Wheeling color…..

bright sweets



Working with color is one of the most delightful aspects of floral design.  We all react to colors very differently.  One person’s favorite can be an anathema to another.  Take the pink/purple of liatris………..please!  Or phlox that has reverted to magenta.  Definitely not my favorite.

color wheelColor wheels separate the colors and organize them as to their properties.  The cool colors and the warm line up, west and east.

Flower Show rainbowDesigns using a rainbow of colors are hard to pull off with success.  But in the hands of a master, like the willow from a past Philadelphia Flower Show, everything works so well.  In this instance, the meticulous tiny branches allow the colors to blend and meld gracefully.

Rainbow connectionThe skilled eyes and hands of the teachers of “Bouquets in Motion” elevate the humble drinking straw to a design component snaking through this multi-color bouquet.

happy birthday rainbowThe effect of colors set out in a rainbow order, especially when they are as luscious as these on a paper napkin, always work.

watercolor flowersIn “Mixed Bouquets, Mixed Results” (www.flowerflinging.blogspot.com/2012/08/mixed-bouquets-mixed-results.htmlsee), mixing colors may lead to confusion, and disharmony often reigns.  Maybe that is only in my eye?

colorful flowersThe Stop n Shop sells hundreds of these each year.  Of course this bouquet suffers from problems of the varying size of the flowers as well as their relative colors.

flower show winnerCreated by a pro, this polychrome Philadelphia winner on a pedestal is enhanced by the unifying sheltering of the branches.  Like the tiny willow branches, they break up the colors rather in a Pointillist manner.

Field flowers These mixed table arrangements (for how to, see “Christmas Collared”, December Archive) could be considered as a green arrangement with accent colors as the foliage and stems predominate and blend all the colors as in a garden.   At least that was the general idea!

Rainbow flowers with twigsAnother design from Bouquets in Motion, the structure of the willow branches create a framework for the many colors.

flowers in a structureIt is all about relationships.  The predominant scheme of this arc is complementary – purple and yellow, with green and red that give it a liveliness that the two colors alone might not supply.

Modern Mass designsThese memorable modern mass designs are from the Purple Show.  Choose your colors and have fun!


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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2 Responses to Wheeling color…..

  1. Mary Louise Lindenthal says:

    Dear Susan, I’m on my fourth Guido Brunetti mystery while on vacation in FL. Can’t seem to put them down and read Cloud Atlas, required for my next book club meeting in March. I especially loved the coverage of WAM, your video and all those artful interpretations plus your current blog on color as I am always challenged by the color wheel. Thank you! ML

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