I really got down and funky for this week’s Sound Garden. Love Will Keep Us Together, the 1975 debut from Captain and Tennille (husband and wife team, Daryl Dragon and Toni Tennille) is a buoyant, smooth-pop delight. The album includes the hit single, Love Will Keep Us Together, which reached #1 in the summer of 1975 a received a Grammy for Record of the Year. The album includes original music by Captain and Tenille (mostly fluffy, love songs) and three important covers: 1) Love Will Keep Us Together – actually written by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield; 2) God Only Knows – famously written by Brian Wilson and Tony Asher and 3) I Write the Songs – written by Bruce Johnston and later popularized by Barry Manilow. Although I am a huge fan of this cotton candy genre and this album, in particular, until I researched for this post, I didn’t know that bothDaryl Dragon and Toni Tennille are former members of the Beach Boys. The ethereal Beach Boys influence is certainly identifiable in their music.
This happens to be the first album I ever had as a kid. I played the single “Love Will Keep Us Together” on my yellow, plastic Fischer-Price record player and sang every utterance at the top of my lungs. My parents actually have tape recordings of me at age 2 belting out this tune with sheer abandon. I definitely struggled with the lyrics at times, but the tapes are a wonderful time capsule. To boot, my family had an English Bulldog growing up (look at those sweet babies on the cover – Daryl and Toni’s actual pets!) and I currently have an 11-year old Bully named Ruby. My connection with this album and the completely iconic ’70s album cover is enduring.
Follow along with me after the jump as I demonstrate a three-sided arrangement using very few greens, in an amber glass urn. -Sarah
From Left: dusty miller, thistle, fiddlehead fern curl, jasmine.
From Left: scabiosa, red ranunculus, spray rose, blush ranunculus, anemone.
My floral inspiration was influenced by both the palette of the album cover – the red and blue hues of Captain and Tennille’s outfits, the blush and black spots on the bulldog faces – and the laid-back 70’s era. I selected blooms with a wildflower look and aimed to create a free and easy arrangement with a lot of movement.
I chose an amber glass urn that picked up on the carmel colors of the bulldogs and felt like something you might run across at a garage sale in 1975. I covered the mouth of the vase with a clear, floral tape grid before starting the design. The grid is especially helpful in this container, as with a pedestal urn, the more shallow bell shape can lead the blooms to spill out over the sides when you are trying to create your arrangement.
I started, as I often do, with a foundation of greens and foliage. This week, my only “greens” are actually groovy grey dusty miller. I thought the grey worked better with this palette than forest or apple green. The thistle were so substantial and gorgeous, that I amassed them in the vase, laying out a perfect “skeleton” for my design. They struck me as very nautical – ideal for the Captain.
I began to fill in with some of the softer blooms, like scabiosa and garden roses. Notice that I am designing the arrangement flush against a backdrop. At home, this might be an arrangement that you have on an entryway table or on a buffet. I concentrated face flowers on the front and both sides, but the back is primarily comprised of greens. This is also a great way to design on a budget: if you have only a few expensive blooms, place them in prominent spots and display the arrangement against a wall. Why use 12 ranunculus filling in the back of an arrangement, when seeing just a few up front does the trick?
I achieved a more layered blush tone by adding the ranunculus. Even within the same basic color, I like to have a slight range of hue to lend even more texture and interest.
Cherry red ranunculus, anemones and garden-fresh jasmine complete the design. On the bottom right at the faded photograph taped to a vase, you might notice Ruby the Bulldog glowering at you. That’s my girl.
Get right out of town with that Japanese ranunculus – a true indulgence! I leave you with a little morsel from our friends Captain and Tennille:
“Young and beautiful, but someday your looks will be gone
When the others turn you off, who’ll be turning you on?
I will, I will, I WILL, I WILL.”
Join me back here in two weeks for another musical floral mashup!