Is it February already? I have been so busy, I have neglected my blog a little. I would like to write a blog post every week, and I do have enough blog post ideas, but I never seem to have enough time. I don’t want this blog to become a task, it should be fun. But when you don’t write regularly, it doesn’t become a habit and you can easily forget about it altogether. The more you write, the easier it gets. So, here is another try.
This week, I want to show you how to make a simple flower arrangement of hyacinths and ranunculus inspired by the Flower Recipe Book.
In my last blog post, I told you about my new year’s resolutions, visit more gardens, grow more flowers, improve my photography, and learn how to arrange flowers. I haven’t visited any gardens yet, but I have ordered new dahlia tubers! I was partly happy with the varieties I grew last year, and will grow some of them again. The dahlias that turned out less useful for cutting, short-stemmed or with less sturdy stems, won’t make their appearance again. I have given the tubers to a friend who volunteers at a nearby community garden, so I can still visit them.
With so many forms and colours to choose from, it’s easy to spend hours on the internet looking for gorgeous dahlias that make the best cut flowers. Now you understand why I don’t have time to blog?
I won some seeds on Julies blog, ammi majus, honeywort and salvia and I am shopping for sweet pea seeds.
I have also been taking lots of photographs. I really enjoy it, and I try to take photographs every day. I am still looking for a good floral design class, though. It’s not easy. I love garden inspired bouquets, with ferns, greens and foraged branches. Floral arrangements with a wild, romantic look. I haven’t come across a floral design school that teaches this style of arranging yet. The examples I have seen look too stiff and unnatural. But I am sure I will find a workshop I like, and in the meantime, I will practice flower arranging at home.
My favourite Christmas present was The Flower Recipe Book by Alethea Harampolis and Jill Rizzo of Studio Choo. It’s a beautifully illustrated and practical guide to flower arranging. Studio Choo is a San Francisco-based floral design studio that creates wild and sculptural flower arrangements, just the way I like it. The Flower Recipe book was published in 2013 and is the no. 1 bestseller in ‘flowers and gardening’ on Amazon, so you may already be familiar with it. If not, I can highly recommend it. The photographs are beautiful and even if you never make an arrangement, it’s a lovely read and a gorgeous coffee table book.
The book features 43 flowers in alphabetical order, from allium to zinnia, and more than 100 how-to’s for arrangements created with these flowers. Arrangements can be made of just a single flower variety or a number of different flowers. As in a cookbook, each flower recipe provides an ingredients list, which blooms and how many, and step-by-step instructions.
I love the style of arrangements in this book, they encourage you to experiment with lots of different combinations. The inspiration comes from combining unusual materials with a few flowers to create a natural, garden-style bouquet. I have never used herbs before, but I love the idea of adding fragrance to an arrangement.
Just a small critique, they are known for their seasonal arrangements and they prefer to use flowers that are locally grown and in season. But the recipe for a tulip arrangement includes amaryllis and dahlias. Spring, winter and autumn in one arrangement. Another thing, but this is personal, I don’t like the use of succulents in bouquets.
Now on with the arrangement. I first tried my hand at making a proper floral arrangement using dahlias from my cutting garden. Obviously, there are no dahlias at the moment. Can you believe the only thing blooming in the garden right now are hellebores? I must add some more winter flowering plants. If you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comments.
The flower arrangement I decided to try is this simple hyacinth and ranunculus bouquet. Hyacinths are real spring bulbs. A lot are grown in pots and they really bring spring into your home, I love the scent. They are also available as cut flowers for a few months and easily last 10 days in a vase. I made some adjustments to the arrangement in the book because I didn’t have any mint, here is my version:
3 branches of berried ivy
5 stems of hyacinth
5 stems of ranunculus
- Choose a vessel, the book suggests using a creamer in a dark shade that contrasts with the flowers’ springlike pastel colours. I used a vintage ceramic vase.
- Trim the greens and add them to the vessel so that the bottom leaves rest on the rim. I could have stopped right here, don’t you just love the glossy ivy leaves?
- Remove all leaves from the hyacinths. Trim and add the hyacinth stems in a low cluster to one side of the vessel.
- Trim and add four stems of ranunculus to the left side of the vessel so that the blooms line up with the top of the hyacinth. Finish by trimming and nestling the other stem of ranunculus among the hyacinths.
I was really pleased with the way it turned out, what do you think? Do you make your own flower arrangements? Where do you get your inspiration, and is this book something for you?
Buy The Flower recipe book on Amazon:
Dutch readers can buy the Flower Recipe book here/Nederlandse lezers kunnen het boek hier bestellen:
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