A Creative Weekend at the Holiday Arrangement & Centerpiece Bar
December 10th, 2013
It was a merry ol’ time at the first Holiday Arrangement & Centerpiece Bar, which I hosted along with Whitney R. White and Erica Knowles (of Botany 101 Floral), a talented pair of floral designer friends here in Seattle. We teamed up to create two fun, hands-on design workshops for the busy holiday hostess.
The classes took places this past Friday evening and Saturday morning, with 18 students who joined us for festive refreshments, old friendships and new connections, as well as an introduction to eco-friendly techniques and a dose of the Slow Flowers philosophy. Everyone went home with a gorgeous floral arrangement that will grace their homes now through the holidays.
The basic premise of our two workshops:
1. Get inspired by the abundance of natural beauty around us here in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere on the West Coast – all American Grown, of course!
2. Gain new skills in floral design, those you can employ throughout the coming seasons, as well.
3. Unleash your inner florist using an almost limitless supply of branches, boughs, berries and buds.
Once we set up the “Bar,” Erica, Whitney and I stepped back in total amazement. We wanted our students to be blown away by the incredible variety of garden foraged ingredients — all in season. We also wanted to add some juicy blooming treats from local Northwest and California farms and nurseries. And thanks to our friends at The Sun Valley Group in Northern California, we had the perfect bit of sparkle – Ilex verticillata branches with red berries — so much to share with everyone in the class!
But our students weren’t the only ones impressed with the offerings. Before we got started last Friday night, we looked at each other in amazement. Wow! For anyone who thinks they have to rely on imported flowers just because chilly, dreary December has arrived, well . . . the bouquets you’ll see next beg to differ.
Enjoy these photos of our students and many of their finished bouquets:
Here’s what we had on offier (and it’s entirely possible that I’m forgetting a few ingredients!):
Conifers from Debra’s Garden:
Western red cedar (Thuja plicata)
Plum Yew with amazing cones (Cephalotaxus harringtonia)
Golden cryptomeria (Cryptomeria japonica)
Curly cryptomeria (Cryptomeria japonica – possibly ‘Cristata’)
Lime juniper (Juniperus sp.)
Broadleaf evergreens from Debra’a Garden (or her generous neighbors’ gardens):
Dark green, glossy camellia in bud (Camellia sp.)
Sweet box with tiny white buds (Sarcococca confusa)
Other material from Debra’s Garden:
Conifers from Erica’s Garden:
Variegated golden cedar (Thuja plicata – possibly ‘Zebrina’)
Broadleaf evergreens from Erica’s Garden:
English holly with red berries (Ilex aquifolium)
Branches from Erica’s Garden:
Deciduous magnolia with huge, fuzzy buds (Magnolia x soulangeana)
Ingredients sourced from Northwest flower farms/growers:
Nandina domestica and Viburnum tinus ‘Spring Bouquet’ (Glenwood Farms in Oregon)
Twig dogwood (Cornus sanguineus ‘Winter Flame’ (Jello Mold Farm in Washington)
Western swordfern (Polystichum munitum)
Salal (Gaultheria shallon)
Flowers from Northwest farms:
Lilies (Oriental, Asiatic and LA hybrids) from Peterkort Roses in Oregon
Ornamental cabbages from the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market
Flowers from California farms:
Hybrid teas and spray roses from California Pajarosa Roses
Dark red Ranunculus, California-grown
Ilex berries (gifted to us from Bill Prescott, The Sun Valley Group)
And an inspiring gallery of finished creations. Just look at the diversity of designs from our Holiday Arrangement & Centerpiece Bar: