California blooming..

Santa Barbara shorelineLast week I was in Santa Barbara, where I joined almost two hundred lovely ladies of the Garden Club of America for several days at the Doubletree.  The meetings were highlighted by beautiful dinners in true GCA style.  Above is the view at cocktail time – the GCA never skips cocktail time!

Green texture designHydrangeas and succulentsMrs. Santa Barbara and her talented team created lovely table designs for the dinner tables.  Above, in the workroom, are prototypes of the design.

Hydrangeas from FlorabundaFirst and foremost in the design are these luscious fat green hydrangeas.  Later in the day, four of us went to visit the wholesaler, Florabunda in Carpenteria, who had provided all the material.  Their hydrangea selection was phenomenal.

Mossy square containersThese mossy, square containers (12”? – sorry didn’t measure) come from Floral Supply Syndicate ( wholesale only). They have a clear plastic lining to hold the Oasis. A similar container can be found on plastic lined, slightly smaller at 8” with angled sides.

Design ingredientsAll the materials were lined up for ease of selection by the designers. The beautiful persimmons came from Mrs. Santa Barbara’s garden.

California artichokesFlorabunda supplied these decorative artichokes with their long stems.

Working with limesAlong with the limes, persimmons and the artichokes, green St. John’s wort (Hypericum androsaemum), aspidistra, a variety of Leucadendron were used in the designs.

Working with succulents and orchidsLong stems of green orchids were harvested for their blooms which were inserted into floral water pics, left.  Succulents from a local SBGC member’s garden were used to complete the design.  The very narrow leaf Leucadendron is on the upper right.

Santa Barbara tables Each designer used her own special creativity in combining the materials, resulting in unique designs for each table.

Green symphonyBy keeping to a monochromatic scheme, these delightful table arrangements were a textural symphony.  Kudos to the SBGC ladies – they made the kick-off dinner special!

Yellow roses at Birnham WoodAt the Birnham Wood Golf Club on the following evening, a fantasy-selection of roses from a Santa Barbara Garden Club member’s garden were used in glass compote vases.

Rose medley table designThis is a far more beautiful and unique selection of roses than one can find at a wholesaler. Full-blown roses are so glamorous in table designs.  Apologies for the quality of the iPhone shots, but despite this, the amazing variety of roses still shines through with their unique coloring.

Glorious yellow roses on the tableThis group is reminiscent of the Centennial Designs for GCA with the many yellow flowers.  The bowls of the compote dishes were lined with yellow lemons – very clever.  Kudos and thank you to all the ZXVII and SBGC members who spoiled us in Santa Barbara!







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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2 Responses to California blooming..

  1. Karen Detjens says:

    Hi Susan,
    Hope you and Phil had super LA visit! It was so great to see him when he was in LO! Love to you both! Kar

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