Monday brings an opportunity to practice flower design by joining in Cathy’s weekly challenge In A Vase On Monday to create an arrangement from materials gathered in one’s own garden.
Actually, as it was raining cats and dogs this morning, I did not venture into the garden for materials. Instead I repurposed several long-lasting items from previous arrangements.
Arum italicum foliage used in a vase early in December still looks very green and healthy. I chose one of the strongly patterned leaves to practice leaf manipulation. I started by making parallel cuts within one side of the leaf, removing every other strip. My mat knife blade proved too dull for this task, cutting but also bruising the leaf. I changed course and cut out selective sections of the pattern, using scissors and even a thumb nail.
Precision is important in this type of work, but I was impatient with it. The end result suffered because I quickly bored of the process and did not take time I should have to get nice clean cuts. Also, perhaps the Arum leaf is not particularly appropriate for this technique. (Aspidistra leaves are among the frequently recommended choices.)
Abandoning plans for manipulating more leaves, I inserted the Arum leaf into a small pin holder.
To hide the mechanics I wrapped a length of Tradescantia pallida (purple heart) leaf around the base of the pin holder. This purple heart was used in a Monday vase in September and had been living in a little glass of water ever since.
Though I did not grow it, a poinsettia holiday gift gave me easy access to a bright red bloom and a few dark leaves to complete today’s design.
This was a good experiment. I like the arrangement despite the crudeness of my work manipulating the leaf. There are many other techniques such as folding and weaving that I plan to experiment with sometime.
Euphorbia pulcherrima (Poinsettia)
Tradescantia pallida (purple heart), formerly Setcreasea pallida