Zen in Bloom with Narcissus + Winter Hazel

Week 13, as we revisit the 10-year anniversary of the book, Slow Flowers 

Spring Week 1 for Slow Flowers Revisited
Reinterpreting twigs and daffodils with a fresh spring palette.
This 2013 arrangement utilized coral-hued dogwood stems, lashed together with bindwire, to serve as a mechanic that is seen (not hidden).

When I first created “Zen in Bloom,” I shared my inspiration: a project from Design, a publication of The Flower Arranging study Group of the Garden Club of America. This time around, I wanted to upgrade the twig mechanics used to stabilize the flower stems.

Twig mechanics
My handwoven twig mechanics, utilizing young spring salix branches and jute twine to create a dimensional matrix.

My inspiration come from a design workshop that Slow Flowers member Riz Reyes of RHR Horticulture taught at the 2023 Northwest Flower & Garden Festival on the “Blooms and Bubbles” stage. Using twigs and branches that he gathered the day before, Riz wove them into a flat, circular shape and rested the piece on the rim of his vase. (If you held it up to a window, it looked a lot like a dreamcatcher, with twigs instead of yarn). It was a perfect mechanic for organizing flower stems! Incidentally, Riz credited floral designer Françoise Weeks for teaching him the basketweave-like technique.

Detail photo of coral twigs and daffodils
Above: the detail photo of how I secured the twigs to the glass cube and how the daffodil stems were inserted between each row

Vase detail
Vase detail with cream and butter-colored daffodils paired with paperwhite narcissus stems and winter hazel branches.

When I created the original piece, I picked all of the bright yellow King Alfred trumpet daffodils from the parking strip in front of our former home to include, along with coral twig dogwood branches.

This time around, 10 years or so later, and I harvested as many of the bulbs I planted last fall for my updated arrangement. The specialty daffodils and paperwhite narcissus come from pots and raised beds in the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden and I love their lighter palette of white, cream, and pale yellow. With the twig matrix resting on the opening of a cylinder glass vase, it was easy to insert and arrange the flower stems and create a soft, cheery arrangement. The addition of wintersweet branches (Corylopsis pauciflora), clipped from a shrub in my front garden, echoes this sweet color scheme.

Sources: Bulbs are from Longfield Gardens and winters hazel (Corylopsis pauciflora) is from the nursery at Old Goat Farm in Graham, Washington.

Debra Prinzing

Debra Prinzing is a Seattle-based writer, speaker and leading advocate for American-grown flowers. Through her many Slow Flowers-branded projects, she has convened a national conversation that encourages consumers and professionals alike to make conscious choices about their floral purchases. Debra is the producer of SlowFlowers.com, the weekly "Slow Flowers Podcast" and the American Flowers Week (June 28-July 4) campaign. Debra is author of 11 books, including Slow Flowers (2013), The 50 Mile Bouquet (2012) and Slow Flowers Journal (2020). She is the co-founder of BLOOM Imprint, the boutique publishing arm of Slow Flowers.

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Slow Flowers Journal is brought to you by SlowFlowers.com. Slow Flowers is an award-winning online directory created to help consumers find florists, studio designers, wedding and event planners, supermarket flower departments and flower farmers that supply American grown flowers. Founded in 2014, the site has grown to 850 members across the U.S.


Media Contact:

For more information, please contact Debra Prinzing
at 206-769-8211 or 844-SLOWFLO (844-756-9356); debra(at)slowflowers.com.