Love is Colorblind: Burgundy Bouquet for My Colorblind Dad

Love is Colorblind: Burgundy Bouquet for My Colorblind Dad

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Tess Wilson
Apr 12, 2011

Your relationship to color is such a personal thing — a shade of orange that hurts my eyes might feel soooo good to yours — and this is especially true if you happen to be colorblind. For my father, many colors are indistinguishable, or muddy, or neutral, so for his birthday I made a little bouquet in the one color that he really sees and loves: burgundy.

While gathering burgundy leftovers from my day at the flower shop for this arrangement (as with yesterday's bouquet, all of the blooms used here were too far gone to sell), I was struck with the strong relationship my dad has had with this color over the years, and how it has affected our family's aesthetic. My parents have had a couple of burgundy cars, a couple of burgandy couches (one for the family room in a rust-burgundy corduroy — the 70s! — and the other a pale burgundy Victorian sofa), and their dining room is now painted a rich velvety shade as well. Do any of you who happen to be colorblind have a similar situation, with one or a few colors driving your home's decor?

And now for the flowers!


  • The bulk of this little bouquets is made up of ranunculus, everyone's favorite little cabbage-heads. They're so sweet! Usually when you buy them they are in tight little buds, and will provide days of changing beauty. The ones here are quite open, but the show isn't over. They will open wider and wider, eventually losing most of their petals and revealing their centers, at which point they'll strongly resemble poppies. Two flowers for the price of one! Ranunculus are generally pretty affordable and come in a wide range of delicious colors.

  • Once again, I'll need your help identifying a flower: these tiny little starry blossoms are dried, so they can be moved from one bouquet to the next. When you take apart any bouquets you might have, keep an eye out for flowers that look like they might dry beautifully, and add them to your next fresh arrangement.

  • I can't resist adding flowering branches to most bouquets this time of year, like this sprig of cherry. When getting rid of larger branches that are past flowering, I snip off and save any little twigs that are still at (or even heading towards) the height of their beauty. I envy you if you have trees that allow you to do the same thing!

  • Since my dad was a teacher, he was "free" to work on my grandpa's dairy farm every summer for years and years. In honor of that labor I plopped his bouquet in a little milk bottle from Birch. The small mouth is ideal for petite arrangements, and they're just so classic. I have a half-&-half bottle from Straus Creamery that I have kept exactly for this purpose, well worth the sacrificed $1.50 deposit. (Please don't be mad, Straus! I love it so much.)

Unfortunately, since my dad lives in Chicago and I live in San Francisco, I wasn't able to actually give him his bouquet, so this will have to do for now. Happy Birthday, Dad!

Images: Tess Wilson

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