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Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share an arrangement using materials collected from our gardens.
Spiraea branches caught my attention last week and I decided to play with them again.
From the window overlooking the garden the aging leaves look deep orange, up close they range from golden to rust. For some reason the sections I cut are more uniform in color.
This variation of today’s design is closest to my original concept of featuring a nearly bare branch to explore rhythm and curves.
It seemed to need more. In adding Wintergreen boxwood I fumbled the lichen-covered branch and never got it back into good position. Securing the materials in place would have saved extra work, but I opted to keep moving, taking the opportunity to experiment. In the end today’s designs are about process more than result.
I do like this orange and purple pairing, marigold and lavender.
The fragrance of lavender adds another layer to the pleasure of creating with flowers.
The lichen branch here is moved toward toward the back of the dish where it no longer works to counterbalance the rightmost stem of spirea. I decided that piece of spirea could be removed altogether.
Also here an echinacea seedhead moved from front and center to the tip of the lichen branch. Offering interesting texture and color close-up, it did not have much impact to the overall design.
The lichen branch had lost its purpose and effectiveness, so I removed it and the other lichen bits entirely.
In the next iteration a still green cutting of Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ sweeps out gracefully in this version. The originally favored bare branch of spiraea has been removed, simplifying the line. The spare quality here interests me and this is the stage I kept to display in the foyer.
Originally I had planned to use a small companion arrangement, formed simply from a young Husker Red penstemon tucked into a small black holder. It did not add much until I came back to the mostly bare branch of spiraea. Adding the tall stem changed the dynamics and energy once again.
By moving the point of view slightly the composition shifts significantly.
Ultimately I returned to a simplified version, replacing the quilted runner underneath with a white linen towel.
Buxus microphylla var koreana ‘Wintergreen’ (Wintergreen boxwood)
Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower), Seedhead
Lichen covered branch
Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)
Spiraea prunifolia (bridal wreath spiraea)
Container and Mechanics
Small black plastic Solo bowl – vase insert
3-inch florist’s frog (floral pin holder)
2-inch round holder with integrated florist’s frog
Black, green stones
Black glazed square
Quilted runner (made by my sister)
Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and encouraging us to express our flower arranging passion. Visit her to discover what she and others found this week in their gardens to place In A Vase On Monday.
Form, movement, texture, and colour……all draw in the eye. Lovely staging this week. Enjoy your arrangement…it may continue to change during the week, I think.
Thanks Noelle. You’re right, I often rework the arrangements through the week. Tried leaving a comment but don’t think it was accepted. Enjoyed your ivy-filled vase and background information.
The leaves from my spirea completely disappeared in the winds this week. Good to see yours (just about) still have some leaves. Interesting that you have included purple and orange as has Peter at The Outlaw Gardener – it must be something about the time of year. And I love the tumbleweed appearance of your Clematis jackmanii.
Those secondary color combinations can be very appealing. In this case the purple and orange were simply what happened to be flowering. That clematis has such personality and was very photogenic.
This was so interesting to read Susie, following the transition from one variation to the next; it really shows how different elements can be tweaked to create a completely different effect – and of course how attractive minimal material can be, a lesson to all thos of us who currently have winter on the horizon
Glad you enjoyed following my experiments. Thanks for following along. I could never work in a florist shop Cathy as I never can be sure ahead of time what an vase will look like by the end.
I love these posts where you show all your thought processes. I learn so much, but still seen unable to remove and replace much in my own designs. I loved the runner you used first it looked like machine embroidery but I agree that the arrangement actually looks better with just a simple white cloth. I’ve never worked with stems of ‘falling’ leaves; maybe I’ll try because as I look out of the window I’m looking through a curtain of wisteria foliage that is turning a rich yellow very quickly.
My sister loves quilting and made the runner for me several years ago. It was fun to work with the rich colors but subtlety won the day. Just as an exercise I tried to ask myself with every addition whether an element added to the design and when it didn’t I “tried” to make myself eliminate it. That’s why I ended up with so many versions. Your wisteria would make a lovely material for a vase. Now I’m heading over to see what you have chosen for today.
I love that your arrangements are a process…..I often go back to mine and find different perspectives and props or even plant material to add but never thought to show all that. My first reaction when I saw the opening pic was….Wow oh Wow! Really incredible what materials I will overlook that can add so much to an arrangement. Thank you as always for sharing your creative process and inspiring me! This is one of my all time favorites!
Thanks so much Donna. Showing the process is not something I set out to do at first but glad I took pictures along the way. It’s hard to know if the descriptions are explanatory enough, but as you know writing about something helps clarify things to the writer at least.
Brilliant every one! So simple and yet so sophisticated. I am going out right now to see what I can still find in my garden. After looking at this beautiful arrangement, I wonder why I thought my garden was done for the year?!
So nice of you to say Linda. Thank you. Hope you find some intriguing elements to explore.
I can only say “wow”! I would have never thought of using those materials.
Thanks. I admit I’d rather have had a big bouquet of peonies to share but it is interesting to see materials in a different way.
Fascinating to read how your mind works as you develop your ideas. The lack of flowers at this time of the year concentrates the mind and forces us to really look at the plants we have and their decorative potential. Well done.
Thanks Liz, yes it’s constructive to have some limitations. Forces us into new places. Have a great week.
Your miniature landscape is simply adorable, Susie, you certainly are most talented (sorry if I repeat myself), it’s gorgeous! Liz is absolutely right and I also feel it’s rewarding to concentrate on less is more. All we need now is a poem to celebrate your vase 🙂
Annette, you’re most kind. Thank you.
Your process is prompting me to look more critically at my own arrangements. I’m sure I would have stopped, fully satisfied, at the photo with the embroidered cloth as a base.
Yours always look polished Ricki. I might have stopped with the first one if I hadn’t knocked off the branch and had trouble fixing it back.
Hehe, each of your items is very beautiful and I’m glad you arrived at something you are happy with. The colours of the leaves are captivating and it teaches us to look closely at the colour and structure of things now that summer is over.
Thanks Alison. I tried to leave a comment on your blog but I’m having trouble with all blogspot accounts. Anyway, the color of that chrysanthemum you came across is sumptuous.
It is fun to see the multiple iterations as you created this week’s vase, Susie. The Zen feeling comes from the appreciation of simple beauty in a few items. The lichen branch is particularly nice.
Thanks Eliza. Yes, I too am drawn to the reduced number of elements.
You have chosen such fascinating individual elements and created some wonderful effects by playing around with them and your different cloths. I love the single Marigold at the base – nice solid colour, then the soft shades of yellow/green of the lichen. Beautiful shapes – how do you get the Clematis to stand up like that?!
That the clematis stood up like that was perhaps the best surprise of the day. I used a pin holder and managed to insert the stem right onto a pin. Just cooperated without me having to scold it!
This was a fun post, Susie. I love how you experimented with the materials, their arrangement and the setting – so different from my usual cram the vessel and be done with it approach! My favorite variations were those that included the clematis stem.
Thanks Kris, it was fun to try different effects, but lately I haven’t had much time. The clematis won my heart too as it stood so gracefully and the seedheads are so cute.
Beautiful stylish arrangement Susie. I thought the lavender blue looked fantastic with the orange marigolds.
Thanks Brian. It’s a treat to have that lavender blooming. The marigolds are done for the season though.
The simplified version is so perfect. Nothing steals the scene from the Spiraea and Clematis.
I agree. Would love to know more about how to complement the arrangement without overwhelming it. The materials in this case were fairly understated.
This is lovely, as always! I like the color scheme and the moss and other materials. Sorry to hear about the issues with non-WordPress blogs.
Thanks Beth. Found a work around but still haven’t figured out a permanent solution. Wish it could be seamless.
Very creative! I love it, especially the use of the Echinacea – never seen that before.
Thanks. Echinacea is mostly brown and dry now but was glad to find one fairly fresh. I like it at this stage.
So very creative, Susie. Thanks for sharing.