FLOWERS: Stephanotis, Sweet Fragrance and Elegant Simplicity Combine into One Perfect Little Wedding Flower

May 26, 2011

Beloved for their star-shaped waxy white blooms and strong tropical perfume, Stephanotis is a traditional ingredient in wedding bouquets and bridal party flowers.  One of our absolute favorite flowers to work with, these sweet little blooms are fragile to some extent but hardier than they look due to their high tolerance for warm temperatures.  Thanks to the glorious sunshine amd steamy humidity in Philadelphia this week, our Stephanotis plants are flowering like mad!  (see photo below).

Stephanotis Floribunda, aka “Madagascar Jasmine,” is an evergreen vine that can grow naturally to a height of 15 to 18 feet, although we groom it to six foot metal trellises for a fuller (and infinitely more accessible) shape.  The dark green leaves are thick and leathery like many plants from their native Africa, but ordinarily, we don’t use the leaves in bridal bouquets.  As you can see from the photo above, the vine produces a fragrant white cluster of delicate flowers from late Spring to early Autumn.

The name derives from the Greek “stephanos” which means “crown” and “otis” which means “ear” – which combined, supposedly refers to the arrangement of the stamens in the flower, each one said to resemble an ear.  (we don’t really get that, do you?)  Although beautiful to play with in wedding design, Stephanotis is a difficult plant.  It absolutely hates sudden changes in temperature, needs constant cool conditions in Winter and is supremely attractive to bugs.  Typical.  The beautiful ones are always challenging but 100% worth the effort.

[Photos: Phil Kramer and Laura Novak]

ART & FUNCTION: A Warehouse filled with Party Props, Event Decor and Wedding Inspiration

May 21, 2011

party linens and props plant rental for events

We pride ourselves on serving as a creative melting pot that blends art and function into engaging experiences.  But, what’s in the secret sauce? An amazing idea for an event can come from anywhere, take any shape or form – but making that brilliant idea come to life in an inspired, efficient and organized fashion is a whole other thing.  Frankly, it’s that complete package that makes Evantine different.  But we’ve created something truly special – our homebase and #1 party design resource – the Warehouse.  Take a peek inside to see how we use it, share it and work it.  Everything we need to produce parties is right here. Read the rest of this entry »

GARDEN: Chef’s Garden for Restaurant Lacroix at The Rittenhouse Hotel

July 6, 2009

When Lacroix’s Chef de Cuisine Jason Cichonski asked us for his own personal herb garden, how could we refuse?    A whole bunch of herbs and vegetables were sprouted here in Evantine’s greenhouse until it was warm enough to move them outside.  As of last week, the garden was installed in the Cassatt Garden at The Rittenhouse for Chef Jason to pillage as he needs to for his daily menus.  Jason loves to use locally grown produce and will design the menu around the best ingredients available.  See below for a photo of Chef in part of his new garden.  Happy cooking Jason!


REAL STORIES: Kristin & Doug’s English Garden Wedding [fea. Inside Weddings]

June 30, 2009

Flowers Church Weddings Philadelphia Wedding Planners Evantine

The new Summer 2009 issue of Inside Weddings is out!  It features nine weddings from around the country, including one that we planned and designed last summer in Pine Valley, New Jersey.  Melissa Mermin’s photos are stunning… again.  Peachtree & Ward did the food; Truli Confectionary Arts the cake; EventQuip the tent; Arak Kanofsky Studios the save the date, invite, fan favors and escort cards; The Papery the program, cocktail napkins and menus; and Video One the film.



Read the rest of this entry »

GARDEN: Getting Back Outside

June 16, 2009

Finally, the sun has come out.  Well, sort of.  As gardeners, we know and appreciate all the water that Mother Nature has given us this year.  But we need some sun to get those veggies growing and flowers blooming!

Before heading into the garden with tools in hand, don’t forget a couple simple things:

  • With prolonged time spent in the sun, don’t just put sunblock on your face; lather some on your hands, calves, ears, scalps and necks too!
  • Those damn little deer ticks are out there, and because they are so tiny to the eye, they can be almost impossible to spot.  It’s best to wear light-colored clothing when gardening .  Checking yourself often is a MUST.  This includes checking your animals carefully before they climb into bed with you after a day shared in the yard. Lyme Disease is no fun, and for many people, infection has lifetime consequences.
  • Before you sink your spade into the ground, be sure you’re not cutting into underground cable or electrical lines.  Having your local utility companies mark the lines before you dig will not only save you from costly repair work, but will also avoid serious physical harm or shock.
  • Wear gloves to protect your hands from injury, poison ivy and insect bites.  Not to mention that if you have cats or dogs using the yard as a porta-potty, you risk getting a bad case of worms.  Gloves, gloves, gloves!
  • And, speaking of poison ivy, oak or sumac, learn to identify them on-the-fly.  The old saying “leaves of three, let them be” is still the ditty to dance to for ivy and oak. For sumac, it’s all about the red stem.  Run!  Run right to the weed killer.  OUCH!  Whenever you’re out in the yard where these items grow, wear long sleeves, gloves and long pants.  And before touching any exposed skin, wash your hands (and gloves) in dishwashing soap; not hand soap.  Like your dirty dishes, dish soap is designed to break down oil and grease; exactly what the nasty plants produce.

ART & DESIGN: A Living Gallery

May 7, 2009

Landscape Design is part of the fabric of Evantine’s rich history and, at times, we  incorporate landscaping into our design to complete the overall environment we are creating for a celebration. We certainly follow trade publications to keep us up-to-date.  The May 2009 issue of Garden Design caught serious attention, to say the least.  If you haven’t picked up the mag before, you should.  It showcases exceptional, sophisticated landscape design from all over the country.


The “Green Gallery” feature on pages 64-70 is a must-see, for the fascinating story about a local private residence in Villanova, and also for the fabulous photos by Rob Cardillo. The article is about an 1880’s grand, formal estate home with equally grand, formal gardens that have been thoughtfully and deliberately redesigned to showcase modern, contemporary sculptures. The renowned landscape designers, Charlie and Chuck Gale of Gale Nurseries, were hired to redesign the traditional gardens into what they coined as outdoor “rooms” or “galleries” holding works designed by Richard Long, Spanish sculptor Jaume Plensa, Richard Serra, and Ellsworth Kelly.


We’ve had the privilege many times of working at homes that the Gales have landscaped; each more beautiful and personal than the last.  (The Gales are true kindreds in their design approach).  But this project was clearly a labor of love by all involved.  The homeowners even made sure to highlight the living sculptures that already existed on the grounds, such as leaning fruit trees, reflecting pools and symmetrical boxwood hedges.

The design appears to be a true extension of their heart and home.  (Now wouldn’t a party be just PERFECT on the lower lawn? jk)  See below for more of the article and additional photos of the exceptional art.

14276291 Read the rest of this entry »