Mixing it up

Susan DetjensIn the first summer of flowerflinging when it was on blogspot, I created a post called Mixed Bouquets, Mixed Results.” The post focused on the challenge of creating a lovely design from the somewhat haphazardly chosen mixed flower bouquets that are so popular at the supermarket. http://www.flowerflinging.blogspot.com/2012/08/mixed-bouquets-mixed-results.html

Mixed flower bouquetsSummertime allows us to find and pick many varieties of blooming flowers in gardens, hedgerows, and fields. Here are two bouquets, assembled with more a than average eye as to scale and color by a local florist, choosing from mostly commercial sources. However, many of the flowers are also growing locally now.

Two bouquets and a vaseThis striking bowl was purchased at Target a number of years ago. The two bunches are slightly different and have about ten stems each.

Stems from a bouquetWhen a bunch is dissected, that is when the dissatisfaction creeps in. One each of so many things: one yellow spray rose, one red Hypericum, one butterfly weed (Asclepias), one Gerbera, one Tanacetum. Plus three Ageratum, three yarrow, two dill flowers (far right bottom), two snow-in-summer (far left, bottom).

Hypericums large and smallThe addition of the second bouquet brings us up to 5 yarrow, 2 sunflowers, plus more single flowers, Ammi majus, Phlox, 3 safflower. Notice the two sizes of Hypericum. In the flower trade, Hypericum is sold in its seed form. The small capsule on the left is a warm fleshy color, the other, larger, is red.

First flowers only orangeI began this informal mass arrangement by using the largest orange flowers (lily, Gerbera, butterfly weed and safflower) as though they were all the same flower, radiating out from the center of the pinholder.

Next come the yellowsNext I added the yellow spray rose, the Tancetum, yellow yarrow and the Hypericum, which I cut into three parts: first the top of the spray which you can see in the design, then the side branches and finally the branches on the newspaper were cut apart and inserted.

Add  sunflowers and more foliageSince sunflowers will always be focal points, I put them up high and slightly apart to allow them to say “look at me”, which they always do. Snow-in-summer received the same dissecting and made a number of foliage pieces for the base.

 Shadowing by Dill flowersFinally, I put in the lacy dill flowers higher and almost shadowing the design.

Leftover flowersThese are the flowers that didn’t make the cut. If there had been more of them, I would have used them for the punch their color contrast gives. But one magenta phlox quickly becomes an eyesore.  In this quirky vase, it is allowed to be the star of the show.


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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