With the guidance of the beautiful Flower Recipe Book (read our review here), I gave myself the task of going to the florist and looking for three kinds of flowers: a base (something that has interesting structure but wouldn't be considered the "star"), a skyscraper (something that is tall and thin), and a poof (something compact and round). These are my goofy terms, not ones I found in the book, but hey, it's the way I can remember their principles of arrangement.
For our new monthly post on flower arrangements, I felt this one had to be kind of splashy since our current theme is "Flora & Fauna." Trouble is, I've never been particularly good at flower arranging. My husband used to not even let me trim the stems of a bouquet because I would inevitably ruin the whole thing. Then I discovered the one-type trick. Any bunch with only one type of flower can look pretty good all by itself, if you get enough of them in the right kind of vase. (Of course, knowing what the "right" vase was took some experimentation. My rule of thumb is that you should always go for more rather than less if it want it to look good once you unwrap it). Anyway, I still like grouping a whole bunch of sunflowers together but I've been inspired by what the gals at Studio Choo have done in their book.
I started with the idea of pulling together several green vessels and having the containers act as the architecture for the arrangement. I put the white pitcher with the thin green and black stripes on top of the green pedestal, with the green pitcher to it's left. These were the two biggest containers. I then put the green, white and gold tea cup and saucer in the front, reserved for whatever my "poof" flower was going to be. I was going to leave it at that, but once I was assembling my flowers, I realized it needed something to balance the width on the left so I added a tiny black pitcher over on the right, toward the back.
I started looking for flowers at my tried-and-true local Trader Joe's. Unfortunately, all they had that appealed to me that day was a bunch of tulips. They were the extra lovely ruffled variety so I bought them. After striking out at Whole Foods, I decided to visit a local florist. I now realize that this is the way to go if you want to make a varied arrangement because you can buy flowers by the stem, picking out only what you need. I started with my "base": the Bupleurum for gracefully spilling over the edges and Viburnum for the structure I would need to hold up the stars of the show.
I knew the tulips would be beautiful but I also wanted color. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw these deep, dark, eggplant-colored carnations. CARNATIONS! I KNOW! The ugly step sister of the flower world has won me over. (At least in this dramatic shade. I don't think I could stomach it any other way. And apparently, this is a natural color...no dye jobs!). And I'm a sucker for calla lilies and since there were some gorgeous purple-y ones I grabbed them, too.
And then, I simply had fun putting it all together. Honestly, it was pretty easy using the tutorials in The Flower Recipe Book. I started with the two base flowers and then began sticking in the tulips, carnations and calla lilies one at a time until I liked how they filled out the arrangement. I'm so excited to play around with this new monthly column and I highly encourage you to try it out as well. It's very uplifting to bring home a bunch of beautiful stems, put them together, and admire them every time you walk past! I think we all deserve this little boost once a month, don't you?