21 November 2014

A Bunch for the Weekend - # 30 - Pink Tulips



This week on 'A Bunch for the Weekend' - I'm featuring two kinds of bright pink tulips.

The tulip season nowadays seem to last from late autumn to late spring. I now see tulips at all my usual hunting grounds. To begin with I didn't want to buy any and tried to tell myself - "No Ingrid! It's too early for tulips!" 

But now I can't resist them any longer...!

I love tulips and buying these bright pink ones would almost make you believe it's spring - instead of dark November days leading up to Christmas.



You'll need:

- 2 bunches of tulips - in two closely related colours - I have chosen two different pink colours
- 2 similar glass containers with a fairly narrow neck - I'm using two vintage milk bottles
- a small lantern, a dark green basket and some fabric with an autumn theme


For conditioning the flowers - you'll also need:

- florists snippers or scissors
- a florist bucket



As always - you need to condition the flowers - remove the lower leaves on tulips as well as any that are damaged. Cut the stems at an angle - to increase water absorption. Put in a clean container with cold water and leave in a cool place over night or at least a few hours before making the final arrangement.



Put about seven to nine stems in each container depending on size. Keep the height of the flowers in proportion to the vase. Too tall and the whole arrangement will look like it's going to topple over and if they are too short is not going to look in proportion - especially with tulips that you would not have resting on the edge of the vase.

In contrast to the spring like tulips I have added a small vintage lantern - lovely when lit for those long November evenings, an old basket in a dark green colour and a grey and black fabric with a classic autumn theme - trees with no leaves.  



Have a Happy Floral Friday and a Great Weekend!

~ xoxo ~

Ingrid

[Styling and Photography © Ingrid Henningsson for Of Spring and Summer.]


19 November 2014

FLOWERS by ingrid and titti - Autumn Afternoon Tea



This time on 'FLOWERS by ingrid and titti' - the theme is 'Autumn Afternoon Tea'.

November sits between the last rush of autumn flowers, bright berries and colourful leaves and "Not quite ready to do Christmas yet". Or at least I'm not ready!

My inspiration came from this and the fact that I love getting cosy under a warm blanket with a good book. And like here light a candle, make a delicious cup of rose hip tea and enjoy a piece of cherry tart - just some of life's little pleasures.


The bright orange Chinese lantern are dried and still on their stems. They will stay this amazing colour for a long time. But keep them out of any strong sunlight - or they will fade.

Pick them when they are in full colour on a dry day. Tie with a rubber-band and hang in a dark, dry place for about two weeks. Once dried you can make arrangements using them on their own or mixed with other dried flowers. 


A simple willow wreath is beautiful just as it is or you can obviously decorate it in all kinds of different ways depending on season. 


Here are a few stems of dried Miscanthus grass - tied with some black twine. They are very easy to dry - I just put them in a vase with no water and that has worked for me every time. 


The very bright red cups and saucers I inherited from my grandmother in Sweden. They are called 'Karneval' - made in the 1930's by the Swedish pottery company Gefle.

I think this is a lovely time of year and I enjoy that little bit of a lull before the mad rush to get ready for Christmas starts. 



Titti Malmberg - my collaborator on FLOWERS - and who is based in Sweden - is also featuring an 'Autumn Afternoon Tea' over on her blog HWIT BLOGG - so please go over and see what she has done.

You can see all our FLOWERS posts HERE and also on Pinterest.


Have a Lovely Floral Day!

~ xoxo ~ 

Ingrid 


[Styling and photography © Ingrid Henningsson for FLOWERS and Of Spring and Summer.]


17 November 2014

Tiny Blooms - # 2 - Pink Chrysanthemums



I'm back with 'Tiny Blooms' - my column that is about small arrangements. Small or tiny might be the size of the container or it could be the size of the flowers or the amount of stems in each container. It will also be that the arrangement is minimal both in presentation and that it's quick and easy to do. Apart from that there are no other strict rules - I allow myself a lot of creative freedom!

This arrangement is really all about being quick and easy! I have used five multi-stemmed little pink Chrysanthemums and a small to medium sized vase with quite a narrow neck.

The vase is made by Hornsea Pottery in 1963. They were known as Slipware vases. They have a painted grey band which is hand decorated with zig-zags in white slip clay.

While conditioning the flowers - I stripped off all the leaves and some of the lower little stems. When ready to make the final arrangement I measured the stems next to the vase and made the final cut. You might have to cut off a few more of the lower stems depending on how many there are towards the bottom of the stem. By removing leaves and lower stems I was able to fit more stems into the vase - creating a nicely domed arrangement.   




Multi-stemmed flowers take up more space in the vase and the individual flowers are at different heights. This means that when you make the arrangement you might have to compromise a little bit. For example in a narrow necked vase it's hard to to have both a full, tightly packed arrangement and having the flowers rest on the edge of the vase as you might normally do.   

So, what I ended up with is a nicely domed arrangement, the flower stems in proportion to the height of the narrow-necked vase - with a little bit of stem showing above the rim of the vase.

But - despite all that - it was still quick and easy!!  



Have a Lovely Floral Day!

~ xoxo ~

Ingrid 



[Styling and Photography © Ingrid Henningsson for Of Spring and Summer.] 

14 November 2014

A Bunch for the Weekend - # 29 - Dried Hydrangeas




This week on 'A Bunch for the Weekend' - I'm featuring some dried Hydrangeas.

Hydrangeas makes beautiful dried flowers that lasts for "years". Well, in the end they do become so dried and fragile - and dusty - that you have to throw them out.

Hydrangeas are very easy to grow in a garden - so its worth trying to grow them if you can and have the space.




There is a lot written about the right time to pick the Hydrangeas if you are going to dry them. You can also find many different methods on how to do it.

Here is a link to the best article I have been able to find. Its by the American TV presenter, lifestyle expert and author Mar Jennings. He explains much better then I could about the whole process. 


Once dried Hydrangeas keep their colour for a very long time - so even if you have to buy the flowers at a florist - they can be quite expensive - its worth it because you get so much pleasure out of them. 

This is my last bunch of dried Hydrangeas and I'm very pleased with them - as they have retained so much of their beautiful colour. Now when there is less to pick in the garden and less flowers available its nice to have some dried flowers on display.



Have a Happy Floral Friday!

~ xoxo ~

Ingrid

[Styling and Photography © Ingrid Henningsson for Of Spring and Summer.]

12 November 2014

Arrange Your Flowers! - # 5 - How To Choose Your Cut Flowers




This is the fifth in my Do-It-Yourself series of 'Arrange Your Flowers!' - and it's about how to choose your cut flowers and what to look out for when you want to buy some pretty flowers for your home. 

If you have been following my blog posts for a while you might recognise some of this because I have written about it before - but this is a revised and updated version - so bear with me and stay tuned!



1. 

There are many factors involved when choosing and buying flowers for your home. So think colour, size and budget - as well as why, where, what and when.

Why?

Are you buying flowers to decorate a dining table for a dinner party or maybe you are buying flowers for someone special? Is it flowers for the weekend to go on a table in your living room or maybe just flower for you because you feel like it and you saw some in the supermarket on your way home from work?



Where? 

Where are you going to put the flowers? What room? If you are having guests it's always nice to have flowers in the hallway to welcome your guests - but its also nice to see some flowers when you come home after a long day. 

A vase of seasonal flowers on the dining or kitchen table will make it a treat to sit down to eat or have a cup of tea - even if its just for you.

Little arrangements in the bedroom or bathroom makes those rooms feel more special. Just make sure your guests don't have hayfever! 

You might want to think about exactly where you are going to to place the flowers. Are you looking for flowers that will go with a particular colour scheme? Also think about what colour vase or container you are going to use. 



What?

What are you looking for? Is it a special look or you don't mind so much what it is as long as the flowers are fresh, pretty and has lots of colour.

Consider the size of the arrangement - are you thinking big and bold or small and dainty? Big is probably more suited for a hallway, if you have the space, or a livingroom. A smaller arrangement looks perfect in a bedroom.

If its for the middle of a dinner table think about the height of the arrangement. You guests should be able to see each other across the table in order to chat. Also avoid strongly scented flowers for a dinner table - their scent can compete with the aroma of the food.  

For large arrangement you need large vases and containers - and you need a large budget - unless you live in the country and have your own cutting garden.

Your budget is important - cut flowers can be expensive. Buying a few stems of something really special and adding lots of green foliage will be one way to cut cost. 

Remember when buying flowers from a florist - the longer the stem the more expensive - so long stemmed roses will always cost a lot of money.


  
When?

Buying flowers that are in season is also a way to cut cost. Out of season flowers will have been flown in from far away - probably had a stopover in Holland before being distributed throughout Europe. In America a lot of flowers come from countries in South America like Colombia and Ecuador. 

Farmers' markets is one way to buy seasonal flowers at a reasonable price. Yes, the choice of flowers will be more limited and they will only be available during certain times of the year - but you know that they are grown by local farmers and therefore not travelled very far.



2.

When you buy cut flowers - have a good look at the flowers - just to make sure they are in good condition. 

Take your time - don't be rushed to make up your mind about what flowers, what colours and how many stems. If they are already in bunches wrapped in cellophane - look at the bottom of the stems  - and avoid any that has started going brown. 

Look for straight stems, fresh green leaves  - avoid any flowers with wilted, yellow or brown leaves or flowers that are shedding their petals. Also avoid flowers with floppy heads or petals that are starting to go brown at the edges.

Look for flowers with stems that are still in bud - and the buds should show the colour of the petals just breaking through.

There are some flowers that you should avoid buying when only in tight green buds such as peonies, poppies, roses, dahlias and irises as they will probably never open. 

Avoid flowers that has started shedding their pollen - loose pollen is a sure sign that the flowers are nearing the end of their life.

Ensure the flowers are well wrapped for the journey home. It will protect them from any fluctuating temperatures.

Arriving home with your flowers remove the wrapping as soon as you get home to prevent any build-up of condensation. Also remove any ties or elastic bands and make sure you condition the flowers - as they will need to be put in water as soon as possible.




***********

Here are links to previous 'Arrange Your Flowers!'







Have a Creative Floral Day!

~ xoxo ~

Ingrid

[Styling and photography © Ingrid Henningsson for Of Spring and Summer.]


10 November 2014

Take 3 Flowers! - # 2 - Pink Tulips and Ranunculus with Eucalyptus Foliage



This is the second blog post in the series 'Take 3 Flowers' - where I will show you how to make easy but beautiful and stylish flower arrangements - just using three different flowers. Often one of the three will be some kind of foliage.

Using just three flowers will sometimes be a challenge - but it will also keep the cost down. Cut flowers can be expensive but foliage on the other hand tends to be cheep. You can use lots of it to help fill out the arrangement and to provide support and structure for the other flowers. 

I loved the contrast between the strong pink of the tulips and the Ranunculus; and the silver grey of the Eucalyptus leaves.

You'll need: 

- 9 stems of dark pink tulips
- 7 stems of dark pink Ranunculus
- 12 short stems of Eucalyptus leaves or similar silver grey foliage
- a fairly large vase or container - in this case I have used a florist's zinc bucket


Tulips are starting to appear at flowers stalls on London street corners - and they come in all kinds of yummy and delicious colours.


And also finding Ranunculus in similar colour to the tulips - I didn't have too hesitate.

Pink and grey is a lovely combination - so the grey-green Eucalyptus leaves were perfect.



For conditioning the flowers - you'll also need:

- florists snippers or scissors
- a florist bucket

As always - condition the flowers by removing any leaves that would end up below the water line in the vase. Cut the stems at an angle - to increase water absorption. Put in a clean container with tepid water and leave in a cool, dark place over night or at least a few hours before making the final arrangement.

Sorry, about always repeating this last bit - but it's probably the most important thing you can do to make your flowers last longer! So I'm afraid you have to put up with me always going on about it.


Start by cutting down the the Eucalyptus into smaller stems. They should not be too long - you want the flowers to sit above the foliage.  You'll need between 10 and 15 little stems - depending on the size of container. First line them around the edges and then fill in the middle with the rest of the stems.

Put the vase at the edge of the work surface and measure the height of the flowers before making the final cut. The Ranunculus should sit just above the foliage - but you can cut the tulips a bit shorter as they will continue to grow in the vase.  


A bowl of pink raffia! I love raffia and use it all the time to tie flowers and I tie it around vases as containers as decoration; I also use it instead of string or ribbons when I wrap presents.


In among the flowers and the pink raffia I have placed two little mini zinc watering cans. 

The evenings are getting darker and longer and its the time of year when its nice to light some candles. Have used some vintage mini tart tins with fluted edges to hold some tea lights. 

So here you have some flowers in strong colours and some little candles to brighten up the dark autumn evenings.



Have a Lovely Floral Monday!

See you later in the week!

~ xoxo ~

Ingrid


[Styling and photography © Ingrid Henningsson for Of Spring and Summer.]

7 November 2014

Sarah Raven - How to Make a Stunning Autumn Table Wreath


Sarah Raven is one of my favourite gardeners. To begin with Sarah trained as a doctor, then as a florist before becoming a gardener, a BBC Gardner's World presenter, a teacher, the writer of many both gardening and cookbooks and she runs her own business. I have done some of her workshops and I can tell you she's also a lovely lady and lots of fun.

In this brand new video Sarah is showing you how to make a wreath for the table - and she is using some new and exciting ingredients. The wreath has both a lot of colour and will work for the whole festive season - so start making plans!





I love the combination of plants and foliage in this wreath and I hope you like it too!

Have a Lovely Floral Friday and a Great Weekend!

~ xoxo ~

Ingrid

PS. I'll be back with 'A Bunch for the Weekend' next week - I'm just having a little mini break.