Category Archives: Flowers

Holiday Flowers

The Winter Container Garden Design class inspired my holiday floral arrangements.  And at an economical price too – I bought only the cut flowers at the grocery store.  The greens were all freebies.  I clipped the holly from my sister-in-law’s yard, the Leyland cypress from my own hedgerow, and the blue spruce from cut branches that were lying on the side of the road.  (Who knew that my trash picking habit would come in handy for flower arranging!)  There were even enough evergreen clippings left over to fill a large basket on the hearth – looked pretty and smelled wonderful.

Anyway, the results were quite lovely:

Holiday centerpiece

Holiday centerpiece


White and green reindeer basket



Winter tulip basket
Winter tulip basket

Flower Design Class #3

This week, we made designs in the vegetative or garden style. Our instructor, Jane, said that this session would be perfect for the gardeners in the class (like me) – and she was right! I loved doing the garden style design because it emulates the imperfections of the garden itself. In fact, it was so much fun that I took home a bunch of leftover flowers and made a second design the next morning. I’ve got lots of ideas now for using the flowers, ferns and branches from my beautiful garden. Definitely looking forward to doing more in this style.

Here are my designs from this week:

Radial Garden Style Design using sunflowers, larkspur, cat tails and oat grass

Garden Style Design with sunflowers, lilies, cattails and broom corn

Flower Design Class #2 at Longwood Gardens

Yesterday evening, in Class #2, we explored the various shapes of flower designs – triangle, crescent, fan and more.  These can get pretty complicated!  Our assignment was to make a round arrangement with roses, stock, carnations, wax flower and lemon leaves.

I stepped WAY out of the box here by choosing pink flowers!  (Actually, the fellow to my right picked ivory, yellow, and orange, and his design was gorgeous!).  But anyway, mine turned out really full and lush, and I’m happy with the result.  Jane, the instructor, liked it too!  It’s now sitting on my kitchen table, awaiting company later this week.

Can’t wait for next class when we will make a ‘vegetative design.’  Jane explained that the vegetative style is a really good design for gardeners in the class.  I asked her to spend some time discussing how to use branches from garden shrubs in the design.  I’ve got so many beautiful shrubs in my borders that this will be a useful lesson.  Very grateful.

Flower Design Class at Longwood Gardens

First night of flower design class at Longwood Gardens, where I learned about binding points, radial design and parallel design.  It was great fun to see the design  interpretations that each student came up with.  Mine?  Well, it came up a bit short, literally!  But the color combination of orange, white and yellow is vibrant – really one of my favorites – and the end result is altogether happy.  Can’t wait until next week’s class!

Red Twig Dogwoods, Outdoors and In

Redtwig dogwood "sculpture"

I thought perhaps I would not prune the dogwoods this year or force any branches for inside display. But now that the weather has finally warmed up, I found myself outside with the pruners in hand. Usually I cut branches for forcing in late February and then prune again later in the spring. This late in the year though, I’ll just do it once. I kept a light touch, just trimmed out the inner branches that were rubbing against each other. Afterwards, I had a small pile of branches which I brought inside. I trimmed them and arranged them in a tall, clear glass vase. Some of the branches are straight, but some are wonderfully curved. The composition has a beautiful structural quality. I put it on the sideboard in my foyer and I have to say, it looks quite lovely. And after just two days the buds are starting to leaf. I imagine it will last a few weeks, at which time the tulips should be blooming and I’ll be able to bring some more “springtime” inside.