Week 11 // Spring is here!
March 21st, 2015
Let’s give ourselves a huge congratulations!
Participants in the Slow Flowers Challenge have made it through the first 11 weeks of 2015 – that’s practically an entire season of winter, right?
And yesterday, March 20th, welcomed spring and all its promises of ephemeral blooms, vivid new green foliage and bud growth, fragrances, forms, textures and hues that we haven’t seen since last spring. It’s enough to make one deliriously happy.
BALL JARS AND A WOODEN BOX (2-ways)
This week’s Slow Flowers Challenge was given to me by my friend Nancy Finnerty, who threw a baby shower luncheon for our mutual friends Willo Bellwood and Bob Meador to celebrate the arrival of their sweet baby, Nola.
Willo designed the beautiful Slow Flowers logo you see at the top of this page, as well as many of the graphics, as well as the look and feel of my web sites, going back to 2005 (!) And Bob makes it all happen on a navigational and technological front – he is the genius who makes the Slowflowers.com website actually work smoothly. Nancy asked me to bring some yellow tulips for the centerpiece. And, well, I took that request a little further as you see here.
This week, none of the cuttings are from my garden, but they are from the farms of the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market. Hey – I had to be there for a board meeting, so it was impossible to resist bringing home yellow double tulips grown by Gonzalo Ojeda of Ojeda Farms , along with some other pastel lovelies that you see here.
I know I designed with hellebores last week, so apologies for the repeat of flower choice. But the yellow variety of hellebores are quite rare, grown, of course, by Diane Szukovathy and Dennis Westphall of Jello Mold Farm . The sweet narcissus with dark orange centers were grown by Jan Roozen of Choice Bulb Farms , located just a few miles away from Diane and Dennis. And one bunch of wispy white wax flower – from Resendiz Brothers in Fallbrook, CA, adds just the right texture to the arrangement.
FLORAL DESIGN MADE EASY
I started with a very special Blue Pine box that was hand-crafted in Colorado from reclaimed wood. This piece was designed by Chet and Kristy Anderson’s son (“young Chet”) of The Fresh Herb Co., in Longmont, CO. The Andersons gave it to me as a sample when I visited their farm last November.
The box is exquisitely hand-crafted from distressed pine (also called “beetle kill,” which tells you why the tree was distressed), but that when milled reveals a distinctive “blue” grain pattern. The longer box was designed to hold four Mason jars, – how cool is that?
I had a lot of extras, so after I made this first arrangement, I thought: Don’t I have another wood box in the garage? And miraculously, I put my hands on it. This was a much wider box that originally came with a mail-order amaryllis-planting kit. It was large enough to hold 8 Mason jars (two rows of four jars). You can see that design at the top of this letter.
I ended up taking this one to the baby shower – nothing like a larger arrangement for more impact. It is simply stunning to have all of these bloom shapes and forms at eye level when you’re enjoying a delicious meal and wonderful conversation. And it’s easy to give each guest one of the “mini” bouquets as a party favor to take home.