Mothers Day is coming, so this week I think I’ll post about flowers and gardening a bit. This is a ‘throw-back’ from last year, but still very relevant.
I like to consider myself the Mistress of Mediocrity. I do many, many things pretty well – I don’t do anything particularly well enough to be considered a Master of the subject. One thing I’ve always known that I am absolutely terrible at is floral design. Yea, I know…but I love my flowers and gardening, etc. And, oh yes there’s that extensive pottery collection of, you guessed it, flower vases and pots! Ahhh, to have one of those ‘still-life’ looking artsy arrangements. Oh, no, if I bring home flowers from the store they end up looking about like this.
Just tossed in a vase. Or trimmed and trimmed like the proverbial ‘haircut’ ending in stubby stems and looking for a much shorter vase. Ugh – I quit. If it didn’t fit in my Rose Bowl, I didn’t bring it home. One day, not long ago, while reading a cooking magazine (yes, cooking), I spotted a new book coming out called The Flower Recipe Book.
Really? I can follow a recipe. So, they had a pre-order special with Amazon and I went for it. Besides, I had the Jubilee Luncheon to decorate for (a good excuse). I’m so glad I did. Turns out, in addition to doing it poorly, I’ve been doing it backwards all these years ! It was fun to just read thru it. OK, so here’s the odd part, I bought a couple of grocery store bouquets for the bridal luncheon and was all set to make little arrangements. Then the weather and other events put me so far behind the 8 ball that they never got done. -sigh- They were sitting lonely in the corner when my Aunt Kathy pointed them out to me and I knew they’d be wasted. Noooo. Afterward, (like 4 days later) I got out my new book and was determined to make them lovely. I think I did ok for a beginner. Here’s what I did.
I’d planned to put flowers in my Mother-in-Laws old silver service, and it was all polished and ready to go. I also gathered my old favorite rose bowl. This was a $5 flea market item of depression glass. If you see one, buy it. They’re a easy way to display roses, and other flowers, that have short stems. Which are what you’ll find in most landscapes. They’re small and look sweet on a small table or night stand.
The book is written by some nice ladies that have a fabulous floral design shop in San Francisco. That means they have access to unbelievable fresh stems! I don’t…or do I? The bunches I’d picked up were the standard roses and alstroemeria, along with a mixed bouquet of whites. What I needed was something of interest. I walk by interesting flowers every day and never paid attention!
That honeysuckle that I planted to greet my visitors with smiling blooms and wonderful scents, has tendrils extending out calling to be loved. The hedges, as I forget, are loropetalums, that have burgundy leaves with sweet fuchsia blooms and they need trimming anyway…get a basket and the scissors.
That old rose bowl is so much happier with flowers spilling from it’s top.
I give The Flower Recipe Book 5 stars! The book explains what they use and why (maybe other books do too, and I just wasn’t paying attention). Then gives you a simple recipe to follow. Three styles for each flower they selected to showcase. It talks about using tape to hold stems upright – a lightbulb idea (why didn’t I ever think of that!). That’s really all I used, along with my clippers. I made 7 arrangements that morning and the flowers lasted another few days. There were roses at my bedside, flowers in the kitchen, and more for my desk. I also got one of those ‘still-life’ artsy groupings I’d always admired…it won’t make a Hermitage exhibit, but least it’s artsy to me.