonecypher.
I know there's a huge movement out West and in the Northeast to make the flower industry more sustainable, but there isn't really much of one here in Florida. So I've decided that, in my own small way, I'd try to shed light on the abundance, beauty and wonder of Florida wildflowers with a new series called "Field to Vase". Each post will feature a different wildflower from it's native state in the field, all the way to the vase, bouquet or wear-able arrangement.
In a place whose namesake translates to "flowery land" (or something like that) I kind of feel like this is the least I can do!
First up: Spanish Needles (Biden alba seds)
Spanish Needles bloom along roadsides, parking lots, meadows and woods all year long. In the winter, they are the number one source of nectar for our local bees and butterflies. I haven't tried any yet, but I've read that the flowers and young leaves can be used in salads and the mature leaves can be boiled or steamed for greens. They also have a pretty long vase life for wildflowers (about 5 days).
Unfortunately, most locals consider Spanish Needles weeds and try to get rid of them, either mowing them down or dousing them with toxic pesticides.
On Saturday, I went to my favorite little pasture of Spanish Needles, just down the road from my house, and snipped a few bunches. I also clipped some locally grown oak branches from my yard and some gorgeous peachy roses from a friend's garden.
I used about 10-15 stems of Spanish Needles, 5 Stems of Garden Roses and 3 small Oak Tree Branches to create a super sweet, peachy, summery arrangment!
The wiry stems of the Spanish Needles really help give the arrangement a one-of-a-kind shape.
I think what I find most beautiful about this flower, besides the bounty it provides to our bees and butterflies, is how imperfect the little white petals are. In one single stem you can have two to four blossoms. Some blossoms might have three or four or five petals, others none. No stem is the same!
Floral Styling + Photos by Mary Stonecypher Maslow
Tim and I are heading to the coast this weekend to hang out with our parents and take a little break from the renovation. We actually both grew up in the same area, in small towns right next to each other, but never met until someone introduced us in Jacksonville, when I was in college. Weird how that works out.
Anyhow, every time we go back and visit, we stay with Tim's Mom in the sleepy little town of Melbourne Beach, just across the river from where I grew up.
The town is so quiet and small and serene. It's nestled on a narrow barrier island with the ocean on one end of the main street and the river on the other. You can very easily walk to each body of water (both anchored by parks), since they're only a half of a mile apart.
The main street, Ocean Avenue, is dotted with little seafood restaurants, bed and breakfasts, and almost all of the towns civic entities (library, town hall, fire station, post office, etc). Our favorite place to grab breakfast is the Friendly Toast and if we didn't have family there, I would probably always stay at the Port D'Hiver.
When I was growing up, the building that the Port D'Hiver is now, was a very old, neglected historic house and I loved it. We'd drive past it when we'd go visit my grandpa and I always worried that it might get torn down, but secretly wished it would be resorted. And it was. They completely resorted the original structure and added a few additional buildings to create the loveliest little beach side inn.
Unfortunately the last time we went, I didn't snap any photos of it but you can see some on their website. The photos here, are of our walk from the beach to the river, hanging out in both parks.
Update! I thought it would be nice to share a quick list of activities we love to do here (besides laying out at the beach), in case anyone else wants to plan a little weekend getaway.
Fun Things to Do:
Best Places to Stay (Both are restored Historic Houses on the Main Street):
Do you have any plans for this special holiday weekend? I'd love to hear!
Photos by Me. More on my flickr.
Good morning friends! Today I'm super happy to announce that I have officially started my own floral design and styling business! This is something I've been dreaming of, and dabbling in, for years now (remember this post?), but never had the courage or time to take the leap and make it official.
Like many things in my life, the over arching mission with my flower work is sustainability. I'll be sourcing most of my flowers, foliage and fruit from local farms, (something that might be challenging in the beginning, considering there aren't many in Florida just yet!), and I'm even working on plans to turn my yard into a giant cutting garden/meadow. I'll re-use jars, second-hand containers, and purchase pottery pieces from local artisan for vases.
It feels really nice to be able to share this, as I've been working on it and thinking about it non stop for a while now. You can check out my new website right here and, if you're in Winter Park or the Central Florida region and need flowers, you can contact me here!
These photos are of one of the arrangements I put together for Mother's Day, featuring chickasaw plum branches and gardenias clipped from my garden, with organic lilacs, tulips and hyacinth.
Photos by me. More, here.
My absolute favorite restaurant in Winter Park these days is Fresh. The dishes are super tasty, and nearly all of their ingredients are sourced within a 150 mile radius. The atmosphere is equally incredible - intimate, genuine and super down to earth. It's also very affordable, considering the quality.
The Grilled Peach Salad, on the lunch menu, is probably my favorite dish right now. I also can't resist ordering the Yucca Fries every time I go. The dipping sauces are so delicious!
Their sweet little store front, located on New England (across from Dexters) in the Hannibal Square district, is open Tuesday through Saturday for lunch and dinner, and then Sunday for brunch. I highly recommend if/when you're in town!
Photos taken with my iPhone, the last time we were there at lunch.