Rhode Island flowerflingers

 Passing the GavelPassing the Gavel….It was my great pleasure to speak to the Rhode Island Federation of Garden Clubs at their Annual Meeting, this year in Cranston Rhode Island. The Meeting is an all day event, with Awards (many of the them monetary, lucky clubs!), a shopping opp, luncheon and the installation of new officers. Congratulations to you all!

Flowers BackstageWe organized my program on 5 pedestals, set on risers. When I arrived early in the morning, I set to work, creating most of each design and disguising it somewhat with the bright tissue paper. When I did this “paper distraction” at the Walters Art Museum, a visitor told me later that she initially was disappointed to see I was using paper instead of flowers!

 Copper Kiwi Vine and SnapsSusan DetjensDesign one: This vertical design uses copper painted kiwi vine with its wonderful undulating forms as its inspiration. It is completed with brilliant snapdragons with their coppery-orange color, pin-cushion Protea, Pieris (off-white clusters), Kangaroo Paws (Anigozanthos), and reddish-orange double Freesia. The same plant material is used at the back with another lower piece of kiwi. Thus the design can be seen in the round.

 Underwater under tissueUnderwater with anthuriumDesign Two: This design is centered in a wonderful large hurricane vase from Target (sadly gone). It features four ‘Rainbow’ Obake Anthurium. Two are set in a small pin-holder (kenzan) surrounded by dark stones, and two are placed in a mirror image inside and outside of the container with Oasis glue dashes. Pink aluminum wire is wound inside the container and spills out in another looped form echoing the anthurium forms. Inside, through the wire, are woven lily grasses.

Lasagne design in waiting Kiwi flowersSusan DetjensDesign Three: This style is what a flowerflinging follower recently called “Susan’s Lasagne”! Otherwise known as an Italian Layered Design. A rectangular ceramic container that mimics stone sets the horizontal proportion of the width of the lichen-covered sticks (one of my renewable resources) yellow mini Calla, Pin-cushion Protea, Leucadendron, and silver painted tree fungi (Hobby Lobby). In the top photo, on the right is a baggie of pussy willow buds which are used as the ‘mulch’ covering the Oasis inside the container. I love these kind of surprises when you peek inside the container.

blog Fed Pretty in pinkSusan DetjensDesign Four comes directly from the GCA Centennial Flower Designs (see “Blooming Birthday”, June 2013, Archive). The design is supported by a balsa wood tower 24”h x 6” square, nailing them together as well as using glue between them. All of these designs had to travel home with raffle winners, so they were well glued and taped. The base is a clear 12” Lomey dish and the tower was glue-dotted to the dish. Once the dish has water in it, the dashes will probably not continue to hold.  Yellow and white Callas, Leucadendron, green Dendrobium orchids and the last “Rainbow Obake were placed against the tower using pearl headed pins, aluminum wire or more Oasis Uglu dashes.  Water will be added at home.

Design in hidingFlowers readySusan DetjensDesign Five is in the paper-crafted container I made for Flora in Winter (see ““Flora for a Young Girl”, January 2014, Archives). An 8” plant saucer is placed on top and taped down. Into that is placed an 8” Oasis orb, with its bottom lopped off. The superabundance of flowers include Pink Quince (just about to open) and Ranunculus, “Creme de la Crème’ roses, rice flower (Pimelea spicata at the back), white Callas, pale green carnations, Eucalyptus, Euphorbia, and luxurious French tulips. I think we all had fun, I know I did – thanks Rhode Island!!


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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