Sunday, August 26, 2012

Mixed Bouquets, mixed results....

It is fascinating to think of the huge quantities of mixed bouquets that are sold daily at corner stores, supermarkets and farmers markets.  Most flower stands have two to three times the number of mixed bouquets to bunches of one flower which attest to their popularity.  I expect that most shoppers take them home and put them in a vase just as they come out from the cellophane. 

This group at Grand Central station for $42.99 a bunch must be the Cadillac of mixed bunches.  Looks to me like 4 large callas, some purple statice, 4 red roses, yellow button mums, 3 godetia and a large lily (only in bud here).

At the grocery store, I recently purchased ($8.99) the mixed bouquet above to harvest for the cockscomb (reds and oranges looking like brain coral) and the gomphrena (pink and white gumdrops).  Thinking they could dry in the arrangement as well as not, I challenged myself to make lemonade from these, albeit, colorful lemons.

Taking apart the bouquet, it resolved itself into:  3 stems of willow celosia pink, 2 mini sunflowers,  5 stems of mixed cockscomb, one orange gladiola, one white gladiola, and 6 stems each of the pink and white gomphrena. 

I chose a honey bee ceramic container and reused a piece of oasis that I had kept hydrated in a plastic bag.  OK so the direct ratio of my interest in mixed bouquets is in proportion to reuse of oasis!!  If you want to reuse oasis, you must have a piece like this which has very few holes (technical term) where stems have been placed.  The oasis must not dry out.  It can be frozen(!) or kept in the fridge.  Be sure that any flower stem goes into 'fresh' oasis not where there is an air channel from an old stem. 

This post is about color so I won’t get in to the problems of the scale (size) of the flowers.  I chose the modern mass style (see “The Pastels of June”, June for the anatomy of a modern mass arrangement). First, I had to solve the problem of the two sunflowers looking like big brown eyes!  To cope with that I kept them together but at an angle to each other so you really didn’t see them side by side, so no 0|0!  Maybe one brown eye at a time is slightly better?

Continuing the groups, the muted reddish cockscomb was clustered around one side of the sunflower, with other colors continuing around.  Using toothpicks in the cockscomb stem helps hold them in place, acting as a fulcrum.

The single orange gladiola was cut into two pieces and placed together to make a cluster, placed close to the warmer red cockscomb.  I tried to keep the purpley-pink together out of sight of the hottest colors.

The pink gomphrena were placed near a more subdued cockscomb color and the white gladiola was also cut and placed as a cluster. No matter what you do with the white it acts as an eye grabber.

By using the materials in clusters, the groups appear more as the same size rather than tiny gomphrena dots with a large sunflower.  Finally, I placed the wispy willow celosia in a cluster at the top.

Not ideal, and the worst was that when I returned home after a few days, the whole thing had been thrown out. My crop saving will have to begin again!


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