Nesting…

Rose Hypericum lisianthus brightJuly 1 affects me like January 1, it can mean a new start, along with some housekeeping and the chance to move things in and out.  Sometimes one rediscovers forgotten delights like the container below.

Versatile metal standThis imaginative stand/container came from the inaugural Bouquets In Motion, the Philadelphia workshop of Jane Godshalk and Cres Motzi.  The base is a piece of metal 6” square.  Into one corner is a group of five 27” metal rods that splay out slightly.  In the banner above, you can see the ends just protruding through the plant material.

Chicken wire nest or webFirst make your chicken wire!  We did this with 16 grade dark annealed wire from the Paramount Wire Company.  It takes a certain amount of strength and a great amount of patience.  When these are in short supply, I use other poultry wires to create support structures.

Birch branch and willow nest nestFor the designs at BIM, we inserted birch and other branches making a kind of nest.  These can be dense or not and crafted in the shape one chooses.  The goal is enough ‘woven’ material to form a base to hold other plant materials.  This ‘nest’ then inserted between and through the splayed vertical rods of the container and wired in place.

Brilliant yellow rosesWhat a sunny combination of roses, hypericum berries, onciddium orchids, fatsia leaves, bear grass, and (out of the shot) black calla lilies!  The fresh plant material can be inserted in tubes or put in a little cushion of oasis wired in place.

Elegant Yellow roses Notice how more interesting the design gets when you see the extended calla lilies and orchids balancing the fatsia leaf.

Tall vertical design of rosesThis designer created a more vertical design, extending the birch, orchids and callas mostly in a north-south direction.  The dark center makes the roses pop!

Vertical design sidewaysNow notice how much depth there is in the design by virtue of the quarter-turn.

Cascading yellow OnciddiumsThe ‘nest’ is inserted above almost like a cornucopia basket from which  all the sunny plant material cascades.

Horizontal design with orchidsThese materials – callas, orchids, NZ flax – were used horizontally creating an elegant band hovering above the metal base.  The gleaming copper chicken wire creates a subtle volume of texture.

Birch branches create abstractionAn almost monochromatic scheme uses the birch diagonally with wired strands of horsetail (Equisetum hymnale) creating a counterpoint of angular shapes.  The tracery of orange midolino sticks moves the eye through the design and contributes to the depth.

Stunning diagonal in orchids and rosesShowing great skill, this design also uses the copper chicken wire.  This time it is in a cylinder traveling west-east across the space.  Great balance is achieved here with the cluster of yellow roses and the strong, graphic sweep of the NZ flax leaves.  BIM designed these stands and had them made, another instance of their imaginative creativity.  But sadly, that means I can’t tell you where to buy one.  Why not put a cluster of dowels in oasis or plaster of Paris, and then perch your nest?

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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