My most recent flower project was to design and create several massive bouquets that would lend their exuberant visual beauty to an annual interfaith Easter Concert in my community.
In this post, I’ll share the evolution of these flower arrangements from selecting the perfect flowers, greens and containers at the San Francisco Flower Market (CLICK HERE to access my last blog post for details) through the arranging of the finished creations.
This event was a joyous musical celebration of the Easter season, and so, of course, the flowers had to reflect that heavenly message. Fresh flowers always have the power to elevate any event to a higher level, and that’s a huge part of the delight I have always found in working with them. I often quote a friend, who once said: “A wedding [or any special event] without flowers would just be a convention!” and I think that says it all.
Here are most of the flowers I selected for the project. Aren’t they amazing? Lots of different sizes, textures and varieties, and of course all those glorious colors!
I don’t need to remind you that COLOR has a powerful capacity to enhance any mood you’re intending to create, and I chose all these particular flowers and colors to make that happen.
The exuberance of springtime calls for the alluring pastel hues of Easter eggs, newly blooming flowers poking their sleepy heads out of the cold earth, and pink, purple and white blossoms bursting forth from bare tree branches. All of Life is a blissful celebration in this season, and the flowers are always happily insistent on being part of all that celebrating!
Project Part I: This next photo shows one of the pots I chose to hold all those flowers and branches in the two oversized arrangements. I wish I’d been able to select some fancier containers, but the budget was tight, the containers had to be really big and sturdy, and the price was right.
Besides, I knew that from a distance, with all those gorgeous flowers filling them, no one would even notice the containers.
After packing my pots tightly with water-soaked Oasis floral foam [you can find “wet floral foam“ at most craft stores, or any florist will be happy to sell you a few bricks of it], I established the shape and height of my design with the placement of tall flowering branches.
Next, I added wispy branches of curly willow vine and then created a base around all the branches using green leaves (called lemon leaf) and leather fern. Then, working forward from the back, I placed the tallest flowers first ~ beautiful periwinkle blue delphinium and pink snapdragons.
At the front of the arrangement, I placed several huge hydrangea heads ~
and filled in around them with spicy-scented stock and carnations (and if you think you “don’t like” carnations, the gorgeous varieties and colors available now will change your mind!).
Finally, it was time for the last glorious focal point ~ these amazing double lilies I found on my buying trip. I had never seen this incredible variety before, and they were the perfect crowning touch to these two massive arrangements.
And at long last, after several hours of work, this beauty and its companion piece were all ready to go.
Project Part II: I also had to design a 6′ long floral “hedge” to create a barrier between the conductor and the audience. In creating something this long and low, I always build it in several separate containers placed next to each other. This makes for easy transport, where one very long piece would be next-to-impossible to move.
Here are the 3 low vases I used, packed with soaked Oasis floral foam and ready to get all dressed up.
First, I created the size and shape of the long floral piece with branches of privet leaves and touches of Lady Banksia I found in my back yard.
Once I had established the shape of the arrangement, it was easy to fill in with flowers, starting with the biggest ones (snapdragons) first and adding carnations, alstroemeria, stock, bells of Ireland and pink filler till it was full, lush and beautiful.
And here is the finished project: the long floral piece set in place, waiting for the musical performance to begin.
I usually deliver and place my flower arrangements at their destination, but this time I wisely accepted my client’s offer to come and pick them up herself. Here she is holding one of the floral pieces and you can see just how massive it is.
Here I am at the venue the next day, checking to be sure all the flowers had stayed fresh for the second evening’s performance ~ and, to my relief, they had cooperated beautifully.
It is such a joyful privilege to be able to do this creative work ~ designing with the most beautiful fresh flowers, and being under their magical spell.
To me, flowers emanate the essence of joy itself, especially at this lovely season when new life, renewal and bright hope surround us and lift us from our winter-weary days. Thank you for joining me and I’ll be back soon.
If you would like to read more about how to handle and care for fresh flowers CLICK HERE for my 3/6/15 blog post on “Essentials of keeping flowers fresh.”