7 May 2014

FLOWERS by ingrid and titti - Flowering Branches

It's May and time for the first of FLOWERS by ingrid and titti - and the theme is Flowering Branches. 
Here in London I was able to find quite a lot of beautiful flowering branches and it was hard to resist some of them  - so I ended up picking three. 

The first is lilacs in a beautiful dark pink colour and they also have the most stunning scent. Condition the branches by removing some or even all the leaves. Some florists say you should remove all the leaves to make the flowers last longer. If you like to have some lilac leaves- cut off a few separate branches and stick those in with the other flowering 
branches with no leaves.

When you condition branches - as well as cutting the stems at an angle you also need to make a vertical cut upwards on the stem. This is to increase the surface that can absorb
water. The advise you get today is NOT to smash the stem with a hammer - that will increases the growth of bacteria. 

I put the lilac branches in a white glass vase designed by the Finnish architect Alvar AltoIn the back is a painting by my sister-in-law Amy Trachtenberg and I also added a black Pueblo pottery bowl from New Mexico. 

The second flowering branch is called Sorbus aria or whitebeam and has silvery grey leaves. It's often used as a foliage plant by florists and at this time of year it also has small clusters of silver grey buds.

I put the branches in a vase from Habitat that I found in one of my local charity stores. Mixed in on the table are some black objects - garden twine and a small round box that I inherited from my father -  as well as some new and vintage metal objects - old keys from Sweden, a vintage Singer sewing machine oil can, a new little wire basket and a mini watering can.

I find the simplicity of just a few branches delightful and I specially like the clusters of buds and the downy underside of the soft green-grey spring leaves.

The last of the branches are some Viburnum opulus or guelder rose as they are also called. Viburnum opulus is a garden shrub - it has a woody stem and pompom-like heads made up of clusters of tiny very light green florets. 

This one is a little tricky - the heads tends to hang and look a bit droopy - so either go with the flow and embrace whatever the flowers wants to do. Or you will have to support the heavy flower heads either by packing them tightly together, using other sturdy stems to make a grid as support in a mixed arrangement or by cutting the stems quite short and let them rest on the sides of the vase or container. 

I call this last arrangement -  'My Grandmother arrangement' - as I have used my grandmother's old coffee tin and a handwoven rag rug that once belonged to her.

I have only used the tin as an outer container - inside is a jam jar filled with water holding the branches. Old metal tins and containers tend to rust quite easily if you leave water in them for any extended amount of time - and I don't want this tin to rust. I have cut the stems quite short and the flower heads are resting on each other as well as on the sides of the tin.

My collaborator Titti Malmberg over on HWIT BLOGG is also posting about flowering branches - so go over and have a look at what she has done.

Here is also a link to all the previous FLOWERS by Titti and I. 

Have a Wonderful Floral Day!

See you soon!

xoxo Ingrid


Jarka Panci said...

you have good ideas. I have to try to peel off the lilac leaves. Vase from the Finnish Designer is very very beautiful. A small pot, I also like. Thanks for the beautiful photos and advice.
Beautiful days with flowers wishes

HWIT BLOGG said...

Oh så fint allt är Ingrid! Kul med lite annorlunda blommande kvistar som oxel också...
Gillar kaffeburken, så gammaldags vackert!
Önskar dig en skön dag vännen...

Ruth @ Camellia Rose said...

Beautiful! My favourite is the sorbus in the black and white vase. It's fresh and clean and modern looking. Not my usual style but I love how you've pulled it together! I might have to look for a vase like that :)

Vitt hus med svarta knutar said...

Love your pictures! Those with branches of Sorbus aria/whitebeam I liked the most, but I don't know the name in Swedish. Then I saw Titti's comment and figured out that the name is Oxel.
Wish you a nice day!

Lisa Gordon said...

Everything here is so beautiful, Ingrid, but oh my goodness, those lilacs!!! What a gorgeous color.

Have a wonderful evening! xo.

Christa atCedarmereFarm said...

Ingrid, you are a very talented floral designer. You make everything look so pretty, including a common plant like the viburnum.

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