March 15th, 2013
MAGNOLIAS AND MORE
Evergreen magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), parrot tulips, rosemary, Japanese fantail willow and bare magnolia branches in bud fill one of my favorite white vases.
A sweet detail of those luscious tulips – don’t they play nicely with the rusty side of the magnolia foliage?
5 stems southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), harvested from my neighbors’ garden
12 stems apricot-hued parrot tulips, grown by Alm Hill Gardens
5 stems evergreen rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), harvested from my garden
3 stems Japanese fantail willow (Salix udensis ‘Sekka’), grown by J. Foss Garden Flowers
3 stems deciduous magnolia in bud, harvested by Oregon Coastal
Vase: 17-inch tall x 7-inch diameter cream urn
Proportion and Scale: These two related principles are among the most challenging to pull off correctly – in interiors and garden design, as well as in a vase. Proportion usually refers to size relationships within a composition, such as how each of the botanicals in this tall vessel is visually powerful. There are no wispy ingredients and the height of the arrangement is equal to the height of the vase. Scale indicates size in comparison to some constant, such as the human body. That’s where the terms “small scale” or “large scale” come in, since they refer to the out-of-the-ordinary size of things. With that in mind, think about the ideal interior setting for this vase. I think it would look stunning as the welcoming urn in a grand foyer or at the center of a large buffet table.
TULIPS & TWIGS
My cover shot, a perfect way to kick off springtime! Tulips, willows and camellia branches – all contained in a brilliant, matte green urn.
12 stems red tulips and 10 stems yellow tulips, grown by Alm Hill Gardens
6 stems curly willow (Salix matsudana ‘Tortuosa’), grown by Oregon Coastal Flowers
8 stems Camellia japonica, from my garden
5-inch tall x 6-inch diameter matte green urn with handles
From the Farmer
Water lovers: Unlike most floral design ingredients, tulips and willow branches seem to keep growing in a vase of water. You’ll notice that the tulip stems elongate a little each day. Some designers prefer to take the arrangement apart and re-cut the lengthened stems, but I like to observe the changes that occur. Willow is a water-loving plant, so you may discover that it sprouts tiny white roots under water and that small green leaves will push open, as if it is growing in soil. Enjoy a few days of this ever-changing dynamic.
A detail of the colors and textures of springtime.
NOTE: Each Sunday of this year, I will post my photographs, “recipe” and tip for that week’s floral arrangement, created for my new book, Slow Flowers. Enjoy the floral journey through 52 weeks of the year~