Week 27, as we revisit the 10-year anniversary of the book Slow Flowers
This arrangement is the earliest featured in Slow Flowers. While the book was completed in the fall of 2012 and published spring 2013, I made this arrangement in 2010, in the backyard of the home in which my family lived from 2006-2010 in Thousand Oaks, California (Ventura County).
I was only beginning to practice my arranging skills, inspired by the many flower farmers and florists I had been interviewing for the Los Angeles Times, Garden Design magazine, Better Homes & Gardens, Country Gardens, and other major newspapers and magazines. I had already begun to develop the idea of “The 50 Mile Bouquet,” having traveled on location with photographer David Perry to shoot a few flower farms and conduct interviews before the Brooks-Prinzing family moved back to Seattle in August 2021.
This arrangement is a sentimental one because I really loved my Southern California garden and I wanted to showcase a piece of it in Slow Flowers. When I was working with the St. Lynn’s Press team, I shared these photos with designer Heather Rosborough. She loved the palette but told me my photo files were too small for good print resolution for a full-page image. We came up with a “collage” solution, the only gallery layout like this in the entire book. I’m so glad we included it!
The ingredients were all just picked and clipped as I walked around the suburban property, choosing a white, yellow, and green foliage palette inspired by the Shasta daisies.
Original ingredient list:
So I’ve been thinking about what PNW garden plants would replicate the earlier vase. And while the celadon vase I used in 2010 is lost to me (sold in a garage sale?) I have a pretty mint-green Ikea piece of pottery that has similar proportions. Yesterday, I rose early while it was delightfully cool and began the same ritual of wandering, strolling, evaluating, clipping, and placing lots of white, yellow, and green elements in a bucket before I began to design.
My Harvest List:
Shasta daisies (doubles), approximately 7 stems
Oakleaf Hydrangea blooms, 3 stems
Variegated gold-green box honeysuckle sprigs (Lonicera ligustrina ‘Lemon Beauty’), approximately 6 stems
Yellow yarrow, 5 stems
Creamy white astilbe, approximately 6 stems
Plus 2 fun wispy elements that (honestly) reseeded themselves in one of my raised beds from past summers:
Quaking grass (Briza media ‘Limouzi’), which I know florist Sandy Figel of Verbena Floral in Woodinville, Washington, gifted to me in a few 4-inch pots.
Larkspur ‘White Cloud’ (Consolida regalis), so appropriately named!
Here are the final lines of the 2013 essay:
This is a fresh, summery bouquet and as I reflect on the two versions — my past and present floral arrangements — I feel such a sense of nostalgia for the path I’ve walked as a creative person.