winter flower arranging
June and July. Are these the hardest months of the southern hemisphere year for us flower lovers? My garden is a wilderness of very slim pickings. The camellias are just starting, and thank goodness for some jasmine that is flowering early, and an assortment of green leaves, but otherwise, the glory days are a long way off in either direction.
At the market the first spring flowers are making an appearance but much as I adore them, they are not yet at the price that would allow for abundance. What’s your average flower-loving girl to do?
Don’t say go without! I’d give up my weekly PreFab cinnamon swirl rather than go without!! (Believe me, that’s a sacrifice.)
The answer is loaves and fishes flower arranging.
In other words, how to make just a few flowers go a long way, and still look beautiful. Forget the big vase for now. This is where a group of bud vases, or some lovely old cut glassware would look great. Something that will work with single flowers. I adore old vintage bottles and especially love to use them for flowers. Grouped as a little vignette, they are perfect for loaves and fishes flower arranging. I chose a variety of different heights and sizes, and an odd number of bottles. The bottles are all slightly green which links them together a little.
I visited the florist and purchased the chrysanthemum, the persimmon branch, some asparagus fern, the purple stick thingy and a single beautiful tulip.
I know, I know, it was not exactly the sale of the day! But I promise, my florist is usually happy to see me. I always ask if I can just gather a few bits for myself. I don’t need any arranging or fancy or wet wrapping, and off I go. And why from a florist and not the market? Because you can choose one of this and one of that, rather than a whole bunch of the same, and for loaves and fishes flower arranging this is ideal. And you know that the quality of the flowers is going to be the best, and that the florist will have conditioned the flowers so they will last so much longer. Try it! You shall see.
From the garden I gathered some jasmine and the camellias. I dug up the hyacinth bulb from under a tree where it had been resting since last year. And the geranium leaf may or may not have been foraged down the road. I couldn’t possibly say.
Arranging is probably an exaggeration – plonking flowers in bottles is more the reality. It is simply a matter of playing with your heights and colour until you feel happy. I do love my old bottles, and the colours of the flowers and the zesty green of the leaves inspired the rest of the story as I played with the rest of the display on the table. The grouping is quite disparate but in this instance, the colour of the flowers is the common thread that links everything together.
A milk bottle, a pickle jar, two sauce bottles, a motor lubricant bottle and two old water glasses.
Two camellias, one hyacinth bulb, one tulip, a stem of chrysanthemums, a persimmon branch, some jasmine, a wafty fern, a sprig of geranium and a purple stick thingy.
On their own, sweet but small. En masse, a little goes a long way, and ever so pretty.
(photos & styling Amanda Holland for perfectly imperfect living)