I always have a hard time on the Farmette with the in between times. When I'm phasing out the Spring flowers for Summer, there is never quite enough of each to make a complete bouquet. This year rather than looking at it as a challenge, I'm looking at it as an opportunity. These in-between times allow me to mix the Spring Sweet Peas and Bachelor button with the summer hydrangea and coneflower. The transition combinations are lovely and they have such a dreamy country quality.
If you knew me pre-Farmette you would remember that I am a graphic designer. I recently added cut flowers to my gardening repertoire and am finding that many of the design principals that work for good graphic design translate well in to making bouquets.
Rather than simple single flower type arrangements the spring to summer flowers are more like old fashioned samplers, a bit of everything. I find that if you follow some design "rules" the variety in these bouquets is quite pleasing. First, just like when you select plants for your summer patio pots, I try to find a "thriller", a "spiller", and a "filler". Meaning selecting a tall spiky flower or grass to stick out on top, Larkspur fits this bill. I really wish I would have planted more this year because they compliment the other flowers so nicely. Must do next year! For the "spiller" I choose something that can hang over the bottom of the bouquet Sweet peas have this quality but I also sometime use the greens to do this job. Mountain mint and oregano can be arranged around the outside of the bouquet to spill down over the side of the jar. Crooked stems of any type are the happy accidents of the plant world. There is something special about an organism that has grown in a different way, and I love to highlight these quirky stems by including them in my bouquets. My favorite greens are fresh cut herbs. They smell amazing and add a variety of green colors and textures to the bouquet. The filler can be looked at in a variety of ways, sometimes the greens are fillers giving your eyes a visual rest from the blooms. Mint is great at this job. Flowers can also be filler, hydrangea is a good example. It's puff ball of tiny flowers creates the same kind of rest for your eye and helps the bouquet to look full.
Next up color, Spring blooms tend to be in shades of purple, white, and pink around the Farmette and the transition flowers are no exception. Soon I will have tons of "hot colors" reds, yellows and oranges, but for now a pallet of pinks, purples and blues take the stage. When I set out to make a bouquet I either pick a palette or pick the rainbow, meaning that sometimes I select all the whites and pale pinks or all purples and sometimes I pick a handful of each color. Both results can be pleasing as long as you follow the rule of threes, trying to choose at least three stems of each. Generally speaking odd number of each flower or green is most pleasing to the eye.
In the end, rules are made to be broken and sometimes, if you break the rules you come up with a very lovely combination. My 5-year-old, Bryn, takes so much pleasure in going around the yard with her very own flower snips and picking whatever pleases her. Her bouquets turn out just as balanced and beautiful as the "recipes" I use for mine. So have some fun, tour your yard for fun and lovely blossoms and greenery and see what you come up with!