merry christmas!

Christmas is here. My favourite time of year. There is something so special about it to me, even now as an adult it feels magical. This was my first Christmas in the shop! And I took full advantage of it, turning the store into a little woodsy winter wonderland.

I wanted to start decorating the minute it got cold out  (first week of November) Luckily my girls at the shop talked me out of it! (Ha ha thanks ladies!) We waited until the last week of November instead, and it felt totally appropriate. Vicky came in and took photos. We made a wreath. We made a wreath wall. Jo and I set up a festive, glittery front window that just sparkles from the street at night. We set a Christmas table with Satsuma oranges. We lit candles at night. We revelled in all the gorgeous smells of the winter greens (even though all of us are allergic to them – it didn’t stop us)

Last year I did Christmas arrangements from my studio, but with the shop this year I got to chat with people as they came in and hear all about their plans for the holidays with their families. I got to sell people the gifts they would be giving to the people they love. It was special.

As we finish up the weekend and sell the last of the winter blooms in the cooler, I can’t help but feel so grateful. So blessed. So happy for my little shop. For my amazing girls that work in the shop with me, Joanna & Jordana, who are not only talented but incredibly kind and warm - the best shop girls a shop owner could ask for! For my amazing clients. For all my brides and grooms. For my talented colleagues. For my endlessly supportive family.    

I hope your holidays are filled with love, family, laughter… and maybe even a little bit of cheer. Happiest and warmest holiday wishes to all of you!

Merry Christmas! xo


how to: make a winter wreath

If you've been procrastinating like me this season, you may still have a couple things to do before Christmas: shop, bake, wrap, carol... make a wreath. But it's not too late! You still have 5 days! And this gorgeous, simple olive wreath is so easy you'll be on to rolling out your dough in no time. Read on below for simple instructions...

First, here's what you need:
  • Floral Wire (can be purchased from your local flower shop or nursery)
  • Clippers
  • Olive branches (if you don't fancy olive, this 'how to' can be subsituted with boxwood, cedar, pine, etc.)

Step 1: 
Start by clipping small pieces of olive, ranging from about 6-8" in length. If you cut your pieces first you'll find it easier later on, so you won't have to cut pieces with one hand while trying to hold your wreath with the other.

Step 2 & 3:
You'll see that the individual olive branches (or other green you've chosen) all naturally fall or curve in one direction. Begin to place the pieces together curving in the same direction (almost like a puzzle). Continue by layering more pieces in that same direction until you have a some-what full looking bunch in your hand. 

Step 4:
Start wiring around the bare stems of the branches. Leave an extra 5-6" of wire at the end to tie it off at the end. You will need to pull fairly hard and wrap the wire as tight as you can. 
*TIP Wrapping the wire tightly is especially important if you are using fresh greens, because as the greenery dries it will shrink, so if you've wrapped the wire to loosely the wreath will fall apart.

Step 5 & 6:
Continue to add pieces of olive branch in the same direction, this will eventually create a natural round shape. There's no need to cut the wire as you continue adding pieces, using one long strand will ensure that you can keep the wire and branches tight. Don't worry too much about exposed wire. As you continue to add more stems it will get covered up eventually.

Step 7 & 8:
Keep adding branches until you've reached your desired fullness. When you have come all the way around and your ends meet you simply wire them tightly together. At this point you can cut the wire and for good measure do a couple extra twists around the ends to make it secure.

Step 9:
The wire will now be exposed where you've tied the ends. You can correct this by taking smaller clippings of stems and tucking them in to cover up the wire. You can also do this to the entire wreath, giving it a 'once over' to ensure there are no holes or pieces of wire showing.

Step 10:
The finishing touches! At this point everything is fair game... ribbon, ornaments, whatever your heart desires! Tie your accoutrements over top of where you tied off the ends of the wreath.

And just like that, a simple and elegant handmade wreath... Now get shopping! 

Photos by the amazing Vicky Starz 


simple & slate holiday tablescape

Another tablescape for you... this one simple, and inspired by these vintage slate ornaments we are selling in the shop this year. 

I love colour. I love using it when I'm designing flower arrangements. I love colour in fashion and interiors. But I have to admit, grey is probably my favourite. There is something so calming about it, so tranquil.

Pulling all the elements for this table was fun. The slate, charcoal and pewter colours all came together perfectly but I wanted to make sure it didn't feel too cold. Adding the moss, Cypress planters and boxwood wreaths added some much needed dimension and life to the table.

My tip for creating a mono-chromatic table with cool colours... try incorporating something organic to keep it from looking dull!

More stunning photos by  Vicky Starz!


a retro inspired holiday tablescape

There's something so nostalgic about clementines at Christmas. My mom, like her her mom, always tucked them in our stockings when we were kids. I was so excited when I found these satsuma oranges (leaves still on!) at the fruit market near my shop. They were immediately my inspiration for this nostalgic and retro styled tablescape.

I love incorporating fruit in our arrangements at the shop, and these oranges just popped when I nestled them in next to the stunning fuschia peonies, imported from New Zealand at this time of year. 

To play up the retro theme I paired two beautiful mid-century amber and smoke wine glasses I found at the thrift shop, and added some fun vintage glass balls and pine cone ornaments. Soft and natural elements like the real pine cones, birch risers, oatmeal coloured linen napkins and hand painted name tags helped keep the look organic. To pull everything together I laid out the tablescape on a muted sage green velvet runner, which also kept the look elegant and incorporated the other softer natural elements.

To get this look at home try incorporating fruit on your table. Other fruits that remind me of Christmas like pears, pomegranates and persimmons can be found at most grocery stores, and will add that gorgeous bright pop of colour to your table!

Gorgeous photos by the ever-so talented Vicky Starz


kaity & geoff's wedding featured on wedluxe!

This past summer I had the opportunity to be a part of Kaity & Geoff's stunning wedding at Liberty Grand, styled by Love by Lynzie and photographed by Life Images. I can't wait to post all the images here. Until then, you can check it out here where it was featured last week on WedLuxe


getting winter ready!

Baby it's cold outside! I would say, winter is right around the corner... but in Toronto it feels so much like it's already here. The chilly weather and even a little bit of snow puts me right in the mood for the holidays. So we are getting winter-ready around the shop, making wreaths and garlands, savouring the scent of fresh pine and cedar.  

This past weekend the ever-s0-talented Vicky Starz captured me getting into the spirit of the season with these gorgeous photos.

Less than one month till Christmas!!


a sweet woodruff video by knock twice

This past summer I had the opportunity to collaborate with the incredibly talented co-founders of Knock Twice, Erika Jacobs and Eugen Sakhnenko, to create a video about Sweet Woodruff and the new shop.

When Erika first approached me to collaborate on this film I was nervous. I hate the way I sound on my answering machine and was petrified of having to hear my own voice! (I have yet to even watch the television interview I did a few months ago!) When we started filming I was still a bit anxious but Erika and Eugene were excellent coaches. Not only did they put me completely at ease while filming, but they managed to capture the shop and my business in a way that is so honest, so beautiful, so genuinely me.

I'm so excited about the final product! The video is a perfect little insight into Sweet Woodruff. They did such a great job and I'm so SO happy to finally get to share it with you here and on my website. Check it out and let us know what you think!


summer's end

The seasons are shifting. Time for change, for fresh starts, for clean slates. It's funny, even now after all these years of being out of school, September always feels like the "new year." It seems only rational to me that my mind is a buzz with new projects, new ideas and resolutions, if you will.

Back in the winter I promised myself I would be better with the blog and better with taking pictures. So after being delinquent on the blog all summer, last week I put my money where my mouth is and invested in a new, well old camera. A Canon EOS 30D. Then spent the weekend experimenting and generally feeling discouraged. All I can say is, I’m happy I choose flowers as my profession ;) 

These shots from my much-needed and restful cottage weekend, are not great, BUT a VAST improvement from the first few hundred I took on Thursday! 

So, I'll keep working on it... one of my "new year's" resolutions.
Hope you all had fabulous Labour Day Weekends! (Happy New Year! haha)

 *ps. To all my photographer friends out there and you know who you are - all I can say is - man you guys are seriously talented!


sneak peak: carly & mike shot by renaissance studios

Recently we had the good fortune of working with this stunner of a bride! Here's a little sneak peak of her and her handsome husband's Brickworks wedding. Shot by Renaissance Studios


inspried by: brights | shot by vicky starz

Well I can't believe I'm saying this, but summer is almost over! But before it is, I thought I'd share this bright and sunny photo shoot! 

Shot at MRS Bridal Boutique by the talented Vicky Starz and inspired by my favourite colour trend this summer: brights! I love the pops of colour against the clean cool palette of their store. 

A perfect way to celebrate then end of a fun and colourful season.

Happy summer! Hope you're all enjoying what's left of it!



around the shop | take to the sea pop up

This weekend at the shop the talented Nicholas & Robin of Take to The Sea take over the shop and host a pop up sale of their gorgeous terrariums.

Definitely come by for a cocktail this Saturday night and check it out!

889 Dundas Street West, Toronto


around the shop | lots of pink

I guess I'm feeling the pink lately??!! No shame. I love the pretty girly-ness of it! Bring it :)

Using Instagram? Find me and my daily floral musings @sweetwoodruff


summer wedding | muskoka elopement

A Muskoka elopement. Midweek. On the dock. What could be nicer?

Beautiful photography by Mary of Lemon Fresh Designs Photography 


around the shop | summer time

This summer is whizzing by! While it's mostly been wedding wedding wedding, I've tried to sneak a couple weekends up north with family and friends. Sometimes even stealing away from the city to search flea markets for some cool vintage finds for the store is vacation in itself.

The heat, the summer blooms, the country drives, sleeping with just the sheets and the fan - it's definitely my favourite season... until fall, when fall becomes my favourite season ;)


spring wedding: jennifer & rui | lemon fresh designs photography

I was introduced to Jennifer & Rui by Mary of Lemon Fresh Designs Photography. Mary approached me to do the flowers for Jennifer & Rui's sweet engagement photoshoot last year (which you can see here and here!) They were such a lovely pair! And this past spring I was honoured to do the flowers for the intimate and elegant affair that was their wedding. 

Congrats to Jennifer & Rui!

Gorgeous photography by Mary of Lemon Fresh Designs Photography