August 31, 2014

Flower Farm to Table

I looove cut flower arrangements more than any other type. I love the simplicity that in someone's field, garden or roadside, these beautiful blooms decided to put their faces to the sun and say hi! And I love even more to plan a party for my friends where we can catch up, have a drink, or five, and marvel at mother nature.

I have a dream of creating my own cut flower garden and am trying to figure out how and where to do it at my house. 

But you see, my problems are many...

Despite loving to arrange flowers, I am not the best gardener (adequate maybe)

I live on the ocean on a very windy and salty piece of land (I can often be found snooping over others' fences drooling at what I'll never be able to grow)

My house is for sale and I may not move to a place where I have the land to plant a cut flower garden (although my house has been on the market for more than 3 years, so I might as well just plant the silly thing and test my luck, or lackthereof :)

My family has a house on a small lake in the little town of New London, New Hampshire and it's one of my favorite places in the world. In New London, is the greatest farm and garden store with the most amazing cut flower garden. It's also where for $12.75 per pound, you can cut your own flowers to make arrangements. Spring Ledge Farm is definitely one of my happy places!

So, armed with their clippers (which are terribly dull and I always forget to bring my own), I set out amongst the rows of flowers, some in their prime, some past and some still to bloom. I had fun thinking of combinations based on color, texture and shape. I dodged the buzzing bees that really aren't happy to see me at all. But the end result was a bucket, or three, of these beautiful flowers.

My options are endless as I set out in the garden, letting my mind race with possibilities

There were a lot of bees in this one and if you look closely, you might get stung!
Here is one of my buckets and I'm headed out for more. I used my Dunkin' Donuts tray (who knew there were so many uses for these things?) to help transport my goodies home, ready to arrange to my heart's delight. 

Once home along the ocean, I worked at my trusty table and separated each flower so I could see the shapes, colors, textures and decide what I wanted to do.

I had found these great glasses in a country store that had the old-fashioned look of a mason jar, but a little more elegant. I thought they would be perfect for my arrangements.

Always recutting the stems at a an angle to help the flowers drink up, I started my arrangement. I filled the base with Indigo (or baptisia) leaves long after the flowers had bloomed but I thought the leaves were pretty and they would make a good backdrop to the burst of colors.

Then I kept going, filling it with sunflowers, cleome (watch out, these are spiky little buggers), zinnias, coral bells, phlox, onion flowers or allium (the white ones in this picture), ageratum (the purple ones here), bachelor buttons, daisies and cosmos. I kept rotating the glass as I went, varying flower heights and looking for holes, or odd spaces that made the natural arrangement look a little off. 

How could anyone not smile seeing this combo?

Finally, I made two other arrangements, set the table using some fun plates and oversized dish towels as napkins, put a few phlox blossoms on each napkin, got my husband's grandmother's beautiful hand-painted floral wine glasses and a yummy bottle (well, bottles really) of Veuve Clicquot Rose.

Happiness is...:)

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