I am joining in Cathy’s weekly challenge In A Vase On Monday to create a floral arrangement from materials gathered in one’s own garden. This week I have chosen to feature the native Cornus florida (flowering dogwood).
Responding to the week’s sunshine and warm temperatures, the petal-like bracts of Cornus florida (flowering dogwood) are almost fully opened, though the actual yellow-green flower heads, contained in the dense central cluster, remain tightly closed.
On Saturday, as I weeded nearby the dogwood, I became more and more aware of its seasonal beauty and I began imagining how it would look indoors. Though I have never cut dogwood for an arrangement before, I thought it might work perfectly in a set of tall pastel vases given me by one of my sisters. I collected three branches on Sunday and assembled the arrangement.
Because I needed to trim the three branches further in order to sit them in the vases properly I ended up with some leftover stems. For these I found a ceramic vase with a small mouth that helped hold these remainders straight. The earthy brown glaze and heaviness of the pottery piece contrasts greatly with the shape and height of the three pale-colored glass vases. Though not part of the original design this vase became an important component in the arrangement.
Using branches of varying heights as well as the airiness of the flowering branches themselves combine to create a sense of movement in the arrangement.
When I was a child my father instilled in me a fondness for dogwoods by making them the backdrop for family photographs at Easter. He had planted a dogwood in each corner of our front yard and many a spring my sisters and I posed in front of one particular white flowering tree, squinting at the sun in our pastel dresses and white gloves, patent leather shoes and Easter hats. So this week when the dogwoods started filling the neighborhoods and roadsides it really seemed like spring.