Thursday, April 28, 2011

Selecting Containers for the Garden

A new client is searching for the perfect containers for her front porch and back patio. The color of the container, as well as height and construction, must be consistent with the architecture of the house and reflect the taste and style of the client. 

Resin pots - small 8" square, medium 24" tall, large 30" tall

Cast concrete pots, stained brown - 24" tall and 30" tall
Glazed terra cotta pots 29" tall

Glazed terra cotta pots 30" tall

Glazed terra cotta with texture 30" tall

Small brown cast concrete 8" and 10" tall - to sit on small table
Stay posted for the final selection and finished product next week!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Penny for Your . . . Tulips?

While I adore the artistic nature of creating an outdoor garden with all its color and texture, I am not so adept at crafting flower arrangements.  My stand-by is to buy lots and lots of the same flower and plop them in a big vase.  Lazy?  Perhaps.  Inexperienced?  Definitely so.  Like anything else, the more you research, learn and practice, the better you become.

I attended a flowering arranging program this morning presented by Washington, DC floral designer Phillipa Tarrant.  She shared three arrangements based on themes:  a Frank Lloyd Wright inspired window; a Chevy Chase Hunt Club arrangement completed with kiwi vines and pheasant feathers, and an incredibly simple, yet elegant bowl of purple tulips mimicking the look of a Tiffany glass window.

A Frank Lloyd Wright window
  Using a very low glass vase, the Oasis (foam material used in floral arrangements) was wrapped in Aspadidrus leaves, then stems of pussy willow were wrapped around the bottom the base for the tiny dots of texture as in the window.  Long stem roses, iris and billy-balls added the spots of color.  

Frank Lloyd Wright inspired arrangment

Philippa then, using a small 6" Oasis form that can be set inside of another container, such as hunt trophy (as was the idea here), she used greens and browns with spots of red to create a dramatic look that would spill over the edges.

Philippa demonstrates creating an arrangement to reflect a Chevy Chase Hunt Club scene
And lastly, and exquisitely simple, Philippa explained that just using a small bunch of tulips, left out for a short while so that the stems are more limp and easier to manipulate, an elegant arrangement can be made by just setting the bottom of the stems at the bottom of a large fishbowl (this one is 12" in diameter), and gently coaxing them to twist around the inside of the glass.  Here, only seven tulips are used.  For a bigger statement, use a grouping of three bowls sized 12", 8" and 6" to create a large arrangement on a small budget.

Philippa explains how tulips can be manipulated inside of a glass bowl

An "airy" arrangement of tulips
Of course, tulips always seem to fall limp after a few hours in a vase.  Philippa's trick - add a couple of copper pennies to the bottom of the vase and the tulips will perk right back up!