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.