Each Monday brings the chance to join Cathy’s In A Vase On Monday to share an arrangement using materials gathered from the garden.
Last weekend my good friend Susan and I took a short trip to Creedmoor, NC, to browse the handmade American crafts at Cedar Creek Gallery. If you have a few minutes to learn about this unique place, I encourage you to watch this 4:33-minute video and you will certainly want to visit too.
Having in mind from the outset to shop for a new flower vase, I returned home with three prizes, all Ikebana vases with integrated pin frogs. I had spotted them immediately upon entering the gallery, just inside the front entryway. After admiring many other beautiful pieces, I returned to those that first caught my eye and prepared to make a selection.
I chose a black triangular vase and a blue rectangular one. With me vacillating among other choices of designs, my friend stepped in at my moment of indecision and treated me to the third vase as an early Christmas present, a triangular shape decorated in the blue wave pattern. Thank you Susan!
I had planned to make only one arrangement today but this type of vase does not hold a lot of material. And there were plenty of flowers left over to use in experimenting. I never felt any of the three were quite finished, rather I just finally stopped working on them for now.
The first vase holds two red gladiolas (the first of 30 planted in mid-June just coming into bloom), a large orange cactus zinnia, a sprig of orange peppers and a red dahlia. This design went through many iterations, even some made digitally, to explore the composition and proportions. If anyone is curious I included some of the design stages at the end of this post.
The next vase began with an interesting seed pod rescued from a recently bloomed canna. I think the pod has great potential but I allowed that tallest zinnia to distract from it. It is less worrisome in person though.
The bright yellow zinnias are from a Burpee Zinnia ‘Burpeeana Giants Mix’ packet. This year I also planted ‘Cut and Come Again Mix’ zinnias from Burpee and Zinnia elegans ’Cactus Flower Blend’ from Botanical Interests.
Yellow celosia adds movement and energy.
The third vase is sprightly and pink. It is the only one where I used foliage, cut from Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata.’ The flowers are zinnias, obedient plant and verbena bonariensis.
Canna Seed Pod
Capsicum annuum ‘NuMex Easter’ (dwarf Ornamental pepper)
Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ (Winter daphne)
Fresh Look Mix Celosia (citrus colors)
Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant)
Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)
Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again Mix’ (Burpee, popular cutting variety, 24” H)
Zinnia ‘Burpeeana Giants Mix’ (Burpee, colorful huge 6’ Blooms, 24” H)
Zinnia elegans ’Cactus Flower Blend’ (Botanical Interests, 4-6” wide, 2-3’H. Heirloom Twist and shout. Double and semi-double)
Porcelain Ikebana vases, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Rectangle Blue Zen (6.75L x 3.75W x 2H inches), Triangle Blue Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H), Triangle Black Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H)
Thanks to Cathy for hosting this weekly chance to express our flower arranging passion. Visit her at Rambling In The Garden to discover what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday. Feel free to join in.
Notes On Design Progressions
In the sets of images below, the ones on the left are photographs of the actual arrangement while those on the right are imagined.
The first set show the earliest version of the red design. It was only after viewing photos that I noticed the design looked too heavy on the left side. I ending up reworking it several times.
In post-production I edited the photographs to imagine making different cuts than what I really did.
Here is an intermediate version on the left (the real thing). I had shifted the orange peppers to the right and added some Daphne greenery to improve the balance of the composition. Again the images on the right show some imaginary changes to the design through digital editing. I was reluctant to trim down the gladiolas but in fact they were too tall for the vase. Trimming the top of the left-leaning gladiolus improves the design. If I had done that and then lopped a little from the top of the center glad as well, I would probably have been happy with the design.
In my final version of the real-life arrangement greenery was removed. The orange ornamental peppers moved to the back where they got somewhat lost. The gladiolas were shortened. After trimming and repositioning, the gladiolas relate better to the size and shape of rectangular vase. The glad on the right crowds the dahlia, but I can live with it.