Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dinning by Design Kansas City

Rilona Amaryllis are on the sideboard, Fritillaria persica in the arrangement
Coral Charm Peonies and Asclepias tuberosa,Brodea "Queen Fabiola"
Lilacs and Beehive shaped birdcage,unfortunately-poor photos...

This past weekend was Kansas City's Dinning by Design fundraiser for DIFFA Kansas City. DIFFA raises money for prevention and education for HIV/AIDS in the greater Kansas City area. I've participated in this great event for nineteen years. Volunteers in the design community create environments for a gala dinner/dance that can be quite spectacular. Millions of dollars has been raised by this event over the years, this year sponsored by Elle Decor magazine. This year, I partnered with Museo, they carry the most beautiful contemporary furnishings in the Midwest. Our theme was "the Birds and the Bees...big surprise! I had wonderful nineteenth century beehive and bee prints, rustic garden furniture and high end Italian light fixtures,table and chairs. The flowers I chose were Coral Charm peonies, Clematis, Brodea, Asclepias, Fritillaria and arm loads of Lilac. Originally, I had planned on having a live observation hive in the center of the table, and live canaries in the beehive cage. Because of health regulations...no live bees, and no live birds..so I used mechanical canaries instead! When I was in New York last fall, I found great bee napery which was a nice detail on the table. For more information on the event, go to diffakc.org


  1. Brian, how fun and this sounds like a great event..love the beehive birdcage and posters! I have never seen coral peonies before..really beautiful. You provided for the theme perfectly!

  2. Hi Brian- I won't be showing off any of my simple vases with lilacs in them. What an amazing vignette. I am always in awe of those with a designers eye. I do not have it. I love to look and can appreciate the work that went into it, just can't replicate if my life depended on it. Beautiful

  3. Hello Brian;

    You have a very enjoyable blog! Lilacs interest me. I met a man last summer here in Vermont who raises 25 acres for sale to the Boston cut flower market. I've never been to his place but it's on my list for this year. Actually it's down the road ten miles but I never even knew it existed. I just bought John Fiala's book Lilacs, to try to learn more. You make it sound as if hybridizing is real easy!

    If you haven't seen it yet, a Vermonter named Rowan Jacobsen has written a bee keeping type book titled Fruitless Fall. It's about total colony collapse. An interesting read if you have some time.

    Morel mushrooms can be found around Memorial Day on into the first week of June here. I don't think there is a better tasting wild mushroom out there. I always look in old apple orchards and seem to have good luck there.

    Best gardening wishes!

    George Africa
    The Vermont Gardener

    Vermont Flower Farm

  4. Beautiful and memorable. Great job!

  5. How interesting - live bees! What great sound they would make! Everything looks good, Brian. On the 1st picture, it looks like the bugs are in the cage!
    BTW, we used to live in KC, MO til 2003, in Lee's Summit.