By Liz Premo
Atlantic News, Thursday, March 21, 2002
Arundel (back) of "Naturally Silk" pose for the camera
among their silky creations. [Atlantic News Photo]
HAMPTON — Ask "Naturally Silk" owner Midge Dawes what's new and exciting in her downtown Hampton shop and she's likely to observe with a chuckle, "I've got so much stuff, I don't know where to start!"
Dawes is absolutely right. Her extensive selection of realistic, high-quality silk flowers, plants, greenery, fruit, berries, and more, invites her customers to allow themselves to be surrounded by an exciting flurry of luscious color, texture and style.
From top to bottom, and in every corner in between, "Naturally Silk" boasts a wide assortment of beautifully natural-looking flowers and plants, arranged in vases and pottery, flowing over the edges of baskets hanging overhead, and artfully arranged into wreaths, swags and garlands. Glass shelves display different types of leafy and flowering plants cozily settled into containers both simple and ornate.
Wildflowers and daisies are currently very popular, says Dawes, as are grasses, wheat, and budding branches. "Stages" of plant life, from buds to fully opened blossoms, are also in demand, in varieties such as forsythia and flowering plum. Tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, and other springtime flowers help to beckon the arrival of the season, their pastel-petaled invitations neatly displayed in the store- front window.
Luscious grapes, apples and citrus fruits rival those that are found on a fresh produce stand, while a woven basket of red, green and yellow peppers from "Naturally Silk" would find itself quite at home displayed on any kitchen counter. And of course, the selection of flowers seems endless, with brown-eyed Susans, brilliant tropical blooms, bright poppies, leafy geraniums, classic roses and flowering cactus that demand a closer look.
Whether her customers are green thumbs or all thumbs in the gardening department, Dawes says there is something for everyone at "Naturally Silk". Non-gardeners love being able to have the natural-looking variety of colorful blossoms and plants on display in their homes without the work that goes along with growing them. Gardeners who wish to experience the beauty of the flowers they love to grow outdoors can bring "Naturally Silk" flower arrangements indoors to enjoy well after the growing season is over.
"If you're an avid gardener, you'll love it in here," Dawes promises, adding, "If you grow it in your garden, we have it in silk."
"Naturally Silk" also carries stunning variety of earth-tone clay and ceramic pots, stylish planters, and hand-painted glass vases, any of which can be used as the base of a custom floral arrangement artfully created by Dawes or her assistant, Denise Arundel. The pair will also custom-design any style of arrangement that will perfectly complement the decor of any home or business.
Animal-shaped "Pot Pals" add a playful touch to any "Naturally Silk" potted plant, as do some of the shop's newest arrivals — glittery, gossamer-winged bees, dragonflies and beetles, large and small, in brilliant, jewel-toned colors, balancing atop sturdy stems that can be poked right into the pot. And, fanciful bunnies, squirrels, roosters and frogs constructed of dried natural grasses, mushrooms, moss and reeds add a naturally unique touch when decorating for spring -- or for that matter, any season at all.
In the business for 17 years, Midge Dawes promises that customer satisfaction is always 100 percent guaranteed. Whatever the customer's taste, style, budget and decorating needs may be, "Naturally Silk" can provide excellent floral accents for home or business -- in a professionally creative and naturally beautiful way.
[The current location opened for business on July 1, 1985.] "Naturally Silk" is located at 446 Lafayette Road in Hampton. Store hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information or to make an appointment, call "Naturally Silk" at 926-5150.