Everyone was charmed by Jane’s warm, engaging manner, the sign of a natural teacher, which in fact she is, being on the faculty at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square PA. Her new book, Flower Arranging Secrets – Natural Designs for Everyday Living, is filled with countless ideas to bring flowers into your home year round. It is available on her website www.janegodshalk.com and from the Longwood Gardens gift shop.
Full disclaimer here for the photographic problems experienced sitting at the lunch table (lower than Jane) and trying to photograph between a rock (the transformer on the left, and a hard place, the microphone on the right). It has made for some odd cropping in a long post with lots of photos. I hope you’ll bear with me.
In a harmony of lovely color, Gentian, monkshood, Allium, Ornathogalum have been added. All of these stems are in sand, not Oasis. Jane said to use “play sand, not builder’s sand” and add about 1/3 water to 2/3 sand. The play sand comes in 50# bags. Maybe try it out with a couple of decorative sand bags from Michael’s before you invest in that much sand. Jane probably goes through a bag a week!
Smoketree or smokebush, Cotinus coggyria, is in bloom now in New England. It is a rarely seen magical addition for distinguished designs. Jane placed them in an asymmetrical form to elongate the container even further.
The low urn was filled additionally with dog-eyed Ecucalyptus (showing well on the right, top) and other foliage before red roses were added. Finally, bottom, magnificent yellow tree peonies were tucked among the roses in this breathtaking design!
Hardest to photograph was this horizontally structured design which was my favorite. The container was a long low plexi-glass rectangle, surmounted by Jane’s intricate construction of Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick and Manzantita. The succulents were Haworthia which are slightly striped adding more wonderful pattern.
I had a chance to photograph this away from the microphone and lights, closer at a reasonable height. Vines and the dog-eyed Euphorbia have been place on this side. I can’t wait to try something like this. The best teachers make you want to run out and try things immediately!!
The piece-de-resistance for the day was this dramatically gorgeous design which began its life as a square construction of chicken wire and angel-vine (Muehlenbebeckia complexa ) suspended on black dowels. Jane began to add all manner of beautiful blooms in a progression seen above: Alstromeria, Colylopsis, Viburnum opulus, Hydrangea, Delphinium, Dianthus, Rosa, and ending with the aptly named Gloriosa Lily.
If you are like me and will follow Jane anywhere, go to Longwood Gardens (July 1- Oct 30) and see her work in a light show called “Nightscapes”. She and her partner, Cres Motzi (of the much missed Bouquets in Motion), created a 10 foot in diameter orb, covered in vines and lichen, which is hung and rotating over the pond in the East Conservatory. WOW!