floral friday: lisianthus

In the new year, I am excited to shift toward sharing some cut flower specimens for the Floral Friday features. This first one is a brand new flower in IMPRESSED by nature’s upcoming Spring/Summer collection, so I had some sitting around waiting to be pressed!


 

common name: lisianthus
scientific name: Eustoma grandiflora

purple lisianthus flowers

Lisianthus are commonly used in weddings and can be mistaken for roses with their funnel-shaped flowers. Lisianthus buds are especially beautiful with the varying shades of color creating a spiral as the petals begin to open. Lisianthus in shades of white and pink are nice, but this shade of purple is just so perfect to me.
Many of my encounters with flowers end up with an experimental pressing. My initial thoughts about lisianthus were that they would likely turn out like a rose–solid color deepened after pressing. To my surprise, the effect was more similar to the way an iris dries–pigment drains from parts of the petal while remaining in tact in other parts. It creates a gorgeous watercolor effect that I find just mesmerizing.

pressed flower earrings jewelry

floral friday: pink peppercorn

As I prepared to make a eucalyptus wreath for Thanksgiving last month, I grabbed a bundle of dried pink berries to add to the greenery, not knowing that they were, in fact, pink peppercorns!


 

common name: pink peppercorn
scientific name: Schinus molle

DEC pink peppercorn

While the name peppercorn implies a relation to the pepper family, pink peppercorns are actually a part of the cashew family. They acquired the name as they resemble peppercorns and also have a similarly peppery smell. My introduction to this dried berry was in a cocktail a few years ago and it was so delicious and unusual. The pink peppercorn adds a citrusy, sweet and fragrant flavor to beverages.  Here are some drinks to try:

Paloma with Pink Peppercorn Salt

Grapefruit & Pink Peppercorn Margaritas

Pink Peppercorn Thyme Soda

floral friday: firethorn

There is one plant in my front garden that delights me even more in the winter as in the summer.


common name: firethorn
scientific name: Pyracantha coccinea

 

DEC firethorn

This thorny evergreen shrub boasts dainty white flowers in summer and these brilliant firey berries come winter. The berries, technically pomes, are loved by onlookers as well as our minimal urban wildlife. While firethorn isn’t technically related to holly, it has obvious similarities and feels like a perfect holiday accompaniment!

Vote for Your Favorite Designs!

It’s that time again! Although we are headed into winter, here at IMPRESSED by nature, we are preparing designs for spring and summer. So close your eyes, think about flowers, sunshine and warm weather, and VOTE for your favorites!

Pick your top three designs by commenting with the corresponding letters. The new collection will be available in early spring.

springsummer16 collection vote

floral friday: eucalyptus

A prolific grower in the Bay Area, eucalyptus trees are easily recognizable by their fresh fragrance and gorgeous leaves.


 

common name: red river gum
scientific name: Eucalyptus camaldulensis

NOV eucalyptus

There are over 700 species of eucalyptus–I can think of 4 different kinds in my neighborhood alone! Red River Gum, above, are some of my favorites with their mini seed pods that change from bright green to red over time. They are often found in wedding floral arrangements and holiday decor. In fact, many species of eucalyptus are used in craft and DIY projects. I have compiled some of my favorites below, in case you are looking for a way to add some natural decor to your holidays!

Eucalyptus Hair Wreath from A Beautiful Mess

Eucalyptus in the Bathroom from Apartment Therapy

Eucalyptus Wreath from Project Wedding

Minimalist Eucalyptus Wreath from Free People

Eucalyptus Table Garland from Houzz

Eucalyptus Wall Garland from Homey Oh My

Check out my Pinterest Boards for more inspiration!

gratitude: eve

I am feeling grateful for the anticipatory feeling that inevitably happens on the eve of holidays. There’s a different feeling in the air, a renewed buzz, that’s contagious. Tomorrow I will spend the day with my closest family crafting all sorts of delicious and nourishing food and drink, making Thanksgiving my favorite holiday tradition. Here are a few things we will be making:

pumpkin spice lattes

rye pecan pie

compound butter

crispy potato roast

What dishes are you trying out this holiday season?

gratitude: night hike

Lately I have been so bogged down with work (and being sick) that I have not spent much time outdoors. Today, I finally made the decision to push aside the To Do list and get on the trail.

I have been hiking the same trail for the last three years now and it never gets old. It is a very steep fire trail that has breathtaking views of the entire Bay Area, and best of all, it’s practically in my backyard.

With the days getting shorter, I was working against the fading light, but made it far enough that the feeling of gratitude and rejuvenation could take hold. As a bonus, I spotted an owl in a nearby tree just before he swooped across my path! Tonight I am feeling immensely grateful for the fresh perspective that nature so effortlessly provides.

night hike

View from the first vista–the Golden Gate Bridge, though not quite visible, is directly in the center background.