This week’s Slow Flowers Challenge features my entry into the Northwest Flower & Garden Show’s floral competition.
The NWFGS opened today and runs through February 15th at the Washington State Convention Center. Follow the links in the sidebar to the right and you’ll find details about “One Bouquet; Three Ways,” design presentations I’m giving on Friday 2/13 and Sunday 2/15. Please join me if you’re in the area! All seminars are free with show admission.
I titled my floral entry “Show Your Love With Local (Flowers),” which is fitting with the show’s theme of “Romance Blossoms.” I knew I wanted to display American-grown flowers in American-made vases, so I’ve spent the past several months thinking about how to best portray that idea. The end result is above.
The idea germinated when I gathered together all the American-made vases I wanted to use, both in my own collection and those I wanted to add. Mostly in the teal-aqua-lime green spectrum, I looked at them and thought: “Each is beautiful on its own, but together they will look like a jumble unless I figure out how to organize them.” And that’s when the idea of a curio cabinet came to mind.
Here’s my original sketch I sent to Andy Chapman of Stumpdust, a talented woodworker and artist who I persuaded to construct what I envisioned in my mind’s eye.
We met to figure out the dimensions, making sure the “nooks” would have enough negative space to accommodate my flowers, while being balanced proportionately.
Andy took some measurements and we agreed to a cupboard that was about 24-inches wide by about 30-inches tall, with 6-inch deep shelves. The bottom two spaces are 12-inches square; the center ones are 9-1/2-inches tall x 7 to 9 inches wide; the top row has 6-1/2-inch cubbies by the same width as those on the center row.
I really love how Andy staggered the uprights on the top and center rows to make the spaces more visually interesting.
He used scrap lumber and suggested I purchase a thin board at the home center that I could pre-paint before he attached to the back, like the back of a bookcase. That worked out swell and I chose a high-gloss turquoise hue called ‘Seafarer’ from Lowe’s. I think it looks great in contrast to the natural boards.
The paint color makes all the glazes and glass colors pop, and unifies the display. White flowers and just a small amount of foliage keeps everything fresh-looking. Plus, I suspected that there would be a lot of red and pink this week (there is!) and I wanted to show an alternative to the predictable Valentine’s week floral palette.
It all came together beautifully and after I picked up the finished piece from Andy last weekend, I had fun arranging and rearranging the vases for maximum impact.
And thanks to the amazing selection of white flowers from Washington, Oregon and California flower farms, I was able to showcase the diversity of American-grown floral options for Valentine’s Day.
Here is the Slowflowers.com flier I created, a takeaway for showgoers who might be interested in finding their own American-made vases or changing the way they purchase flowers – selecting domestic, local and seasonal options.
SHOW YOUR LOVE WITH LOCAL: AMERICAN-GROWN FLOWERS in AMERICAN-MADE VASES
Top Row, from Left:
- Little Shirley vases by Material Good / material-good.com (Seattle) with California sweet peas
- Aqua bud vase by Heath Ceramics / heathceramics.com (San Francisco) with California anemones and Dusty Miller foliage from my Seattle garden.
- ‘Imagine’ lime green votive by Glassy Baby / glassybaby.com (Seattle) with California-grown privet berries and cream spray roses (Green Valley Floral)
- Teal glass Ball Jars (USA made) with California grown ‘Gerrondo’ gerberas and Daphne odora foliage from my Seattle garden.
- Vintage aqua flower-pot by McCoy Pottery (USA made) with California wax flowers and proteas.
- Aqua Madagascar bud vase by Bauer Pottery / bauerpottery.com (Los Angeles) with Washington hyacinths and flowering plum branches
- Blue/teal Bubble Vase by Vit Ceramics / vitceramics.com (Seattle) with Asiatic lilies from Oregon Flowers and Pieris japonica from my Seattle garden.
- Aqua recycled wine bottle vase by Wine Punts / winepunts.com (Colorado) with California variegated pittosporum foliage and parrot tulips from Alm Hill Gardens in Everson, Washington.