Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Autumn Glory - playful simplicity


broccoli flowers
As I was "refreshing" the original Autumn Glory arrangement (see 11/8/2012 Post), I was struck by how beautiful and unique the delicate little Broccoli flowers were. Although I have always liked these flowers, I actually never gave them more than a smile as I passed by them in my garden (yellow does that to me! even the mellow yellow Volkswagen bug...).  These flowers usually look a little messy growing atop old broccoli stalks and they appear somewhat inconsequential from afar.

But as I was cleaning and prepping them for my re-arrangement of the original Autumn Glory, I realized how complex and beautiful they were.  The green part that we eat are actually little flower buds.  As the flower head matures, each bud elongates and slowly opens into a simple, four-petal, tiny yellow flower on a delicate stem.  And before long, large clusters of little yellow flowers reach up towards the sun.  As these flowers mature, seed pods begin to form.  As they grow, these pods elongate and get fuller as the seeds inside get bigger. 
edible flowers 
I love the fact that I can see the entire seeding process all in one cluster!
By the way, these flowers are edible.  I am a terrible cook, but I love to dress up my finished dishes (I think presentation enhances the tastebuds, or at least I hope so).  I like to decorate my platters with leaves and flowers, so I love the fact that I can add some color and interest to my food while adding a subtle refreshing flavor.  Remember to grow broccoli next Spring and Fall (they are a cold weather vegetable).


beauty sometimes can be missed
take time and look around you

Sometimes, all you want is a little color to complement or draw attention to a beautiful photograph or to refresh a forgotten corner of the living room.  A very simple and understated fresh flower arrangement will help you accomplish that.  Fresh flowers have a way of drawing people's attention to them.  These clusters of Broccoli flowers have the odd composition that you need: dark green flower buds, yellow flowers, and light green seed pods.  They are also perfect because each element has its own texture and shape, creating depth to the arrangement.  Notice the vase has its own unique shape and colors.  In addition, it sits on an elaborately carved wooden base.  These two provide a stark contrast to the simplicity of the flower arrangement above them. Remember to resist the temptation to pack this vase with too many stems.  Imagine you need to let air flow through.  In doing so, you will help to accentuate each element's unique contribution to the arrangement and bring life and balance to it.

the simple arrangement enhances a wedding photo of my sister with my daughters

harmonious home

As I add to this blog, I would like to take you a step beyond creating harmonious arrangements to creating a harmonious home.  In a future post, because many of the concepts used in flower arranging are similar to those used in interior design, I have asked Andy Kilbury, an interior designer from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to share with you some basic concepts in interior design that you will be able to apply to the overall home environment.  She will be an occasional guest-writer on this blog to help you decide what types of arrangements to create and how to round out the visual aspects surrounding where you place your arrangements in your home.  So watch this space for her first post! 

in the meantime....

have fun
please send me pictures
of your arrangements 



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