Week 8 // My Slow Flowers Birthday Bouquet
March 1st, 2015
Welcome to Week 8 of the Slow Flowers Challenge!
Yesterday was my birthday and I spent a few quiet hours playing around with these elements from my garden, observing and clipping; processing and arranging — all in a favorite vintage McCoy vase.
What a lovely way to celebrate a personal new year. I apologize to friends and family members who were calling and texting. I really tried to unplug and contemplate the many gifts in my life.
This design incorporates green, white and yellow ingredients. The long-lasting pussy willow branches were “leftovers” from more than a week ago. I had purchased them from the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market in anticipation of a demonstration at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show. Of course, I planned for more than I could use, so today was the ideal opportunity to pair the pussy willow with cuttings from my own garden.
The white vase offsets the fresh green tips of the spurge.
Many people worry about using this perennial as a cut flower – Euphorbia characiasis, after all, a relative of poinsettia, exuding milky white sap when snipped. See the info box for tips on caring for your spurge/euphorbia cuttings.
It’s not a super long-lasting cut, but anyone who has this plant in their garden probably has more than necessary.
I could easily replace any wilted stems with an abundant supply of more spurge.
The white blooms of Pieris japonica add texture and contrast, echoing the pussy willow “tails.”
I didn’t have many flowers on hand, but this mix of specialty daffodils caught my eye.
Plucked from the parking strip in front of our home, they were originally planted by a benevolent prior owner.
I looked around for something to “trail” over the rim of my vase and found some sweet pea tendrils, volunteers from a prior year’s sowing. They add just the right playfulness and carefree spirit to the arrangement.
More from Slow Flowers
From the Farmer: Working with Euphorbia
Most plants in the spurge family produce a milky-white substance when cut. It can be irritating to the skin, so be sure to wear gloves when handling the plant.