Csa pick-up: week 7, August 30th

This week’s flowers are from Chicory and Jig-Bee flower farms in Philadelphia! The color palette has definitely transitioned into the moody fall hues of deep burgundy/purple and gold.  Some of the softer pastel colors have been scooped up by floral designers for the marathon of fall weddings starting now and continuing through the end of October. So dark and stormy it will be. (I mean, it’s still lovely of course, just a little bit fierce.)

In your bouquet this week:

Strawflower – IMG_5799

Celosia – IMG_5787.jpg

Amaranthus (or amaranth) – IMG_5783.jpgAmaranthus as a cut flower comes in upright varieties and trailing varieties.  This one is an upright variety and is extremely reminiscent of that bronze/orange fall color. In other countries like Africa, amaranthus is most commonly used as a staple food grain.  

Cosmos – IMG_5796.jpg

Basil ‘Aramatto’ – IMG_5804.jpg

Zinnia – IMG_5795.jpg

Ammi seedpod – IMG_5789.jpgAmmi is one of those hearty summer annuals that just keep giving in the summertime.  From the delicate lace-shaped flower to its hearty demise into a tightly wound fist of seed pods, it’s a flower to appreciate in all its stages.  I haven’t included many seed pods in this year’s membership, but this one is pretty special because it dries beautifully and won’t spill its seeds all over the floor when its finished.

Perilla ( or shiso) –  IMG_5782.jpgThis pretty purple & green leaf smells delicious (like licorice/anise) but is also edible! They’ve got a little bit of spice to them and can be used whole or as a garnish. The leaves are rich in calcium and iron and have a rich history in Japanese culture as a spice, garnish, and natural dye.  They’re also used to wrap around meats and sushi. Shiso tends to wilt shortly after being taken out of water, but will quickly perk up again when placed back in water.

This week, I wanted to do a little tutorial on flower arranging.  Like I mentioned last week, when you receive your csa bouquet, all the flowers have been cut at a very similar length to keep them organized, protected, and visible wrapped in paper. So once you get your flowers home and take off the pretty little muslin ribbon,  rubberband and paper, they could use a little love to look their best in a vase.  Some of you have already sent me beautiful photos of your bouquets from last week or posted pictures of them on instagram (which you can still do! tag @fromblossoms) which is so exciting! For everyone else who still hasn’t taken clippers to stems yet, here is a very basic walk-through for a simple bouquet arrangement that I would make.

First, I fill up a vase about 2/3 full of fresh water.  Then I reach for the foliage and use it to create a structure that all the other flowers will build on top of. For this week’s bouquet, I cut everything short enough so that the bottom leaves of each piece of foliage, would sit against the top rim of the vase. IMG_5820IMG_5821.jpg

As I add more foliage and flowers to the vase, you’ll notice that I made sure that no leaves or flowers were below the water line, to prevent decomposing leaves/flowers from quickly building up bacteria in the water (dirtying the water) and creating a faster demise of the bouquet.IMG_5822

Next, I added the heaviest of the flowers (in weight & size) to the arrangement and kept them at a lower level, cutting their stems shorter to keep their weight towards the bottom of the arrangement. I placed the amaranthus stem in front of the shiso to complement each other.IMG_5825.jpg

Then I added the zinnias and strawflower.IMG_5830.jpg

I finished by adding the ammi seedpod and cosmos. The cosmos has such a light, bouncy feel to it that it’s perfect to use in the very last steps of designing. I tend to group like things together in an arrangement as well, to create a more garden-y feel to it, which is why I placed the cosmos near one another.  I also placed them in a way that feels like they are interacting with one another, which is another design technique I like to use when grouping like things. IMG_5838-2

Hopefully, if you haven’t already arranged your flowers in a vase yet, you’ll test it out this week. Enjoy these last few days of summer as we begin the transition into darker mornings, cooler days, and crunchy red/orange color!

 

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