Flower Class: Daffodil Delights

 

IMG_2792In this class, I’ll tell you everything I know about daffodils and show you some ways – always quick, always easy – that you can bring just a bunch or two into your life to help you celebrate Springtime or to brighten any day at all.

I don’t often get to work with daffodils because of their brief growing season, but I bought a lot of them for the recent wedding job we did and I have enjoyed the extras for days.

They have the most delicate scent that is truly the essence of Springtime itself. And they look like little bursts of sunshine with their vibrant yellow color and ruffled edges. Altogether delightful in every way!

As far as their care goes, daffodils (and this goes for almost all early spring flowers – tulips, crocus, freesia, etc.) need to be kept cool and in very shallow water.

They open very slowly if you keep them very cool. In fact, I was so busy with the big wedding that I didn’t have time to play with the extra ones, so I kept them in my garage refrigerator on just barely cold – and I am not kidding you, they lasted in there for 15 days!

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The only downside I can find to these lovely creations is that they do possess a toxic sap in their stems, and I have read that if you soak them overnight by themselves to dilute the sap, they can be mixed in bouquets with other flowers. Just to be safe, I usually arrange them separately from other flowers – or if I’m combining them, I arrange them in Oasis floral foam, a product I will be teaching you about in the next few weeks.

If you have a Trader Joe’s nearby, every year for a short time in spring (at least here in California), they display stacks and stacks of daffodil bunches that you can take home – and they are so cheap it’s almost impossible to resist. Other markets and florists carry them as well, and if you really want some and can’t find any, call a florist and see if you can order some. It will be worth it!

Now let’s start looking at ways to play with daffodils.

IMG_2546These daffodils are so absolutely gorgeous that all you really need to do is put several bunches together in a large-size Mason jar and they will make a statement!

Of course, you can always enhance the bouquet so easily: just tie a bow of some type of ribbon to the neck of the jar — and you have instant dress-up!

As I am always telling you, notice how every different ribbon changes the look of your simple jar of daffodils.

This is the power of DETAIL, and I hope you will become more and more aware of it as you experiment with your floral art projects.

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If you’ve been following my classes, you will know by now that another great way to change the look of a bunch of flowers is to use a different container. Here are the same daffodils (with a few white ones mixed in for variety) displayed in the burlap-covered glass vase (from HobbyLobby) I used in my class, Let’s Not Eat All Our Veggies.

IMG_2712See how the informal charm of those darling daffodils goes perfectly with the quaint country vibe of the container?

 

Now let’s create a tablescape by adding some other elements that harmonize with our focal point, the vase full of daffodils.

 

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First, I have added some very versatile pottery candleholders (World Market), two daffodil-yellow candles with an interesting texture (Michaels), and I’ve also placed on the table several small glass votive holders that I plan to use as tiny vases for more flowers.

 

Note: You may have noticed that I am using many props over and over in my class posts, and I want to point out that as you begin collecting similar pieces that appeal to you, you will be able to use them in your creations again and again in different ways.

I almost never buy any of these things at retail. If I see something I like, I wait for either a sale or a coupon or both. I find that these are always available if you’re watching for them, so you really can pick up great props for a minimal investment.

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Notice the powerful effect of this small detail: By scattering just a few more daffodil blooms across the table, you create a lovely and unexpected  enhancement to your display. And there’s that use of negative space again.

Now it’s time to add table settings, something that is such a big part of the fun for me. I saw these beautiful yellow and white dishes at Pier 1 and look how perfectly they enhance the daffodils! The slightly larger clear plates underneath are from Walmart @ $1.50 each. There are those same very cute bunny-ears napkin rings I used in the “Pink Plate” class, too. The burlap material ties in so perfectly with the burlap vase – almost as if I’d planned it.

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Now this was already a bright and beautiful centerpiece that would be perfect for your Easter dinner table – but I felt it was still missing something, and so I kept looking for that “something more” I could add. A bag of natural-looking artificial eggs from Joann Fabrics and a bag of brown excelsior (sold to line Easter baskets) were just the details I wanted!

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There is something just simply magical about adding a detail like the excelsior on the table. See how it instantly takes the display to another more dramatic and “finished” level – and brings together all the separate elements in the design. 

 

 

 

Here’s the full centerpiece with the brown excelsior and eggs added. I also added dark brown woven chargers (Walmart @ $5.) underneath each of the yellow plates – and look at the difference they make! Their rough-woven texture blends perfectly with the other elements on the table, and sets off the colorful yellow plates like a frame on a painting.

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IMG_2744Because I go for the whimsy every chance I get, I could not resist the urge to add a cute wooden rabbit (after I added a big yellow bow around his neck) – along with two fluffy baby ducklings to bring an informal and playful finale to this beautiful arrangement.

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Just one more option: If you can’t find fresh daffodils…

IMG_2764 - Version 2If you don’t happen to find fresh daffodils wherever you are, there’s another very effective option – just use some fantasy flowers instead! They give the same fresh, sunny effect – and you can keep them in your stash for a very long time. Pictured here are two bunches of big artificial daffodils that I found recently at Walmart for $3 per bunch. I bought both the white and the yellow because I knew that combining them would give more interest and realism to the look.

 

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Do you remember the beautiful white pitcher I used in my class on arranging with fresh flowers from the market? I simply placed the two bunches of imitation daffodils right inside the pitcher, in the middle of the tablescape – and look how amazing it looks!

 

 

 

Finally, one more EASY step I have talked about before: If you would like to add a more natural feeling to the illusion when you use “fake” flowers, just add some fresh materials to your bouquet! Here I’ve added just a few fresh-cut curly willow vines and look at what they do! They immediately add height and drama, they use the concept of negative space to double the size of the arrangement – AND because they’re right out of Nature, they create the impression that the whole flower arrangement is fresh. Wow!

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         Reminder: If you’re going to do this, remember to add some water to your           container to keep your fresh materials alive.

One last variation, I promise!

I have to show you one more variation on the daffodil centerpiece idea. Look closely and you will see that in this one, I’ve used different bunnies – and I’ve also added egg-shaped candles (sold at places like Joann’s and Walmart) in some of the clear votive holders. The difference is subtle, but it’s another reminder that it is those SMALL DETAILS that easily and dramatically transform your work of art and allow you to express your own creative vision. It’s so much fun and I hope you will find enjoyment in the process.

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