Garden Series: Summer Blooms

Over the past few years that I’ve been keeping my blog many of you have asked to see pictures of my garden, and I’ve never quite felt that pictures would do it justice. Everything was so newly planted and small that it just didn’t make sense to photograph it.

So, this summer I finally decided that it was time. The other day as I was building arrangements in my garden, I took some snaps to share with you.

My garden is my place of peace and meditation, I love every minute that I spend in it and every moment that I look at the flowers that we have grown in it. I love an abundant, haphazard look so…nearly every square inch of empty space is accounted for (although I seem to be able to add something new almost every other day). I spend about 10 hours (sometimes more) each week tending the garden. It’s definitely not easy, but the results are so worth the effort.

Here’s a “before” shot of our backyard. Two years ago this is what it looked like (insert scary face).
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

We planted two boxes of vegetables and one box of annuals. There are also two beds that have been allocated to roses. There are more roses in the front yard too, as one can never have too many roses!
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

My annuals box is the greatest and it has given me the ability to use some unique flowers for weddings and events.
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Tomatoes are coming in nicely!Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Another view of the annuals box, as well as my “shady” area for hydrangea and hellebore (plus a few others).Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

It’s really gotten lush this year, and I’m loving it. Proof that so much can change in just a couple of years of work!Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

A little something from using blooms exclusively from the garden!Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

I love building arrangements on the garden patio, and it turned out to be an awesome place for my May Floral Master Class.Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Another “from the garden” centerpiece.Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

A collection of dahlias from the garden.Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Credits:

Styling, design, and photography by Kiana Underwood

Four Days in Amsterdam

Amsterdam has to be one of my favorite places in the world. I have visited there many times, and each time I go I love it even more. The Dutch are absolutely lovely people, and we have never had a negative experience with anyone during our visits. The city is clean (compared to some other European cities) and filled with beautiful flowers. So, during our summer vacation we decided to spend 4 days and show our kids this beautiful city that we love so much.

Until next time Amsterdam…

We rented a houseboat on the Amstel and biked all over the place.
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Every corner of the city has a unique and beautiful touch. It is hard not to take pictures of everything you see.
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

A lovely little flower shop tucked in one of the alleys in the city.
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

There are bikes everywhere, EVERYone bikes – from moms with two kids in the front basket to business people dressed in suits going to work.
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com

One of our very own city bikers – always 100 meters ahead.Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com

The absolutely gorgeous giant baskets of petunia had me every time. So beautiful and abundant.
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com

We biked with the kids all over the city, and although I was afraid at times that we were going to get hit by a car, or by another biker, it never happened because everyone is pretty respectful of one another and patient with city biking rookies like myself. So, we had a very fun time cruising around the city and seeing everything.
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Arasteh Underwood

I loved stopping by the beautiful Albert Cuypmarkt close to where we were staying to buy some food and flowers.
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com

Oriental poppies grow like weed in Amsterdam. I was envious and in awe!!
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

I took a quick trip with my youngest son to the amazing Rijksmuseum for some Dutch Masters while the others were waiting in the very long line for the Anne Frank Museum. We made it back just as they were getting in (2+ hours later).
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

On our walk to Rijksmuseum we encountered these beauties.
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Credits:

Photography, styling and design by Kiana Underwood
Select photography by Nathan Underwood and Arasteh Underwood.

A Renoir Inspiration

When I was in London a few weeks ago I went back to the National Gallery (a must visit every time I’m there) and viewed some of my favorite art again. They have a great selection of Renoir and Degas – two of my favorites. I happened upon a beautiful floral painting by Renoir which indeed confirmed my love for gladioli. I mean just look at how beautiful this is, abundant and masterful.

So, I was inspired, and upon my return I did my own version of “Gladioli in a Vase” with mostly flowers from my garden and a little gladioli help from Trader Joe’s.

Renoir – Gladioli in a Vase
Renoir - Gladioli in a Vase | Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com

>Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com

Credits:

Styling and design by Kiana Underwood
Photography by Nathan Underwood

Garden Series: Peony and Walnut Centerpiece

Before I left for my European vacation, I harvested some lovely flowers from my garden and combined them with some walnuts from a tree I had found during one of my walks around my neighborhood. This time of year has to be one of my favorites, and especially this year with my garden flourishing more than ever. It is really true what they say about gardening and patience. Most of what I have, I planted about 2 years ago, and just now everything is starting to look lush and abundant. The best part of all was that my peonies came back – and I was certain that they weren’t going to. And the roses…well they sure are pretty amazing.

Flowers: peony, garden rose, sweet pea, rhododendron, ranunculus, chantilly snapdragon, godetia, bachelor button, walnut
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com

Begin with your foliage – in this case, the walnut branches.
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com

Add the bigger/stronger flowers to the foliage. This arrangement is so full and lush that by the time all the flowers are placed, you can barely see the rhododendrons – just bits and pieces.
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com

Add the roses, sweet peas, ranunculus and peonies.
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com

As a final touch I added a few of the flowers from my annuals box. I think that they lend a very organic and unique look to the arrangement.
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com

Credits:

Styling and design by Kiana Underwood
Photography by Nathan Underwood