I am lucky enough to work in an amazing flower shop, which means I have my pick of compost-bound blooms to play with at home (and, if I'm honest, on my break at work- 2 minutes to eat, the rest of the time to arrange flowers & snap photos. All together now: Nerd!). Though I have access to particularly gorgeous, if past-their-prime, specimens, the thing I've learned is you don't need to have a lot or spend a lot to make a lovely bouquet...A friend of mine recently moved to rural Maine to work on a charming farm full of baby goats, winter greens, fresh-baked breads, and handmade cheese, so I made her a going-away bouquet. I've never been to Maine, but this arrangement is what I imagine it's like: plush-green rolling meadows perfect for frolicking goats, delicate woodland blossoms, and early-flowering trees, so welcome after all that snow. Did I get close? I'll just have to go see for myself, I suppose.
- The moss was shriveled and brown, but I soaked it upside-down in a bowl of water for a few hours and it perked right up. Moss that looks dead is often simply thirsty, and a daily spritz (after the initial soak) can keep it lush & emerald. Have I mentioned I love mosses?
- The almond twigs were snapped from a much-larger branch- most of the branch had already flowered and gone leafy, but there were still a few twigs ready to burst into blossom- and even if they don't, I always love the look of springy buds. If you have flowering trees on your property (or generous neighbors), you don't have to cut off entire branches to force indoors. Just snip a few likely-looking twigs and bring them into the warm house, and spring will come a bit earlier for you.
- The berries are viburnum, and one of my new obsessive loves. I have yet to capture their amazing color in a photo- they are deepest blue, silver, steel, robin's egg blue, black, and pearlescent all at once. I hear that birds love them- can you blame them? The leaves on these viburnum branches had turned brown so I plucked them all off, and though the berries had started to shrivel just the tiniest bit, I knew they had a couple good days left in them. Even after the berries dry, they're still rather handsome, a rich complex black.
- As for this white flower...I don't know what it is. Do you? I still have so, so much to learn in the world of flowers, and assume I always will have so much to learn! It's exciting. This prettiness started as a pyramid-shaped arrangement of buds which gradually opened, revealing their darling green centers. By the time I took it home, most of the flowers had bloomed and fallen off, but the remaining ones were perfect. Any delicate little spring flowers would do- I like the look of blossoms scattered across a field..
- My favorite (and only, come to think of it!) vase was a birthday gift years ago, and was made by White Bike Ceramics. It is a perfect object. I had it for three years, displayed in a place of honor, before I worked up the nerve to put water and flowers in it. Now that I have, I love it even more- the matte black gives even the sweetest posies an element of glamour, and the small opening (about 1.5-inches diameter) means that only a few flowers are needed to fill it. Perfect!
Tomorrow: Bits & Pieces Bouquet : Love Is Colorblind
Images: Tess Wilson