Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share an arrangement using materials collected from the garden. This week she is celebrating her fifth blogging anniversary and her Monday In A Vase sensation is in its fourth year. Congratulation Cathy!
Spring is finally official and the temperatures are moderating after a brutal cold snap last week. My garden club is sponsoring a flower show this spring that includes three classes (groups): Functional Table For Two, Small Design and Parallel Design.
Unfortunately my schedule has been such that I have been unable to attend the preparatory floral design workshops this year. I decided to try a parallel design on my own this week.
The inspiration comes from the verticality of a now-fading white Phalaenopsis (Moth Orchid) that has been blooming since before Christmas,
Staging three or more groupings of plant materials placed in strongly parallel arrangement is the basis behind this creative design. Guidelines emphasize it is important to retain negative space between each group while creating a unified overall arrangement.
Accompanied by long green leaves of iris and narcissus the orchid was given central placement.
The second grouping, on the right side, features several iris buds that survived this week’s cold, another cluster of narcissus leaves, and a single Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’ flower.
Branches of Eastern redbud form the third segment of this arrangement. They are joined by a folded-over narcissus leaf and another purple-blue anemone.
Each grouping of materials is inserted into its own florist’s frog or pin holder. Large round leaves of Begonia ‘Erythrophylla’ are used to hide the mechanics.
Clusters of white Iberis sempervirens and more redbud flowers are used across the base of the arrangement to unify the design.
Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’
Cercis canadensis L. (Eastern Redbud)
Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft)
Iris germanica ‘Orinoco Flow’
Phalaenopsis (Moth Orchid)
Begonia ‘Erythrophylla’ (Beefsteak Begonia)
Iris germanica leaves
Container and Mechanics
Shallow, round, black dish
3 small black plastic Solo bowl
3 florist’s frogs (floral pin holders), 2.5 inch and 3 inch
Black polished stones
Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us a chance to express our flower arranging passion. Visit her to discover what she and others found this week in their winter gardens to place In A Vase On Monday.
This is a very interesting design, not an easy brief, but you’ve succeeded! I’ve also attempted an Ikebana design this week, a first for me. What a shame you couldn’t attend the workshops this year.
Thanks Christina. Hope to resume workshops next year. There’s so much to learn.
I’ve recently started having a box of cut flowers delivered every week and I know now how difficult it is to do flower arranging. I am so envious of your skill, but I love your arrangements.
Thank you Ann. It’s often a challenge but I enjoy working with flowers. What a delight that must be each week to open the box.
What a beautiful offering for the first day of spring! We had a little frost last night, but nothing critical. Looking forward to the warmer weather that is on its way:^)
Thanks Marian. Same here–ready for warmer days.
Very pretty and I love the color scheme.
Thanks. Those colors just show up this time of year don’t they?
The spring color palette, always paints beautiful pictures.
Well done! I love having your posts to look forward to on Mondays! An inspirational way to start the week🌷
Thanks Jane. I would love to get some tips from you.
Thanks. It was fun to create.
Thanks Bev. Hated to cut that orchid stem but am glad for the way the orchid carried off the design.
Susie, I just can’t get over how talented you are! Every time I think I’ve seen the best, you come up with another vase that is even more stunning. Bravo!!! A work of art 🙂
Oh Annette, you are so sweet and generous with your praise. I appreciate the kind words. This one, I have to say, turned out so differently than I’d expected but I’ve been enjoying it in the house all day. It has made me happy!
It’s a heart meltingly beautiful arrangement, Susie! I’d never have the creativity – or the patience – to put together something like that. I thought the blue Anemones were Eustoma at first. Despite all our winter rain and our cooler temperatures, only one of the ‘Mr. Fokker’ anemones I planted in prior years re-emerged this spring and it was a sorry thing so I guess is’ll have to treat these plants as annuals here.
Oh Kris, thank you! I will cherish those special words “meltingly beautiful” forever. Someday I will try to grow Eustoma. What a striking bloom it has. I’ve had little time to think about the garden this year but do hope to add more Mr. Fokker. Sometimes it’s worth it to treat flowers as annuals just so you can enjoy them. I would have to do that with tulips. Thinking I might add more annuals this year myself, just for color and material for vases. Have a great week.
What an intersting post, Susie – it was good to have the detailed breakdown of what it involved. And does ‘negative space’ mean ’empty space’ in this instance? As Annette suggests, each arrangement seems to be put together so intuitively and those of us who essentially pick and plonk can learn a lot from seeing your weekly contributions – thank you so much 🙂
‘interesting’, that should have said! 🙂
“Interesting” it is then Cathy! Glad you enjoyed reading about parallel design. Of course this is not the place to get the expert information, but it is sometimes worth taking a look at the formal design styles in floral arranging. And yes, negative or empty space in this arrangement reinforces the idea that there are individual sets of materials arranged in parallel. Not sure mine is the best example but try googling parallel design for more examples. I enjoy seeing the variety of vases, plonks and all. They brighten my Monday.
I suspect we see you as a kind of ‘bridge’ between the expert information and those of us who just informally do our own thing – you help us to understand the principle by explaining your vases in a way we can understand, thus encouraging us to take elements of the idea and use them ourselves – so thank you for that, as always 😉
This is stunning – so complex and yet elegant. You are so good at making this kind of arrangement Susie, you ought to give classes yourself! 🙂
Thanks Cathy. I loved working on this one. Not often I have an orchid to use in an arrangement and it feels so luxurious! Have a great week.
I learn so much by visiting you amazing bloggers. Thank you for sharing the inspiration behind your beautiful arrangement.
Alison, glad you enjoyed this arrangement. I don’t presume to know much about flower arranging but it is something I enjoy learning about.
I showed your arrangement to my wife, I thought it was a beautiful arrangement, she agreed with me. I know I have mentioned it before, your arrangements are very Ikebana in style.
Sorry if this is a repeat the first comment vanished.
Brian, thanks for the encouraging words. I do find myself gravitating to an Ikebana-type style. Didn’t see another comment so thanks for taking time to repeat. Enjoy your week.
The Redbud blossoms are a nice touch!
Thanks Jason. This year the redbuds and iberis have performed exceptionally well, whereas last year they made little impression.
It looks like little spring garden.
Thanks, I tried for a bit of that effect of a spring garden, with the ground covers, lower bulbs and higher plants. Glad you noticed. Have a good week.
A stunning result. It looks effortless, balanced, and elegant – you have a true talent with arrangements.
Thank you. It was fun to have a few rules to follow for guidance this week and of course, I see things to improve for next time. Take care.
This arrangement certainly allowed you to express your design skills. It is stunning. 🙂
Thanks Judy. It was fun to get to use an orchid this week. That won’t happen often!
So elegant with the phalaenopsis – it’s like a miniature-garden – beautiful!
Thanks Eliza. Would be great to have more access to orchids for arranging.
Florists can order cut oncidium, cattleya, dendrobium and cymbidium orchids upon request. Not exactly cheap however, they average $5/stem, but they do last up to two weeks.
Stunning arrangement and a very informative post too. I’ve never tried Ikebana arrangements, and I suspect I never will. They seem much too difficult so my hat is off to you for creating a lovely display.
Thanks Elizabeth. Parallel designs are not specific to Ikebana, but they do come with a set of criteria that may seem off-putting. Most often I would rather not be restricted by a particular style but this was an interesting exercise.
Wow … stunning
Thank you. It’s lasted very well this week–a nice bonus!
I’m in love with your spare, elegant designs.
Thanks Ricki. One little secret is they don’t require as many flowers as traditional designs.
You have mastered the art of discarding! deliberately Omitting or removingplant material when one is halfway through making an arrangement, is the hardest thingin the entire process.
Using orchids is genius. I can’t wait to try. But first: get your orchid 🙂 Small problem 🙂
It is indeed hard to take a step back and decide the work has to be redone. Every once in a while I indulge in an orchid. They last so long (if you don’t cut them).