Summer’s sultry floral palette – all local!

by Debra Prinzing on June 23, 2012

in Do It Yourself Projects,How We Did It,The Book Project

A late-June bouquet with a vintage patina

The copper container highlights the rich colors of the foliage and flowers.

An amber-apricot-peach floral palette.

Lonny Boender and her “prize” bouquet – enjoy!

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.



{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Ursula June 28, 2012 at 6:05 pm

I enjoyed meeting you at Nicola’s the other night and wanted to let you know that while perusing you new book, I was inspired to assemble this bouquet as a “Thank You” for the inspiration that you have passed on as well as for so graciously signing my copy of The 50 Mile Bouquet! I have posted it on my flickr account.

debra June 28, 2012 at 11:02 pm

hello Ursula,
thanks for sharing your LOCAL bouquet – I agree, it’s stunning and so much more organic and personal than any dial-a-florist could create!
It was great to meet you at the Master Gardener’s evening,
and thanks for buying our book!

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