Week 48, as we revisit the 10-year anniversary of the book Slow Flowers
I’ve told this story many times, but this book actually launched the term “Slow Flowers” and the idea of seasonal, local, and sustainable floral design. I started off with the idea that I would post a blog series for one year, creating one arrangement from my garden here in Seattle, each week. It was truly one of those projects that was inspired by someone telling me the idea wasn’t a good one. Right? Isn’t that what motivates many of us?
After a NYC editor told me that the idea of local and seasonal floral design was “fringe” and not possible unless you live in Santa Barbara, I decided to “show her” with this project. The book was published in 2013 and when 2023 rolled around, I thought it would be a fun challenge to recreate each of these weekly arrangements, following the original ingredients, often the original vase or vessel, and taking inspiration from the form and shape.
So I’m working on Week 48 today and wanted to share it with you. Almost 100% of these elements are from my very wintry garden here in South Seattle. There are some rose hips and ilex berries that I’ve saved from other fall arrangements, but here’s what I cut to recreate the design that appears on page 92 of Slow Flowers.
Oak Leaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia)
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus gunii – from my greenhouse)
A few stems of beauty berry from a very young shrub (Callicarpa bodinieri var. giraldii ‘Profusion’)
Rose Hips (two types), Ilex Berries — all were repurposed from earlier arrangements and kept in water in the cool garage or allowed to dry.
Dried Scabiosa stellata from one of the seattle wholesale growers market farms
ROSES! These are from the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden and they’re from a landscape rose that I was sent by Proven Winners years ago as a tiny start. It’s called ‘OSO Easy Double Red’ and you can’t believe it but I cut these roses a few days ago in 29 degree weather!
I used a very special Blue Pine box that was hand-crafted in Colorado from reclaimed wood. This piece was designed by Chet and Kristy Anderson’s son (“young Chet”) of The Fresh Herb Co., in Longmont, CO. The Andersons gave it to me as a sample when I visited their farm in November 2014.
The box is exquisitely hand-crafted from distressed pine (also called “beetle kill,” which tells you why the tree was distressed), but that when milled reveals a distinctive “blue” grain pattern. The longer box was designed to hold four Mason jars, – how cool is that? Here is a post with more details.
I actually used four Ikea juice glasses rather than the Mason jars. They fit nicely inside the box and even though the glass rim is slightly taller than the blue pine edge, the foliage nicely drapes over both to hide things.