10 Arrangements + Hopes for Spring

It is snowing outside - again. And as much as I do enjoy winter, I've truly had my fill this year. To distract myself I've been avoiding the snowy view outside my windows and looking at beatiful imagery of houseplants and flower arrangements, teaching myself about the growing habits of some new plants I've got my eye on (such as the medinilla magnifica) and learning about different styles of flower arranging. I do like formal arrangements, but I've been leaning more and more towards freeform bouquets with their layered textures and more casual personalities. They strike a modern atmosphere without losing any charm. Soft pinks and purples with muted whites and creams, green and silvery foliage and a mix of contrasting shapes and sizes are the combinations I am currently enamored of. They match my apartment and my mood. I've gathered ten images of some very lovely bouquets with a few notes. I hope they distract you from any persistent winter weather that might be getting you down and inspire you to visit your local florist for a little pick-me-up.
Flower arrangements don't get much happier than this one with its mix of eucalyptus leaves, cedums, hydrangeas and a gathering of delicate wildflowers. When placed in a rustic enameled pitcher, the bouquet forces the eye to dance across its myriad textures and subtle tones.
Several stems of Fritillaria meleagris look beautifully delicate when mixed with lacy looking silver cinneraria. This diminutive arrangement is perfect for a nightstand or desk.
Lupines, which are actually part of the legume family, Fabaceae, look exuberant in this massive collection of their tendrilous stems. How nice it would be to wake up to this arrangement on a dreary day!
These cut magnolia branches, which have yet to bloom, look positively Zen in this stark arrangement. When the flowers open the rigidity of the form will soften and become more colourful.

Tips for arranging flowering branches:
1. Cut the stems at a 45-degree angle and slit the base with a knife, making a cut about a quarter of an inch in lengh. You can also gently smash the ends of the branches with a hammer until the end splits but does not shatter or become crushed. This allows the branch to absorb more water.
2. Store the branches immediately in a vase filled with about three inches of tepid water until you are ready to arrange them. Make sure not to submerge too much of the branch in water to avoid fungal growth and bacteria in the water.
3. Mist the branches frequently to keep them from drying out.
Pink sweet peas are grouped together in vases of varying heights but identical hues. Clustered alongside similar vases holding a variety of purple wildflower that contrast (but do not overtake) their soft petals, the sweet peas dominate. The grouping of several vases is an arrangement in itself.
This arrangement is more formal than any of the others in this series with its cast-iron urn and very elaborate shape. With a mix of white ranunculus, hydrangeas, white lilies, hellebores, spiraea vanhouttei and tropical foliage it is a virtuoso! What keeps it simple and restful to the eye is the restricted colour palette: white and green.    
Simple white tulips, en masse, are grouped together in a luxuriant mound and held within a modern vase. As with the arrangement above, the strict two-tone palette keeps it visually pleasing. The grouping of a single type of flower is a very easy way to design an arrangement and the effect is always elegant.
A South-African Protea in soft coral hues holds court in a free-form arrangement with an unusual mix of both tropical and native species. The pastel colour palette keeps everything visually united and subdued while the assortment of textures and shapes gives the bouquet dramatic flare.
A beautiful clutch of English wildflowers makes a casual country bouquet. The dressy vessel with its French toile pattern adds just enough formality to ground the airy arrangement.
The beautiful whorls and petals of Picasso Ranunculus Burgundy look simply elegant in a pale ivory pitcher. A single white ranunculus lends some punctuation.


Vanessa M. said...

What a wonderful afternoon pick-me-up! I especially like lupines. All the arrangements are gorgeous. Thanks for sharing Andrew.

Rowaida said...

Thank you Andrew for a beautiful, gorgeous post and great tips. Wishing you a beautiful day

Anonymous said...

I needed this, tired of the winter that won't quit. The iron urn green and white is my fave.

Anonymous said...

beautiful bouquets and commentary