Monday, December 22, 2008

Flower arranging for Christmas

On Christmas Eve nine are expected for dinner; our immediate family. We go several steps further to make this a special evening at home. I adore fresh flowers and always try to keep a couple of arrangements in alternating places throughout the house. But for these glittering days, arrangements abound.

I do the arranging myself now. Since leaving big towns, I have not been satisfied with the level of skill or taste exhibited by florists in our little corner of Westchester as well as our little snip of Florida. Perhaps filling FTD orders keeps them from honing their skills? Whatever the reason, I do not have time to travel into Manhattan on a whim to pick up the rare-variety tonal French bouquets I prefer. I took matters into my own shears deciding I (and virtually every other colorblind, creativity-challenged, Waffle House refugee) certainly had enough talent to arrange flowers as badly as any FTD trained florist.

In the beginning I read several wonderful flower arranging books and I follow wedding blogs for inspiration. With the proliferation of seasonal flowers now available in markets one can have truly magnificent arrangements which are also reasonable - in some cases only a few dollars a week.

If you have not tried your hand at this, surely this is the year to preserve aesthetic beauty while mitigating costs. There are wonderful gently used books available on for very little, and inexpensive flowers with which to practice in every grocery store. Here are two wonderful resources:

Flowers The Complete Book of Floral Design, by Paula Pryke

The Art of Floral Arranging, by Eileen Johnson

We are also lucky to have the astounding teaching group at the New York Botanical Garden which offers short, long, and certificate programs in arranging (and nearly every other horticultural pursuit imaginable). The funds spent at a local botanical garden are well worth it for the knowledge you will gain and the remarkable exhibits this contribution will help to bring to to your community.

These are my first couple of arrangements (destined for the powder rooms) for this week.


Sharon Crute said...

Thank goodness I found you. It's the simple yet beautiful niceties of life that soothe the soul. Especially for a bohemian artist such as myself.

I am so ashamed to admit to breaking several of the Blushing Hostess Commandments a few posts back. I promise to purchase some decent serving spoons with the next painting sale.

Thank you for a lovely blog.

Blushing hostess said...

Certainly it is my pleasure. I trust all is well in Ocala, BTW I noticed your new painting - manificent!