Reelin' in the Years

Flower Power

On Tuesday, I went to the annual meeting of the Kalamazoo Garden Council (a luncheon, complete with chicken).  (Natch.)  The speaker (because there's always a speaker) was the owner of this most excellent floral design studio here in Kalamazoo, and she was going to demonstrate how we could create our own floral "masterpieces" from whatever was blooming in our own gardens.

(Right, I said.)  (Floral arrangement is just not one of my things.) 

We all needed to bring flowers that were blooming in our own gardens to the event, and Dorothy would use whatever we brought.

(There were lots of peonies.)  (And iris.)  (And one woman brought blooming cuttings from her recently-pruned mock orange tree.)  (I just brought a bucket of Solomon's Seal.)  (Because I have way plenty.)  (And I'm selfish with my best blooming stuff.)

I was pretty skeptical.  But I soon changed my tune.

Because Dorothy . . . made magic from our garden cuttings!


She's a professional . . . so she made quick work of putting just the right flowers and foliage together.


And she knew just how "tall" the plant material needed to be.  (One of my biggest floral arrangement issues -- everything I put together is always too "tall" or too "short," and always, always too uniform in height.)


She created amazing floral displays.  (Not sure if you can see it in this photo, but Dorothy lined the clear vase in the middle of the arrangement above with giant hosta leaves - underside facing the glass. It just looked amazing!)


Each time she created a new design, I said, "Oh, THAT's my favorite."  (Each time.)


And, I was pretty much right.


I would usually love even Dorothy's "beginnings," like this sweet collection of smoke tree leaves with one sweet pink peony.


But then, she'd just keep adding elements . . . and it would just keep getting better and better!


For her last trick, Dorothy grabbed my bunch of Solomon's Seal as the base for this arrangement.  (A triumph for me.)  (I had felt sort of selfish . . . because I just brought a bunch of greenery, and not the best blooms of my garden.)  (So it helped that she used them!)


Which ended up . . . my favorite.  (Of course.)


It was a lovely and inspirational demonstration.

So much so . . . that I went home and tried one of my own!  

As usual, the Solomon's Seal is too long and my peonies are too short.  But, hey!  It looks pretty great on my dining room table!


The power . . . of flowers!



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Looks like so much fun, but look at all the blooms that came from various gardens! Very impressive! You're going to have so much fun creating masterpieces from your blossoms all summer long!


Love it! You had me smiling the entire way through that post! Dorothy is something else and I must're not to far behind!


I rarely make arrangements for myself... for others all the time, but when we go away, and leave caretakers with my 95 year old mom there is always a lovely arrangement on the table. I think our caretakers enjoy creating them as much as I enjoy coming home to them. Dorothy's arrangements are something else! Beautiful


Oh, how fun! I especially love that trick with the hosta leaves! Practice, practice... I hope you'll make and share more of your arrangements over the summer.


Those are beautiful. I'm also flower-arrangement challenged.


I adore going to gardening events where designers create! I'm definitely looking at my Solomon Seal a bit differently this year. Sadly the peonies have gone by.


Those are very stunning arrangements! I'm not great at this either but my friend Wendy, who is a florist, taught me to arrange the whole thing in my hand first and then slip it into the vase all done. It works pretty well, actually.


I love how you refer to her work as magic...I agree! the results and even the in-process pieces are beautiful. so is the arrangement you made. (happy Friday!)


What beautiful arrangements! I wish I could do something like that! Mine look like a child's gift to Mom! :-)


I actually really like your arrangement! Love the hide-and-seek placement of your peonies in there amongst the Solomon Seal!

Sharon R.

I think your arrangement is gorgeous. And, holy smokes, that woman was amazing! Such talent!


I am definitely "challenged" when it comes to flower arrangements - very little talent, and not a lot of flowers to choose from and work with! Just looking at the pictures, though, was instructional and inspirational. Great fun! And I do like your arrangement - very nice!

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