8 December 2014

Take 3 Flowers! - # 4 - White and Yellow Paperwhites

I'm back with another 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.

Finding seasonal cut flowers at this time of year is not always easy - but Paperwhites is definitely one flower that we always associate with Christmas. The white one is the more well known but there is also a yellow one called 'Grand Soleil d'Or'. What a great name - 'Big Golden Sun' - it might not be very big but it certainly is very bright!

All the flowers are grown by Cel Robertson who owns Forever Green Flower Company - an organic flower farm in Norfolk. I buy them from her at my local Saturday Farmers' Market. I know they will always be fresh and in beautiful condition.

You'll need: 

- 15 stems of white Paperwhites - Narcissus 'Tazetta' 
- 21 stems of yellow Paperwhites - 'Grand Soleil d'Or' - also called Golden Yellow Paperwhites
- 5 stems of small dark leaved Eucalyptus foliage 
- 3 small vases or containers - in this case I have used three small vintage cream jars with narrow openings
- 2 small elastic bands
- black and natural coloured twine
- a selection of tea-lights in small candle holders, a lantern, some silver coloured Christmas tree baubles, a few extra cream jars and a fabric with a winter theme.

For conditioning the flowers - you'll also need:

- florists snippers or scissors
- a florist bucket
- a sharp knife and a cutting board

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 for 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 repeating myself.

In the case of Paperwhites if you buy them as cut flowers they will most likely come without any leaves.  

I didn't want to make one arrangement mixing the two Paperwhites in different colours with the foliage - but decided to put them in separate containers. 

To give the small flowers a bit more impact - I decided to do a version of what florists call Narcissus Topiary Tree arrangement.

You start with one stem in your hand and then add stems one by one - in circles going around the first one. With larger Daffodils you would position them so that each single bloom faces outwards - with Paperwhites, that has several blooms on each stem, this is a bit trickier - whichever way the blooms face - in the end the bunch will look lovely!

Hold the bunch quite high up and when you've added all the stems - tie some raffia, twine or ribbon just below the heads. To make it a bit easier you can put an elastic band on first and then hide it under a ribbon or twine. 

Measure where to make the final cut - by standing the container at the edge of your work surface and hold the arrangement next to it. You can then decide how tall you want the arrangement in proportion to the container. 

Lastly lay the bunch on a cutting board and with a sharp knife make a straight cut across all the stems. This is so that the arrangement can stand up straight in the container. You can help it along by placing some moss all around the stems inside the container.

Place the dark green Eucalyptus foliage very simply in a container on their own - just to add some greenery as a contrast and to give some texture to the arrangement.

The seasonal things around the flowers are some vintage silver Christmas tree baubles, a few tea-lights in small glass candle holders and a fabric with a winter theme - this one looks like fresh snow falling from the sky.

 Quick, easy and using just 3 flowers!

Have a Lovely Floral Monday!

See you later in the week!

~ xoxo ~


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

[Flowers and foliage from Forever Green Flower Company.]


Jarka Panci said...

Ingrid, it is so beautiful!
I see your fotos, your flowers - morning is cheerful!
Thank you Jarka

Janneke said...

I love paperwhites for Christmas. You don't see them as cutflowers here. I bought bulbs which are still in the greenhouse. I try to let them flower on Christmas.
Have a nice week!

martinealison said...

Bonjour chère amie,

Vous avez l'art et la manière si naturelle de mettre en valeur les bouquets.
Vos photos parlent pour vous et j'ai hâte de revoir fleurir dans les jardins ou les prés les narcisses et les jonquilles...
Ce petit billet est une belle note d'optimisme.

Gros bisous ♡

Christa atCedarmereFarm said...

VERY NICE! Also, thank you for showing me how to get a bunch of flowers to stand up on its own.

Frances said...

Ingrid, each lovely little component of this series of photographs adds to the beauty of the whole. What a grand sense of color and texture and shape you have!


angie said...

very nice!!! angie

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