flowerssarah from blossom and branch

summer florals: wearing white one last time

by SarahB


As we begin the Labor Day weekend, I am prone to ponder the moratorium on “wearing white” after Labor Day.  I am a relatively newly relocated East Coast-er and I am just beginning to grow accustomed to the change of seasons and all that implies.  The transition from summer to fall brings subtle shifts in weather, emotions, expectations and perhaps most importantly – fashion and design :)  I will pack away my favorite white pants (that have the perfect hint of stretch) and nautical themed tops, but I will keep the memory of my first swim in the Atlantic and first Yankees game (Yay?  Boo?) close to the surface.

Here, one final ode to summer. A last celebration of white in all its glory, as expressed through flowers.  With the assistance of the sensational photographer Jennifer Davis, I treated these soft, white arrangements like little supermodels and set them about to strut their stuff on a blazing, hot day in a city park.  Farewell, summer. –Sarah

CLICK HERE for more images and Sarah’s how-to for creating this arrangement after the jump!

I love these modern, cube-shaped, white glass vases.  I loaded them up with dahlia (a reason to love the coming of fall!), ranunculus, tulips, spray roses, hydrangea, stock, calla lilies, orchids, lisianthus, sedum, snowberry and the “preppy” striped snow-on-the-mountain.

To achieve this look with your own design:
o    Select flowers that are as fresh as possible, even when choosing from a grocery store or bodega.  Pull bunches or individual stems out of the buckets and inspect the leaves and stems for yellowing, breakage or slime before buying.  Make sure the blooms are tight and don’t be shy…ask the shopkeeper when the flowers came in.  People are generally honest ☺
o    Choose a wide variety of flowers for visual interest – at least 4-5 different types of blooms in an arrangement looks sophisticated and can actually save money (you can combine less expensive and more expensive bunches in the same arrangement).
o    Mix carnations and ranunculus in with more expensive dahlia or calla lilies.
o    Mix open, round headed “face flowers” (like hydrangea, lisianthus) with tubular blooms like stock.
o    Try using a range of white and ivory shades to lend texture to the florals.
o    Clean all blooms free of leaves and blossoms that will fall below the water line.
o    Use a clean, white container in a sleek shape.  I like the contrast of a square or rectangular shape to pair with the soft, fluffy look of these florals.  As always, I recommend a place like IKEA for inexpensive modern vases.  You could even use a ceramic container or planter pot (check for holes!).
o    Cut the flowers on an angle and cut them short, so the head of the bloom sits just above the neck of the vase.  This puts the bloom on center stage (instead of the stem) and creates an abundant look with fewer flowers!
o    Use very few, if any, greens or filler…if you create a tight, “pave style” design (with the blooms cut short) you will not have to fill in.  You can dazzle with the beauty of your main attraction flowers.

Spectacular afternoon light glowed behind our “models.”

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