Archive for the ‘Flowers’ Category

August 14th, 2013 by Celia

Chamomile with a Side Of Rose – Garden to Arrangements to a Cup of Tea


You could say I am a bit obsessed with both chamomile and roses, especially since moving to Portland.

Chamomile grows quite well in my garden with the mild springs and moisture. I planted one tiny plot three years ago and it self-seeded all over the place. And for roses, well, Portland isn’t called the city of roses for nothing. Read the rest of this entry »

August 10th, 2013 by Celia

Goodbye to Onyx, the Sweetest Neighbor Cat Ever


Yesterday I broke the news to our next door neighbors: the sweetest cat in the complex moved away a couple of weeks ago.

They were out of town when it happened and were wondering where she went. All the neighbors I talked to were sad that she and the other black cat at her place left. Even people across the street and people walking their dog through the neighborhood wondered where she was and were sad when I told them she had moved. She was the best. I first talked about her here and she made it in this photo shoot, too. Read the rest of this entry »

July 31st, 2013 by Celia

Portland Grown Mauve and Peach Bridal Bouquet


It was a hot and humid day, with rain in the morning and mid-90’s by afternoon. I went out on the hunt for local and accessible flowers to make an all floral girly bridal bouquet for Chelsea’s Floral Arranging 101 class. After returning home sweaty and hot, I conditioned my flowers the thought in the back of my mind: are these flowers going to make it in this heat? Read the rest of this entry »

July 21st, 2013 by Celia

Bachelor Button, Yarrow and Clover Floral Crown


It was finals week. My willpower was failing, and I needed an escape…and escape into flowers! Flowers have been my drug of choice, my fantasy world and sensual destination for this spring and summer. Read the rest of this entry »

July 6th, 2013 by Celia

A Rose by Any Other Name Would Smell as Sweet


I am on the search for the identity of this rose. Do you know what it could be? If so, would you tell me, please? Its gracious beauty is too much remain a mystery. Read the rest of this entry »

June 29th, 2013 by Celia

Weekly Flowers: Iris and Peach Garden Rose Arrangement


It was Thursday evening. Tired from a long day in clinic and school, I wandered after dinner lazily around the neighborhood with my bag and clippers, seeing what floral goodness was available for the picking.

The pale pastels looked called to me against the grey-blue fading light of day. How can they be so mute and florescent, so soft and skinning all at the same time?

Mid-Spring arrangement:

  • 1 stem Bearded Iris
  • 2 stems Garden Roses
  • 1 stem Hydrangea
  • 1 stem Lupine
  • 1 stem white Rosa Rugosa
  • 3 stems Dusty Miller
  • 3 stems Mountain Laurel with flowers
  • 3 stems Bishops Weed flowers

The Iris has a short life span, at least the bearded ones. So when I found this pale blue and violet one lingering on long past the others, it had to come home with me. On the other side of the spectrum, the Hydrangea was one of the first to bloom, as you can tell by it’s delicate coloring and compact flowers. The Dusty Miller was just starting to grow, too, still tender and not yet close to flowering. The edges were soft and curled.

This arrangement featured my ultimate favorite rose of the moment. I don’t know what it is. But it is peachy-blush, has an interesting conical point to it, has many petals like a garden or English rose, and grows tall. Most impressive is that it possesses an incredible strong fragrance of old time rose mixed with peach orange sorbet. It grows in an alley, and doesn’t seem to be in anybody’s yard or property. I have been thinking about knocking on the doors of the two houses closest to it to see if it is theirs and if they know it’s name.





June 29th, 2013 by Celia

Posting Away on Instagram

I wanted to share another way to connect with me…on Instagram! I have been posting photos of flowers, plants, the beautiful and strange city of Portland and an occasional feline. Search for user name Celia_Jean.

Here are some of the latest pics of the flowers I foraged this morning for a bouquet. More on that to come!

Are you on Instagram? I’d love to see you there!



June 18th, 2013 by Celia

Floral Arranging 101 – Week 2, Wild English Arrangement


Flowers and photography are my saving grace right now.

After a long day at school and clinic and the only thing I want to do is play with flowers, garden, sit in my back porch garden, and take photos. When I do, I feel instantly rejuvenated. I used to think that I chose to interact with plants through all the ways that I do, but now I think they chose me.

I am taking an awesome class in my copious free time (sarcasm), Floral Arranging 101. I kept seeing these amazing arrangements on Chelsea Fuss’ blog and decided I needed to have some therapeutic flower-time, too. The more I practice the more I learn. My hand-tied bouquets now balance on the tabletop, and I know how to use sticks as a stand-in floral frog to secure stems. I appreciate Chelsea’s ascetic and teaching style, which is paramount for an online class. It’s my goal to use only locally foraged plants and so far I have made it. Seeking out and cutting flowers from the neighborhood has been just as much fun as making the arrangements! It makes me appreciate the arrangements all the more, knowing where they came from and that they are fresh and local.

This last assignment was a bit challenging. Many of the flowers I picked were drooping the next day (poppies and clematis big time, but even some roses). I even placed them into water while I was foraging. I also tried to use some stunningly beautiful blackberry blossoms as my viney addition. It doesn’t take much imagine to guess how that ended up: a painful, thorny mess which ripped petals and leaves to sheds. This is not a surrender, Blackberry, I will try you again.

My Wild English Arrangement ended up a little more, how you say, romantic? girly? Victorian? than I intended. Not that I don’t like it; I love roses and hydrangeas to no end. But put them together and there is some seriously full, pastel, round blossoms taking over. Plus the pale pink ceramic pitcher nixed any modernism intentions I may of had right out of the gate.

This assignment was supposed to be as if we strolled around the garden, flitting from flower to flower like a honey bee, filling our aprons with sumptuous blooms and then plopped them in a vase to create an effortless arrangement. I didn’t wear an apron and it wasn’t quite effortless, but walking around Portland on a Friday night around sunset is quite like wandering a garden. The Chinese Minster of Urban Planning visited Portland recently and said this entire city is like a garden. I couldn’t agree more.

My favorite part is the Japanese plums. They were growing behind the Jupiter Hotel on SE Ankeny by the dumpsters. I don’t think a soul will mind that I trimmed them. Confession: I have more than one favorite part; there’s the Lady’s mantle against the pale yellow rosebuds and the lavender-tinged pale pink racemes of lobelia-like flowers, and the twisting twirly foxgloves…

I brought out my arrangement to photograph and Onyx kitty showed up. She is quite photogenic but it’s no surprise; it goes along with being an attention addict as some cats are.




June 9th, 2013 by Celia

Making Arrangements: Blue + Pink Flowers


I had two inspirations for this small arrangement. One was the bachelor buttons which I had cut a week prior with some poppies as seen below; the poppies were long faded, but the bachelor buttons were still going strong. The other inspiration was a cream pitcher, about 3.5 inches high with an opening of 2 inches. I had heard somewhere (from a book? a class? can’t recall where) that a good guideline for arrangements is a 10 stems per inch of the diameter of the opening, so I aimed for 20 stems.



These flowers and foliage are entirely from the courtyard of my apartment building. I was pleasantly surprised at my options, although they weren’t the hardiest of plants to work with; the dog rose and fuchsia especially. I picked a single pale pink peony as the center flower; that was about all I could fit in this small container.



Mint was a surprisingly enjoyable filler to use. The fuzzy spearmint added a soft texture and filled in the edges with a gentle drape. I feel so lucky to have so many bushes of hypericum berries outside my door. This is a plant that was new to me when I moved to Portland, although as an herbalist I have been harvesting St. John’s Wort for a long time. Hypericum means hyper-icon, or above evil. It was hung above doorways and around necks to ward off any evil spirits from possessing the occupants.  Makes sense to me; it is bright and sunny and long-lived. St. John’s Day is basically the summer solstice which is the most sun-filled day of the year. No wonder hypericum is so effective with depression and SAD.

Some roses lost their petals. but I didn’t care. The yellow stamens echoed the hypericum beautifully. My ultimate favorite was the sprinkling of forget-me-nots; they make me so happy.



May 29th, 2013 by Celia

Bath + Rose Petal and Raspberry Leaf Tea = Love

In case you were wondering what I do with all of the rose petals I harvest, here is a prime example. Rose and raspberry tea, with many other herbs added (such as ginger and cinnamon, yummy). I love the way the light shines through the jar as it steeps, each moment becoming more saturated with warm reds and yellows. This is a sweet, spicy, floral and herbaceous tea, satisfying warm or cool.

Read the rest of this entry »