Winter Styling: Holiday Passion and Peonies

When it comes to holiday arrangements, peonies and passion flower might not be the first flowers that come to mind, as traditionally they have not been used during the holidays due to the fact that they are not generally available at this time of year. But, when I was at the market, I saw an abundance of beautiful passion vines (locally grown) as well as peonies (both from Chile and New Zealand). So, I gladly seized the opportunity to use them in this holiday arrangement. Kiana Underwood /

Kiana Underwood /

Kiana Underwood /

Flowers: passion vine, peony, nigella, viburnum, garden rose Kiana Underwood /

Begin by placing a couple of vines of the passion flowers in the vase. They will be used as the base of the arrangement. Save a vine or two for the final touches. As long as their stems are cut in an angle and in water the vines last a very long time and all of the buds will bloom into beautiful flowers. Kiana Underwood /

Add the lovely nigella. I have used the nigella both as pods and flowers in arrangements. Both are beautiful, but when the flowers are fully opened they are so whimsical and delicate. Kiana Underwood /

Now, add the viburnum. I love the hint of purple in these berries; the contrast really brings out the color of the peonies. Kiana Underwood /

Add the garden roses to one side of the arrangement. These are from my garden, and in addition to being really ruffly, they smell heavenly. Kiana Underwood /

Add the peonies. I only added three as they are so beautiful and big that there just aren't that many needed before they would overwhelm the arrangement! Kiana Underwood /

Here I took that passion vine that I was saving and made a loop on the side of the arrangement for some added beauty and volume. Kiana Underwood /

I wanted to add a little more Nigella, so I did just that! Kiana Underwood /

Kiana Underwood /


Styling and design by Kiana Underwood Photography by N. Underwood

Autumn Color Series: Blue

I'm generally not a fan of blue flowers or blue-themed floral arrangements, but in thinking about this Color Series and looking around at the SF Flower Mart I realized that there are a lot of different shades and textures when it comes to blue. So, I was pushed to challenge myself and put together something in blue that I didn't find "tacky", and this is the result. Feel free to let me know what you think! Kiana Underwood /

Flowers: delphinium, belladonna, privet berries, hydrangea, thistle, viburnum, tweedia Kiana Underwood /

Begin with the privet on one side. These berries are just lovely this time of year, as their color changes into lovely shades of blue and pink. Kiana Underwood /

Place the hydrangea opposite the privet. The puffy look creates a great contrast to the other side of the vase. Kiana Underwood /

Place the tweedia in between. Kiana Underwood /

Arrange the thistle in the middle and behind the privet. Kiana Underwood /

Add the delphinium. Kiana Underwood /

Kiana Underwood /

And finally, add the viburnum. It's still not a personal color fave, but if I had to have a blue arrangement, I think I could live with this one for a little bit! Kiana Underwood /


Styling and design by Kiana Underwood Photography by N. Underwood

Autumn Color Series: Yellow

Yellow, while not the only color in this arrangement, is the star. I simply adore this fall combination, as what's not to love about the combination of bittersweet, viburnum, garden rose, and more for an autumn colored treat? Kiana Underwood /

Bittersweet is lovely, but poisonous. The yellow husks give way to a lovely orange-red fruit. Kiana Underwood /

Flowers: bittersweet, milkweed, euphorbia, branches from maidenhair tree, persimmon, garden rose, viburnum Kiana Underwood /

Begin with the bittersweet. I created a structure for the arrangement by placing the thin branches in my vase and then used it as a base to secure the rest of the flowers.

I try to avoid floral foam as much as possible, and instead try to use the stronger-stemmed varieties to build an interlocking base (almost like a basket frog) in which to secure the other flowers. Yes, it is much easier to put large and asymmetric arrangements together with the foam, but I have found ways to make do without and try to avoid it as much as I possibly can due to the environmental concern. Kiana Underwood /

Place the maidenhair branches. The color and shape of the leaves are really pretty, and I thought they would be an unexpected and unique element. Kiana Underwood /

Now add the viburnum - the glossy look of these berries is so so pretty! Kiana Underwood /

Continue by placing the yellow milkweed (butterfly weed) throughout the vase. Kiana Underwood /

Add the garden rose, making sure that they are visible and that they do not get lost within the arrangement. They are too beautiful to hide! Kiana Underwood /

Add the euphorbia. I used these to add a wild touch to my centerpiece. Kiana Underwood /

The persimmons are added last. Place them where they won't crush the rest of the flowers. Kiana Underwood /


Styling and design by Kiana Underwood Photography by N. Underwood