Shopping for flowers the week after Valentine’s Day might not have been the best decision. I set out to find a big bunch of tulips to fill the Alice Goldsmith ceramic pitcher I had coveted and which my own true love had surprised me with. The tulips were picked over. The roses too. Then I spotted them~these dusty lavender and green roses that everyone else had left behind. “Perfect for Halloween,” said one woman. “Could I use them for funeral luncheon arrangements?” queried another. “Weird,” pronounced another. I had never entertained so much conversation in front of supermarket flowers. But those roses made my heart skip a beat. They were modern in a charming old fashioned way with their faded coloration. They reminded me of roses ones sees in fashionable Paris florists’ ateliers. Of course I brought 2 dozen home.
To break out of flower arranging ruts, think outside the usual vase and turn to pottery with clean lines, tea pots, pitchers or bowls. I love the modern lines of the pitcher I would be using as a vase to contrast with the old fashioned beauty of the roses. To fully appreciate the flower form, I cut the long stems down so the roses are at eye level. This will allow me to create a denser bouquet. After immersing the roses in a bucket of warm water for a half hour to hydrate them and help them open a bit, I began creating my bouquet.
For this arrangement, I removed all the leaves off the stems and cut off some of the larger thorns which could get in the way of arranging. I cut the long stems so the roses would sit about 3-4 inches above the height of the vase, using the vase rim to guide the cutting length.
Massing the flowers without fillers is more dramatic and for this arrangement, I would be using only roses, packed densely in the vase.
Aren’t these beauties gorgeous???
This arrangement may be one of my all time favorites. I took a chance on these unusual roses and they have been enchanting me all week. They ended up in the reading area of my bedroom making my heart beat even faster than the new thriller, “The Widow” by Fiona Barton, I was reading!
“There is nothing more difficult for a truly creative painter than to paint a rose, because before he can do so he has to first forget all the roses that were ever painted.” Henri Matisse