The Clueless Gardener

"fanaticus sine potestas"

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

two tree peonies in a chicken pie dish

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Sunday, May 29, 2011

OMG, look what they made me do at flower arranging school

...imagine opening one's front door, and the flower delivery driver hands you this....what does one do???
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snowball, lilac, ammi

...ah, this is more like it...and from the yard, not the florist....
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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Clueless Florist

Yesterday I attended my first workshop on "Basic Floral Techniques."   I was "taught"  to arrange these pretty but commercially bloated roses, with leathery green ferny filler and wax flowers, into this bouquet. To quote the instructor, a professional florist, the more modern 'Martha Stewart' style arrangements (!) are not particularly encouraged in the trade.   Apparently, floristry-with-abandon isn't what the average customer wants....?   Channeling FTD rather than Constance Spry is the way to go.  But nevertheless,  I am enjoying the insider information, such as how to wire blossoms, use floral tape, etc.  Playing with this stuff is fun.  I have a feeling they won't be covering peonies or summer bouquets with nicotiana alatas, but that's OK.  People's aunties in their thousands aren't ordering those for their birthdays anyhow.  [Going to skip the class on adding Teddy Bears and Balloons.]

after bringing this forgettable rose arrangement home, I immediately tore it apart and rebuilt it into something I could stand!  Good practice, too.  Oops, no photo; I gave that bouquet away
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[Below, for contrast, a bouquet taught at a rival floristry class that I did NOT take.  sigh....]
This is an arrangement by Saipua floral designer Sarah Ryhanen, from her blog.  Hmmm, maybe I should just pony up and take her class instead ?

First Efforts...

wrist corsage attempt
After spending an hour taping a leaf behind individual blossoms, we were taught to tape a series of flowers onto this little aluminum flangey thing with an elastic band.  This becomes a wrist corsage.  My version is on the vertical side, but Teacher said it was OK!  Puffed up with pride, I hereby photograph it as it fades away before my eyes.  When I got home, I couldn't stop playing, so composed a bouttonnaire with one of the biggie bouquet roses and some flaccid baby's breath...  Maybe not Epic Fail, but definitely  Prom Over.

buttonhole attempt

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

here's lookin' at ya

My daffy love of this spring is the humble but lovely poet's narcissus,  Pheasant's Eye.  And golly, does it smell good! 

so many daffs

When I started planting on the hill, I tried always to get those crates of mixed leftovers offered by some bulb dealers.  It's such a joy to see all the different kinds, although I can barely identify any of them.


Bouquet picked at peak yesterday.  Today it rained.  Yay!
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Friday, May 13, 2011

paging Princess a new hat for you

perfect wedding fascinator?  plop this on!
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Thursday, May 12, 2011

you were never lovlier

I hate to keep harping on my clematis montana, but this is the best year it's ever had...I guess that vasty snowfall-cum-blizzard shook it up and it is loving having survived?  Thank you, Miss Jekyll, for pointing this plant out to me.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Ah, May

A ravishing peony, hangin' with astrantia and other pals, on me mantel.

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Thursday, May 05, 2011

o my darling, o my darling, o my darling clem----atis!

This is clemmie montana rubens...I think.
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Wednesday, May 04, 2011

an english bluebell wood

Green Shoots: Bluebells flickr group
Photo sans kind permission of the Guardian...ah, too gorgeous for words.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

tussie mussies always hit the spot!

These tiny bundles please me no end.  This one has goodies from the urban yard:  hellebore, clematis montana, bleeding heart, phlox, forget-me-not.  Hiding in there someplace are dear little sweet woodruff flowerlets.  Sigh.....

Don't forget to help our wiggly friends if they stray onto the pavement

Apparently, earthworms take advantage of rainstorms in order to move house and go to a new location.  Sometimes they don't get there in time, and start to dry up on the sidewalk.  This stabs me in the heart every time.  Ever since I was a kid,  I have always picked earthworms up and "saved" them by throwing them back into the dirt/grass/flowerbed nearby.  Of course, I had no idea if the spot I pitched them into is the spot where they wanted to go!  It's a little bit icky and slimy to do this, but it's a good deed indeed to save these industrious garden helpers.  How-to is illustrated below.