Brown Obsession

I love seeing a tinge of mocha or smoky lavender or "dirty" yellow in flowers. Muted shades. Flesh colors.

Bright colored blooms are beautiful, but the unusual hues found in the flower world are considered gold mines to many designers.

Rose, "Hot Cocoa" is a orange-brown with a smoky lavender that tinges some petals.

Rose, "Hot Cocoa" is a orange-brown with a smoky lavender that tinges some petals.

I owe my obsession with "brown" flowers to Sarah Ryhanen of  Saipua. When I first stumbled upon the Saipua website three years ago, I felt like I had truly found my religion. Sarah's moody, ephemeral florals touched me on such a deep, emotional level. After pouring over the vast collection of photographs of her work and reading every blog post she had written since 2010 (she is a talented writer too), I decided to turn my gardening hobby into a career in floral design.

Sarah and her team recently created these pink and brown arrangements for a gala in Rome honoring Alice Waters of famed Berkeley, CA restaurant Chez Panisse. Her inspiration- "unusual palettes." This arrangement makes me want to weep. I love it so much. Image found on Saipua's  Journal.

Sarah and her team recently created these pink and brown arrangements for a gala in Rome honoring Alice Waters of famed Berkeley, CA restaurant Chez Panisse. Her inspiration- "unusual palettes." This arrangement makes me want to weep. I love it so much. Image found on Saipua's  Journal.

A variegated purple and "tea-stained" ranunculus popped up in a cluster of purple and berry colored of blooms in the garden. The only one. Wish I had dozens of these.

A variegated purple and "tea-stained" ranunculus popped up in a cluster of purple and berry colored of blooms in the garden. The only one. Wish I had dozens of these.

My favorite new edition to the spring garden, ranunculus "Café." A flower that Sarah of Saipua uses often with all sorts of color palettes. I didn't know this flower existed until I saw it in her ethereal flower arrangements. It was love at first sight and I was so happy when I was able to get my hands on some. I will be planting more for the 2017 cutting garden.

My favorite new edition to the spring garden, ranunculus "Café." A flower that Sarah of Saipua uses often with all sorts of color palettes. I didn't know this flower existed until I saw it in her ethereal flower arrangements. It was love at first sight and I was so happy when I was able to get my hands on some. I will be planting more for the 2017 cutting garden.

Still on the hunt for this gorgeous thing- "Lavender Pinocchio" spotted at the Huntington Library rose garden a few months ago. If anyone knows where I can find one, please let me know....

Still on the hunt for this gorgeous thing- "Lavender Pinocchio" spotted at the Huntington Library rose garden a few months ago. If anyone knows where I can find one, please let me know....

Details of an arrangement I created for the hosts of a dinner party I attended over the weekend. The dirty yellow irises (what happens when lavender meets yellow) and café ranunculus rocked this color palette.

Details of an arrangement I created for the hosts of a dinner party I attended over the weekend. The dirty yellow irises (what happens when lavender meets yellow) and café ranunculus rocked this color palette.

The bearded iris is probably the "Queen of Unusual Color Possibilities" in the flower world. I have set my sights on the bearded iris as my obsession to design with unusual colors consumes me. But a dive into the world of the bearded iris deserves a post all its own, so I will leave that for another day.

The search for the unusual has sparked an idea in my head. The Cutting Garden Collective is percolating. I will mull this idea over in a blog post at a later date too.

Happy gardening and hunting for those brown flowers ;).