A late-June bouquet with a vintage patina
Earlier this week, I gave a talk to the Endolyne Garden Club here in Seattle. After the illustrated lecture on “10 Lessons I’ve learned from The 50 Mile Bouquet,” I demonstrated an arrangement using a yummy selection of just-picked ingredients from local flower farmers.
The entire palette looks like it’s been tea-stained. One woman suggested it was more “Downton Abbey” than modern-day. I think she’s right. It was the ‘Coppertina’ ninebark foliage (Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Coppertina’) that got me started. Grown by Diane Szukovathy and Dennis Westphall of Jello Mold Farm in Skagit Valley, Washington, this foliage color is truly sublime. I love ninebark in all its forms — the deep plum and the classic green included. But the relatively new cultivar with copper-tones is quite alluring.
Once I chose the foliage, I took my regular circuit through the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market to find companionable blooms. I couldn’t resist the stunning, pale peach spires of Jan Roozen’s foxtail lilies (Eremurus sp.) from Choice Bulb Co. Those are the tallest elements of the arrangement above. Vivian Larson’s Everyday Flowers didn’t disappoint, either – I snatched up bunches of pale apricot stock (Matthiola incana), which are super fragrant, and peachy snapdragons with lots of buds. Then – surprise – peachy-pink yarrow from Charles Little & Co. in Eugene, Oregon. It all came together beautifully in the copper flower pot that Bruce gave me as a birthday gift years ago. Because I’ve had this vessel for six or seven years, it has started to mellow nicely.
The arrangement above was my “practice” bouquet, photographed in my living room. I used all of the same ingredients at the Garden Club demonstration – and one lucky member won the raffle to bring it home with her. The flowers and foliage should last up to a week if the water is refreshed every day or two – and if I see a single stem starting to “wilt” a little, I pull it out, re-cut it and return it to the vase. It often helps to revive the stem.