This is the second week of the fall csa and it really doesn’t feel like fall at all. The sun wasn’t up until almost 7am, but it was 80 degrees by 9:30am. (not my preferred cutting weather) This week your flowers came from Jig-bee Flower Farm in Kensington and Shepard’s Farm in Roxborough. These farms are the hard working small-scale farms behind your beautiful bouquets.
In this week’s journal I want to talk about a way of designing flowers that is currently my favorite approach. It involves the use of a “flower frog.” If you aren’t familiar, a flower frog can take many different forms. (so I’ve included a picture of a few different versions for you to see) Essentially a flower frog is a small form used to design flowers.
The version that I primarily use is the example at the top, of the metal base made up of small metal pins. I love this form because it allows me to create a design that’s simplistic (very few stems) but can have form, shape, and space within the container it’s being designed out of. Below, I’ve created an example of the steps taken to create a simple floral design using a handful of flowers, a flower frog, and a small shallow container. (I used a small bowl in this example.) The use of a flower frog also creates freedom to use many different containers as vases, since the frog is what creates the form and not the actual container.
Don’t get me wrong. I love when there is an overwhelming amount of flowers used for weddings and events. Creating and experiencing a physical wonderland made of flowers is a unique and special thing to behold. However, using such large amounts of flower material is a lot of money for the flowers and especially the design labor. Then after the event is over, it’s a lot of beautiful material that goes to waste. In my personal commitment to practicing and designing with flowers, I’ve found that a few beautiful flowers and a little bit of seasonal foliage, is all that you really need to create an eye-catching design. (in the above design example, I cut some elderberry foliage, a fig leaf, some dill flowers gone to seed, and two pieces of virginia creeper) If you’re interested in purchasing a flower frog like the ones that I use, feel free to send me a message and I’ll figure out how to get one to you! (the smallest one I would recommend starts at $14, though you may be able to find unique ones online for cheaper!)
However you decide to design your flowers, don’t be afraid to try out different containers and create various groupings in separate vases. In fact, some of your flowers may just live longer if you separate them out individually into small vases, instead of altogether in one large vase. (You’ll find that your bouquet may die faster when all the stems are thrown together and start breaking down, creating lots of bacteria in your vase vs. when a single stem is placed in a single bud vase)
I hope you enjoy your flowers this week! In this week’s bouquet:
Solidago: aka goldenrod, “fireworks” variety
Celosia: three different colors of cristata celosia (the brain-shaped celosia) and one orange variety of spicata celosia
Cosmos: “Double-click” and “rubenza” varieties of cosmos
Dahlia: The dark chocolate/burgundy dahlia variety is called “Rip City”, the larger orange ball dahlia variety is “Maarn” and the red ball dahlia variety is “Cornel.” I’m unsure about the variety of the miniature orange ball dahlia and the fruit-punch colored on the far right.
Zinnia: More wine-colored zinnias for your fall enjoyment.
Sharing your flowers:
If you choose to document your time with your extremely photogenic flowers on social media, feel free to tag us @fromblossoms or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to see photos or hear stories about your experience as a csa member!
Tips for enjoying your flowers + making them last longer:
Flowers are a short-lived little pleasure. Once we cut them from the field, they begin to die and generally don’t look perky anymore after 3-5 days. (depending on the flower) Though I personally think their dying and drying out process is a unique visual experience to enjoy just as much as when they’re perfect and lively right after being cut.
There are ways to extend the life of your flowers as long as possible. Once you bring your bouquet home, take a sharp pair of scissors and cut off the tip ends of your stems at a 45 degree angle, then drop them in a clean container of water. (at least 4-5 inches of water, depending on the width of your vase) In a couple days, repeat that same process. Give a clean cut to the ends of your stems, wash your vase, fill with clean water and drop them in again!
Even after two days, you’ll notice that your water will be a little murky. The murkiness is bacteria that has built up as your flowers die and decompose in the water. Letting them continue to sit in this dirty water, will only speed up their dying process.