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flowers a-zsarah from blossom and branch

flowers a-z: s is for snapdragon

by SarahB


Greetings from sunny Southern California! I have returned to my hometown of San Diego for a little mini-break and am lucky enough to be posting from my very favorite flower shop, Green Fresh Florals. My dear friend Carlos Franco owns this magical place and (along with his trusted head designer, Travis Rogers) has been creating fabulous works of art on the cutting edge of floral and event design since 2004. From the unique Green studio, I present the letter “s” for snapdragon!


At the Green studio, you will find fresh florals and chic giftware along with two of the best designers anywhere. The design style at Green is sleek and modern, often using saturated colors and interesting textures. I was greatly inspired and influenced by Carlos when we worked together at another shop years ago. And leave it to Carlos to have an unusual hue of snapdragon on hand at the studio.


These snapdragons are incredible. I was so awed by the “sunset” spectrum of the blossoms. The most common snapdragon colors are white, yellow, red, pink and burgundy. Snapdragons are grown primarily in Mediterranean climates and in California (Southern and Central California climates closely mimic the Mediterranean). Although the formal name for this flower is antirrhinum, the colloquial name “snapdragon” is descriptive; the blossoms resemble the head of a dragon, and when pinched open and closed, they appear to “snap,” like the mouth of a beast. Follow along with me after the break as I show you a fun trick for decorating the inside of a clear, glass vase and create an arrangement inspired by a Southern California desert sunset. — Sarah

The post continues after the jump…

The Green studio has such an eclectic mix of elements, many of which center around a desert garden theme.

With this array of beautiful blooms at my disposal, I decided to work in the desert theme using the fresh sunset colors of pink and orange snapdragons.

The succulents, air plants and tropicals section of the shop evoke the native Southern California landscape — hot and dry!

For a quick way to jeuje up a clear, glass vase, begin with a variegated tropical ti leaf (or any waxy leaf available that can be submerged in water).

Simply dunk the leaf into the vase and form it around the edge of the glass. This works best with a rounded vase, although it can be done with an angular vase, as well. Repeat until the entire glass becomes opaque with leaves.

Voila! Your newly “wallpapered” vessel awaits. Designing in this vase requires a bit more focus. Be sure to place greens and blooms carefully inside the leaves, so as not to disturb your pattern.

First add a network of greens. Here, I went with a protea green to conjure that desert feel.

Add the happy snapdragons. Because they are a lean “tubular flower” (as opposed to a “face flower”), you can add them at the beginning of your arrangement. They help provide structure along with the greens.

Nestle in other blooms along the “sunset” spectrum: “desert” roses, dahlia, fuzzy celosia and mini green hydrangea.

Wild and free! There is a lot to take in visually here — DIY container, lanky snapdragons, blooming roses and a desert palette.

Just love these ti leaves! Please make your arrangement some version of your own sunny vacation fantasy. Most important (as always), experiment with textures, shapes and hues. Join me back here in two weeks when I will have returned to Big Bad New York City and “t” will be for . . .

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