Photographic Tales…

Oak leaves and acornsIf a photograph is worth a thousand words, what is a floral design inspired by a photograph? Two thousand words?

Philly city hallLast week in Philadelphia, a special judged exhibit in the Centennial Flower Show featured a prize-winning photograph paired with a floral design.  The twelve invited floral designers represent the best talent from across the GCA.

Swirls and colorFrom California, a dramatic manipulated photographic image is reflected in this stunning rhythmic design of helaconia, NZ flax and basket caning.  The designer has found materials that echo the colors in the photo but, in true inspirational style, has taken them to a new level of creativity.

Swirls and curvesA local landmark bridge is captured in an abstract manner in this photograph.  The designer has used hapene (skeletonized flax leaves) as well as caning and calla lilies to create elegant swirls.  These (and the ones in the CA design) open up the design and give the floral design a third-dimensional depth at which the photograph can only hint.

Dahlia and beeFew can resist the busy bee in the heart of this dahlia flower in Virginia.  The equally luscious colors of the floral design are a combination of tulips, lilacs, roses and ferns.  This colorful tapestry is set assymetrically on a large circle of overlapping fresh lambs ears (Stachys cv), each with their little stem in Oasis!  The pattern of this meticulously crafted disc beautifully reflects the pattern of the dahlia in an elegant celadon green.

Monarch ButterflyThe extra lighting brought in for the show could not be dimmed or altered. It created hotspots in the compositions, but they were not as bad as the way they showed up in my photographs.  Oddly worse in my Nikon camera than in my iPhone, too.  Maybe someone knows how to remove them?  I did a Photoshop but could not diminish it.  A monarch butterfly recently emerged from a chrysalis is interpreted in the same warm yellow and orange color palette of callas and roses which trickle down an twirling, woven shape.

Roses in a twirlMagnified milkweed pods are the subject of the photograph from Zone XI.  They have been artfully echoed by the wonderful construction which rises up and down off the pedestal, highlighted by striking cinnabar roses.

Serene Grassy shoreGrassy marshes on Long Island, a disintegrating pier and a solitary egret are captured in this serene photograph from New York.  This designer has suggested the components in this striking design using meticulously placed plant material bisected by the elegance of white calla lilies.  Suggestions, not copies, of the originals are the hallmark of a skilled interpretation.

Good job everyone.  I am sorry not to be able to include all twelve designers.  Cheers!

About Susan

Susan Detjens is a former landscape painter, she lectures, demonstrates and runs workshops on floral design for museums, horticultural organizations and garden clubs across the US.
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