Finally, our temperatures are dipping from the 100s to the 90s. That’s called a cold front here in Texas! And we had an inch of rain last night with thunder and lightening. What a joyous lullaby! I could just hear my heat loving summer flowers whispering their awe and gratitude to each other. They were anxious to show me their glory in the morning. I couldn’t wait to get up early and pick some to make an arrangement. Hurry up morning!

All my flowers are either perennials, annuals grown from seeds that I harvested the previous year, or plants that have self-seeded, except for zinnias for which I buy seed packets each year.

Today’s harvest turned out to be all purples, pinks, lavenders, and neon greens. I walked around the yard with a bucket half full of water and my sharp snippers. I plunge the cut flowers immediately into cool water so their stems stay rigid.How did I make today’s arrangement?

1. I allow the stem length and amount of flowers to dictate which vase to use.

2. I like to use florist foam for non see through containers. I cut the foam with a sharp knife to fit the vase, snuggle it into the container to fit tightly, and cover it with cool water to soak.

3. I anchor the arrangement with greenery first. Today, I used flowering basil and mexican oregano. They stay fresh for days and add a spicy, natural air freshener to my home.

4. Next, I chose the sturdiest, largest blooms which this morning were celosia in all its crazy personalities, from bold and ostentatious, to light and feathery.

5. Change textures next and fill in with pale lavendar hyssop clumps to add even more greenery and a contrast of dainty, spikey fronds.

6. Now the flowers are really speaking to me by adding form and shape to the whole arrangement. They need a bit of whimsy, so I add the airy yet angular stems of globe amaranth. They look like upside down exclamation points and demand attention.

7. Lastly, I added the pink zinnias as an undertone to the pervasive purple hues. They drink up water like straws, so be sure to top the water off daily.

8. I chose a table runner which picks up the colors of the arrangement.

In conclusion, allow the flowers in season to dictate the color scheme and tenor of a table arrangement, not a picture in a magazine that most likely uses store bought hot house flowers.


What are your flowers whispering to you?

The masterpiece should appear as the flower to the painter, perfect in its bud as in its bloom, with no reason to explain its presence, no mission to fulfill, a joy to the artist.

The Gentle Art

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