Four Floral Designs From Flower Shows

A floral design with wool, twigs, small leaves and yellow pom poms

Variegated geranium leaves, yellow pompons, wool swizzles and twigs make up one of my favourite designs I’ve seen at a flower show. Yes, it’s tiny and the florist hasn’t spent a fortune on flowers, but it wows me with its colours, poise and confidence.

The judges’ card noted some fault or other – from memory, it lacked flowers or content. I could quote a poem that is equally brief and perfect, but I’ll forbear. The brief might have been ‘Pack ‘Em In’, for all I know, in which case, this would have been highly commended:

Dish of flower buds and orchids for a wedding

Ivory, pink and hints of green lift a white floral centrepiece that would be perfect for a traditional summer wedding. Orchids, rosebuds, peony buds, chrysanthemums and lisianthus feature, with tiny sprigs of gypsophila and hebe, at a guess. I think the clusters of flowers and tiny green buds are Kalanchoe ‘Calandiva White’. Silver-grey mohair yarn trails delicately over. I enjoy the expertise shown here: the ability to create such an even height and the tapestry effect that prevents open ‘black holes’ that can appear when floral designs are photographed. 

Twenty four small pink rose buds clustered in a milk jug

At least two dozen buds have been packed into a silver milk jug, which gives an idea of their size. This pure and simple posy of buds was part of a bigger display at one of the flower shows, which explains why it seems to float on a sea of flowers and succulents. I’m giving a shout out to Oddment as I share this. She likes rosebuds as much as she likes words. If you ever check out the comments threads, you’ll surely have spotted her insightful observations (no pressure, Oddment!).

Mannequin with pink roses, lilac hydrangeas and orchids

Some of these roses were showing signs of age, but it’s amazing that a design like this can be kept fresh at all. Roses, carnations, hydrangeas, lavender, lisianthus and orchids created a shawl and bonnet for the mannequin. Beautifully judged shades of pink, green and lavender were given extra lift by a florescent lilac-pink uplighter.

I’d not like this design half as much were it not for the touches of green: the eucalyptus leaves, ferns, amaranthus and chrysanthemum that underline the garden theme. It would have been fun to see a live model dressed like this – well, fun for me, but less so for the model as flowers can be surprisingly heavy.

I had intended this to be a Wordless Wednesday post. That didn’t work out, did it? I’m linking to Cee’s Flower Of The Day, a cheery sunflower.

25 thoughts on “Four Floral Designs From Flower Shows

  1. Oddment says:

    Of course I had to follow the link here to see what this was about, and, as I scrolled down, reading, the pink rosebuds were revealed. Gasp! What a storybook touch to this snowy March morning! Thank you! Thanks also for those kind words. Speaking of which, I loved the observation about “poise and confidence” on that top arrangement. You nailed it.

      • Oddment says:

        That’s a good question. I think there is something about their not-quite-open state that is fascinating. They are totally what they will be and yet not quite. Then there are the details I hadn’t even noticed until I tried to draw them. I’d had no idea how intricate a small bud could be. I must think on this.

  2. Eunice says:

    Lovely photos, I like the first and third arrangements – I would say they are simple and understated, whereas the other two are far too fussy for me.

    • susurrus says:

      My second favourite is the mannequin. I didn’t get a great picture of it, but I like the form of the flowers and their colours. I wonder how the white arrangement would have progressed over time. If the buds were floating, that could be an interesting effect and you could pull out any that died without completely ruining the structure. Wedding arrangements just have to look perfect on a single day, so anything longer isn’t always a major consideration.

  3. Eliza Waters says:

    ‘Packing ’em in’ seems to be the fashion these days (which can make arrangements rather pricey). Give me the loose, gardeny look any day. 🙂

    • susurrus says:

      I’ll add my vote to yours for the gardeny look! I’ve always been impressed by the value professional flower designers place on their material and enjoyed seeing them carefully select each stem or sprig and twist it in place. I suppose at a flower show, there is added pressure to be over the top – the same often applies to wedding flowers. It may be that flower show sponsors provide more material than is really needed and florists don’t want to waste it.

  4. janesmudgeegarden says:

    Of course the rose arrangements are gorgeous: roses are just the blooms to take one’s breath away. But I like first one best. It is so different and has real panache. Those geranium leaves are perfect, toning the pink and yellow down and stopping it shouting at everyone.

  5. lorna smith says:

    Susan, I look forward to all your post. At retirement I moved go a tropical country, but I do miss the changing of the seasons and the wonderful variety of flowers that I cannot grow now. Liiiac and roses anyone.
    Thanks for your tutorials and…have you considered a book, coffee table or otherwise?
    Blessing to you

Comments are closed.