20 August 2014

FLOWERS by ingrid and titti - Edible Bouquets

Edible bouquets might not be the first thing you think of when wanting to do a flower arrangement.

My collaborator Titti and I did not so long ago - 'Edible Flowers' and 'Bouquets of Herbs' - and now we wanted to do 'Edible Bouquets'. 

A bit of a challenge to say the least - but both Titti and I like a challenge. I have to say that I went from thinking in the beginning "This is never going to work" - to having so much fun playing with flowers, vegetables, fruit and berries.

I started off by going to my Wednesday and Saturday farmer's markets and bought both flowers and a whole lot of different vegetables.

Sunflowers was the first thing I bought. You can eat the seeds, the buds, the stalk and the petals. 

BUT - please do some research before you eat any part of a flower!

Like usual I conditioned the flowers by removing leaves and cutting the stalks at an angle and leaving in a clean container with cool water for a few hours.

I also did something that I have done many times before - I pulled off all the yellow 'petals' - leaving the central dark brown disc of tiny flowers.

It almost becomes a different flower and it's something that works very well if you don't want the strong yellow to compete with other colours in the arrangement.

I made two arrangements with the sunflowers - one with just the sunflowers on their own and one where I mixed them with Swiss chard, spring-onions, fennel tops and a little bit of trailing golden hops down the side. 

It was very different buying vegetables to display and photograph as suppose to cook with. When you buy for cooking you mainly buy for taste and colour and any small bad or bruised bit you just cut off - well, that wouldn't look very good in a photograph - so you have to look for vegetables with as few blemishes as possible and you also have to buy more then you need - so there are some extra just in case things don't go according to plan.

It also became clear to me early on that it was not a traditional flower arrangement that I wanted to do with all the vegetables, fruit and berries. Instead I went for making several small individual arrangements in jam jars. Then putting them all together to make one large display. 

I tied a few strands of raffia with a simple knot - around the carrots, the Swiss chard and the broad beans and plonked them into old jam jars. 


I also walked around my own garden to see what I could find there that was edible. I found some golden hops, elderflower berries and bunches of grapes on the Vitis vinifera 'Purpurea'. 

Elderflower berries are quite beautiful with their dark almost black berries and purple stems - and putting some in a jam jar makes a simple but interesting arrangement.

It's obviously a good year for grapes on garden vines. But 'edible' - well not right now - it's probably too early - they are still very, very sour - but look stunning - just arranged on vine-leaves and a few added corkscrew tendrils.

In all I have used:
- sunflowers - with yellow petals removed
- Swiss chard - the one with bright red, yellow and orange stems
- carrots - I used orange carrots but it would have been nice to have found some heritage purple and yellow ones
- long red sweet bell peppers
- fennel tops
- spring-onions with their long green tops intact
- golden hops - long tendrils with flowers and leaves
- elderflower berries
- grapes from the vine Vitis vinifera
- vine leaves and some of the long curly tendrils  

Also go over and see what Titti on HWIT BLOGG has done. We always do the same theme but our posts are quite different in character - so you'll get inspiration from two directions.

Here are two links to previous FLOWERS - Pinterest and here

Have a Wonderful Floral Day!

xoxo Ingrid

17 August 2014

Florets - Floral Quote - # 72 - by Jane Packer

"Scabiosa were once my very favourite flower - I just couldn't believe the detail of each fragile flowerhead. This was back at the very beginning of my career when there wasn't as big a choice of flowers as there is now. Even now, when I see the first scabiosa of the season I can't help but smile. I am reminded of my past love for them and I always take a bunch home where I can admire them all day"

~ Jane Packer ~

[Jane Packer: (1959-2011) British florist and founder of Jane Packer Flowers and flower school, author of thirteen books.]
[Quote from: At Home with Flowers by Jane Packer.]
[Flowers: Pink Scabiosa/Pincushion flowers.]
[Vase: Swedish vintage aluminium coffee pot.]
[Styling and photography © Ingrid Henningsson for Of Spring and Summer.]  

I'm back from my summer break and will be posting some more lovely 'Florets' - floral quotes by florists, garden writers and other flower lovers. I hope you'll enjoy them!

Wishing You a Wonderful Floral Sunday!

xoxo Ingrid

15 August 2014

A Bunch for the Weekend - # 17 - Echinops

I'm back after the summer with my weekly post 'A Bunch for the Weekend' - and this week I'm featuring Echinops - a fabulous and fun flower.

Echinops is a perennial found in hot, gravelly slopes and dry grassland. Its native to Central and Southern Europe, Asia, India and some parts of Africa.

The plant has round, stiff flowers in a metallic purple blue colour. They are very long-lasting both in the boarder and in the vase.

The common name for them is 'Globe thistle' and the name Echinops is from the Greek 'echinos' which means hedgehog.
They are also good for cutting and drying and it's usually available during late summer and early autumn.

For this very quick and easy arrangement you'll need:

- 7 Echinops flower heads
- a round-shaped vase with a narrow neck

To condition the flowers remove all leaves - you want a very clean and lean look. Cut the stems at an angle to maximize the water uptake. Put in a clean container - in a cool place over night or at least a few hours - before making the final arrangement.

For the final arrangement - cut the stems at slightly different heights and arrange them so that you can appreciate each individual flower. 

For a vase I have used a contemporary vase originally sold by Habitat - but this one I found in a local charity store.

I thought it was a perfect match both in shape and colour. Round just like the globular flowers and in a similar purple blue colour.

The vase also has a lace pattern under the glaze giving it an interesting texture. 

I have used the Echinops on their own - but they are a great addition to mixed arrangements as well - with their interesting shape and texture.

Have a Wonderful Floral Friday!

I hope you have had or are still having a great summer. Here in Northern Europe we have had glorious weather - hot and sunny days and long, warm and balmy evenings. Just the perfect weather for spending days on the beach, in the garden or the park.

xoxo Ingrid

6 August 2014

FLOWERS by ingrid and titti - Flowers in Baskets

Baskets are very forgiving and can hide many sins and they come in all kinds of shapes, sizes and materials. Flowers that are already planted in pots often come in not so pretty plastic pots. If the arrangement is for a dinner party or you only want to keep the plant indoors for as long as it's flowering - a temporary solution is to pop the whole thing in a basket. 
I've been working on this blog post while I'm away from home - so I have not had access to all my usual props. Even so - where I'm staying there are dozens of flea markets every week during the summer and I've had so much fun visiting lots of them.

I found three very different baskets - a large rusty metal basket, a new small tightly woven basket - light in colour and a beautiful vintage one - used and weathered with lots of patina.

I'm staying out in the country where there are very few florists and no flower markets or flower stalls. It has also been very dry so most things growing in the gardens are already past their best.
What you can find is a lot of potted plants and I picked up a beautiful potted pink hydrangea and some blue Campanula.

Both plants can be planted out in the garden once they have finished flowering.

You'll need to protect the base of the basket - so put the pot on a saucer or in a bowl to collect any water draining out of the pot. 

The beautiful little blue cup is by the Swedish potter Lotta Zerrander. I love the blue colour of the glaze and the abstract leaf pattern on the side. 

You'll might also need to raise the pots to sit higher up in the basket - use anything that is the right height for positioning the flowers a bit above the edge of the basket.

In the case of the wire basket - I lined the basket with some pretty fabric as well as using a few kitchen bowls to raise the flowers to the right height. Everything well hidden by the fabric and all contained within the basket.

Using baskets is a quick and very easy solution - and can be adapted for all kinds of situations. 

My collaborator Titti Malmberg over on HWIT BLOGG is also featuring baskets - so go over to her blog and see what she is up to.

Here is a link to all the previous FLOWERS Titti and I have done.

You can also find all the images on my Pinterest.

Have a Wonderful Floral Day!

I hope you are still having a lovely summer!

I will be back next week with a more normal posting schedule. 

xoxo Ingrid 

25 July 2014

A Bunch for the Weekend - # 16 - Pink Dahlias

This week on 'A Bunch for the Weekend' - I'm featuring pink Dahlias.

Dahlia is a tuberous plant and native to Mexico and Central America. There are 1,500 different varieties and they come in all kinds of sizes, shapes and in an amazing array of vivid colours. The varying sizes are from dinner-plate-sized to small button-size flowers.

Dahlias are great as cut flowers - but make sure they look fresh when you buy them or they will not last very long. Outer petals should be firm, not shrivelled, and the foliage should feel crisp.

During the summer months mix them with other summer flowers and towards the autumn they will mix perfectly with other autumn flowers.

On the other hand they are stunning on their own - and I have made an arrangement just using these gorgeous pink Dahlias in an old terracotta pot. 

You'll need: 
- 12-15 flower heads
- a terracotta pot
- a jam jar that fits inside the terracotta pot
- natural twine

To condition the flowers remove any of the lower leaves that would end up below the waterline in the container and cut the stems at an angle to maximize the water uptake. Put in a clean container with fresh water over night or at least for a few hours before making the final arrangement.

Change the water frequently and the Dahlias will last much longer.

I have used an old terracotta pot that is a bit weathered - it just adds to the charm of the arrangement.

After conditioning the flowers - start with tying the twine around the top of the terracotta pot. Double up the twine so you have about 4-6 strands, measure around the put so you have enough twine to go around the pot, make a knot and leaving a bit of the twine hanging down the side after you've made the knot.

It's a casual arrangement so I would not bother making a bow with the twine - just leave the end hanging casually down the side of the pot!

Fill the jam jar with water and place it inside the pot - you need to cut the flower stems quite short so that the outer flowers rest on the edge of the pot. Fill in with a little bit taller stems in the middle so you end up with a nice dome shaped arrangement.

I have not used any of the little buds - most of the tight buds usually never open up into flowers. In this particular arrangement I didn't add them as they would have made the arrangement a bit 'dotty' - and that was not the look I was after. But they will make a small interesting little arrangement on their own or mixed with some other flowers.

The contrasts between the delicate yet strongly coloured flowers and the weathered rustic terracotta pot with some casual twine tied around the middle is great for a summer lunch on the veranda. 

Have a Wonderful Floral Day!

I hope you are having a great summer wherever you are. I'm still in go-slow mode over the summer - I will be back mid August with another 'A Bunch for the Weekend'.

But before that Titti and I will be back on the 6 August with another FLOWERS. 

Till then - have a wonderful time in the sun!

xoxo Ingrid

18 July 2014

A Bunch for the Weekend - # 15 - Helenium

This week on 'A Bunch for the Weekend' - I'm featuring Helenium.

Helenium is a perennial that you can grow yourself in the garden and it will come back year after year. You can also buy it at the flower markets or farmers markets.

What is brilliant about this flower is that if you keep picking - it will keep flowering - so it produces flowers over a long period of time.

They make very good cut flowers and bees love them - BUT wear gloves when you pick them as they can cause allergic skin reactions. 

It has mahogany-crimson flowers with a large chocolate-brown centre. Combine it with some of the smaller sunflowers or like here just on their own.

You will need:
10-12 stems of Heleniums
-  a wide-necked glass bottle (in my case it's a vintage milk bottle)
- 4-5 strands of raffia
- brown paper or wooden luggage tags  

Like always condition the flowers by removing any of the lower leafs that would end up below the water line in the container and cut the ends at an angle to maximum the water uptake. Put straight away in a clean container with fresh water in a dark, cool place preferable over night or at least for a few hours before doing the final arrangement.

I tied a few strands of raffia around the neck of the milk bottle and attached a wooden tag also with some raffia underneath.

Mix already fully open flowers with semi-open ones as well as others that are still in 'button' stage. It's a very informal and kind of 'just picked from the garden' arrangement. Colourful and charming in its simplicity.    

Have a Lovely Floral and Creative Day!

I'm still in a go-slow summer mode - but I'll see you again next week for another 'A Bunch for the Weekend'.

I hope you are having a wonderful summer

xoxo Ingrid

[The Helenium flowers are grown by Cel Robertson at the Forever Green Flower Company - on her flower farm in Norfolk.]

16 July 2014

FLOWERS by ingrid and titti - Bouquets of Herbs

The theme for FLOWERS this week is Bouquets of Herbs. 

I think we all love herbs - growing them in the garden or in pots on the window sill, picking them to use in food and drinks, chopping them up and cooking with them - in general herbs are a delight and they will brighten up any dish you create in your kitchen.

Or like here using them as flowers and making lots of pretty little arrangements.

I made myself the challenge to only use herbs when making the bouquets and not using any flowers. Above are some of them all lined up.

The herbs I used in the bouquets are:
- Chives
- Dill
- Mint
- Parsley
- Rosemary
- Sage
- Thyme

In the background - and just for pleasure and not used in the bouquets - are two potted herbs - Lavender with lots of lovely flowers and Thyme.

I really liked the idea of making it all look a bit rustic and I wanted to try to re-cycle as much as possible when styling for the shoot.

So I re-used old jam jars and an old zinc pot, I planted up a weathered terracotta pot and adding some little pebbles from our garden to hide the visible soil in the pot. The garden fork with lovely patina is from the 1930's.

As background I used an old hessian coffee sack from my grandfathers country store and a rag rug woven by my great-grandmother, and I even found my aunts old school writing slate board and wrote 'HERBS' on it.

Conditioned the herbs I did more or less the same as I do with flowers - except that I left a lot of the leaves lower down on the short stems. 

I tied a short piece of different coloured ribbon around each jar but kept the colours to green and grey. The ribbons are from Jane Means ribbon collection. 

When I arranged the herbs in the jars I wanted to have as many different textures as possible - so I happily mixed large leaves with small leaves and added long chives, dill and stems of rosemary for height.

The dill flowers had such a phenomenal texture and so much grace that they got their own little vintage bottle.  

Titti over on HWIT BLOGG is also posting about herbs - so please go over there and have a look at what she is doing.

Here is a link to all the previous FLOWERS Titti and I have done so far.

You can also find all the images on my Pinterest

Have a Wonderful floral Day!

I hope you are having a lovely summer!

See you on Friday for 'A Bunch for the Weekend'.

xoxo Ingrid