Mixed bouquets, mixed results…

Mixed bouquets, mixed results….

It is fascinating to think of the huge quantities of mixed bouquets that are sold daily at corner stores, supermarkets and farmers markets.  The huge proportion of them to single bunches of one flower testify to their popularity.  I expect that most shoppers take them home and put them in a vase just as they come from the cellophane.

This group at Grand Central station for $42.99 a bunch must be the Cadillac of mixed bunches.

At the grocery store, I recently purchased the mixed bouquet ($9.99) above to harvest for the cockscomb (reds and oranges looking like brain coral) and the gomphrena (pink and white gumdrops).  Thinking they could dry in the arrangement as well as not, I challenged myself to make lemonade from these, albeit, colorful lemons.

Taking apart the bouquet, it resolved itself into:  3 stems of willow celosia pink, 2 mini sunflowers,  5 stems of mixed cockscomb, one orange gladiola, one white gladiola, and 6 stems each of the pink and white gomphrena.

I chose a honey bee ceramic container and reused a piece of Oasis that I kept hydrated in a plastic bag.  Just be sure that any flower stem going into an existing hole in the oasis is wider than the hole and is put in deeper than the hole.  Far easier to not reuse holes!  But this piece has only a few, so I chose to use it.

This post is about color so I won’t get in to the problems of the scale (size) of the flowers.  I chose the modern mass style. First, I had to solve the problem of the  two sunflowers looking like big brown eyes!  To cope with that I kept them together but at an angle to each other so you really didn’t see them side by side = 0|0!  Maybe one brown eye at a time is slightly better.

Continuing the groups, the muted reddish cockscomb was clustered around the side of the sunflower.  Using toothpicks in the cockscomb stem helps hold them in place, acting as a fulcrum

The single orange gladiola was cut into two pieces and placed together to make a cluster.  This is placed closer to the warmer red cockscomb.  I tried to keep the more pink and white together out of sight of the hottest colors.

By using the materials in clusters, they appear as being in the same scale rather than tiny gomphrena dots with a large sunflower.  Finally the willow celosia sprayed out from the top.

Not ideal, and the worst was that when I returned home after a few days, the whole thing had been thrown out so crop saving will have to begin again!



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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