Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Flower Arranging Basics

One of my favorite things about summer are farmer's market flowers.  In season flowers are so beautiful and nothing feels better than purchasing them directly from the farmer who cut them.  Kevin Sharkey of Martha Stewart Living Magazine calls them "affordable elegance" and one of his guilty pleasures.  I would agree.  A vase of pretty flowers will liven up any room in your home. 
Don't be afraid to think outside the box when selecting a vase either.  Anything can make a beautiful display vase for your flowers...egg cups, water pitchers, large low bowls, etc.  Don't be afraid to try something different.  Kevin suggests sticking to one single variety of or color of flower in your container.  Try all mini carnations in soft pinks and whites or a vase full of only yellow blooms.  I love this Fig Colored Pitcher from the Mathilde collection, $50, it would look smashing with white or pink flowers. (Shown above, also available in Fennel, Cream, and Nattier/Pale Blue).

Looking for something a little more "artsty?"  Try Real Simple Magazine's technique of "Flower Arranging 101."  Real Simple offers three easy steps.
1.  Create a Foundation with foliage to build a framework.  Keep a pleasing, asymmetrical shape that will create a high point in the back.
2.  Add large "face" flowers.  Cut the stems of these big blooms (like peonies) at different heights so some nestle low to the vase and others reach high.  Use floral foam or tape across the top of the vase to keep the flowers in place.
3.  Weave in wispy elements.  Think climbing flowering vines or ferns.  Place them in three strategic spots, up high on one side, down low to spill out the bottom of the vase, and some in the middle.
Above are some of my other favorites for creating unique flower arrangements.  Clockwise from top right, L'Amour Teapot, $93.  Remove the lid and add any almost any array of colors of flowers to compliment.  Grain de Riz Espresso Tumbler 10cl, $9.  These petite cups are perfect for one giant bloom on a really short stem, also available in Grey, Cotton, or Red.   The Angela Ice Cream Dish, $15 would be perfect with a cluster of carnations or roses.

What is your favorite piece to put flowers in?  Do you stick to a thematic color or flower type or are you more of a wild flower inspired person? 

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