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Evergreen

20 Mar

I love living in the Pacific Northwest!  Even though it rains a lot and is often gray, when the sun comes out I can’t think of anywhere I would rather be.  We are surrounded by beautiful green trees all year long.  No matter how dreary and wet  it may be, we are guaranteed to have evergreens around to remind us why we live here!   I admit, January and February are the hardest months to be here – I am not quite sure why, perhaps it has to do with the month of January being so long and just coming down from the holidays and February is that space between spring and winter.  Now that we are well into March we are seeing a little bit of everything.  Today we experienced wind, rain, hail, and sunshine.  Right now it is sunny but extremely windy and I am crossing my fingers that the pop-up tent I have set up in the driveway won’t blow away!

This brings me to talk about green.  When we are kids we are taught that green is a color combination between yellow and blue and just one of the many colors in our crayon box.  I never thought of green as a neutral until I started working with flowers.  Some may disagree with me here, but if you think about it, in nature almost everything is against green.  I use greenery in a lot of what I do, partially because it finishes the project nicely, but mostly because it makes everything around it pop and adds more of a sense of the naturalness of the work.

About a month ago I participated in an open house at the Hall at Fauntleroy in West Seattle.   Couples came to view the venue and taste all the fabulous food prepared by the chefs at Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes Catering.  Of course I offered to do the flowers for them and as always they allowed me to be creative and choose the color pallet in which I could work with.  The Hall at Fauntleroy is located in the historic Fauntleroy Schoolhouse in West Seattle that has two beautiful unique options for event needs.  The Emerald room is a beautiful room with brick interior, soaring ceilings and expansive windows.  The Vashon Room downstairs is filled with natural light and exits to the beautifully landscaped Garden Courtyard.

For the Emerald room I created two arrangements using a more natural pallet of greens, white and brown.  For one arrangement the flowers were clustered in block style using elements of tulips, ferns, roses, mini green hydrangeas, kermit poms, blackberries, wax flowers, fern curl and lotus pods all placed in a vase filled with moss.

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For the second arrangement I chose to use small vases filled with simple clusters of tulips, fern curl, blackberries and white stock placed on a bed of moss then situated under a glass cloche dome.  The added touch of a tag with the words “celebrate” completed the romantic look.  A simple arrangement that doesn’t have a lot of elements, yet gave a romantic feel to the room.

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I have to say, I am partial to glass cloche domes.  At Christmas I often have snowmen displayed under one, come springtime I fill it with spring elements and in the fall you might see mini pumpkins displayed.  I recently passed up buying a dome about two feet tall at the Home Goods Store.  I didn’t think I could sneak it in the house without my husband seeing it and shaking his head so I passed it up – I am still regretting not buying it!  It’s amazing what you can display under these lovely domes.

I will save the Vashon Room for a later time since the colors and look were significantly different than what was displayed in the Emerald Room.    Thank you Laura Marchbanks for the beautiful photography of these arrangements.

Purple…. again!

5 Mar

I may have mentioned before, but last summer was my “purple” summer.   Purple, purple, purple…..  Consequently I was a little tired of purple by the end of the season and my creative tank felt like it was running on empty.

When I was at the wholesale market the other day and saw these beautiful purple hydrangeas, I had to have them!   Even though they were extremely expensive – seven dollars a stem – they were so stunning I knew they would make a huge impact however I chose to use them.   In addition to the hydrangeas, the purple lisianthus and purple tulips were also too gorgeous to pass up.  I could have easily added yellow to these arrangements, since the project was for the University of Washington, but it just couldn’t embrace it.  It was obvious to add white, but what other color could I use?   Then I saw the bright green spider mums I knew it would be the third color I would be working with.

What is color blocking?  Color blocking is a technique in which a mass quantity of color is used to create a dramatic or eye catching effect.  In the fashion industry, they use opposites on the color wheel to make a bold statement.   With flowers you don’t have to use the opposite side of the color wheel to make an impact, you can use bold groupings of contrasting or complimentary color depending on the effect you want or even the same color in varying shades and textures.  The other beauty of color blocking is that you can make a bold statement on a limited of budget.

In these arrangements the bold concentration of the purple, green and white draws attention to the flowers, while the assorted textures created depth and interest.

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Sometimes the flowers I consider ordinary – mums, carnations really deserve a closer look.  Look at the texture and color of this spider mum.  Although this is not one of my favorite flowers to work with, mostly because it is so delicate and tends to loose its petals rather easily, you have to admit – the color is stunning.

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The texture and color of these lisianthus is pretty amazing as well.  I especially love the few with tinges of purple around the edge.

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I really wish I could do these hydrangeas justice, but you have to look at them closely to appreciate their uniqueness.

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And the tulips – need I say more?

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If every time I went to the market the hydrangeas looked like this, I might embrace purple a little more.  But hydrangeas go through many changes and this is one of many I am sure you will see in the season to come.

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