Art As Inspiration

After introducing you to Florescence, I cannot resist showing you more of the incredible floral arrangements interpreting the show’s challenges.  Before going on I should tell you that Florescence is one of the largest competitive national flower shows sanctioned by the Garden Club of America in the U.S.  

It is impossible not to be awed by these creations

and seeing them displayed with the art that inspired them makes them even more dramatic.

I was blown away by creations inspired by  couture dresses from the Museum of Fine Art’s collection.

As I look again at this photo, I notice that the arrangement mimics the flow of the dress…..absolutely stunning!

Here a styrofoam head wears an elaborate headdress made primarily of natural plant material.  What sea goddess wouldn’t love to be so adorned?

Many times I see wooden boxes used on tables as centerpieces. Unique here is the mix of succulents, roses, lilies and tropicals that demonstrate how anything can work together provided the choices are selected with a critical eye.

Particularly interesting were arrangements incorporating abstract qualities inspired by pieces in the Museum’s contemporary art collection.

The varied materials used with flowers and plant materials was wonderful,

and I will be keeping my eyes open for elements that add interest.

 Though I marveled over over the elaborate creations, I could not see such in my future.  I was attracted to the ikebana technique because it seems a little more doable,

 and I like the simplicity both of the containers and the flower design.

If I were to step a little out of my comfort zone, however, it would be to do something like this, so full of color and whimsey.

Oh, there is so much more I could show you, but hopefully, there is enough here to encourage your own creativity.  It would be wonderful to see the results.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Flowers As Art

Beautiful floral arrangements are works of art, particularly when they are created to meet a challenge such as that demanded by Florescence, an annual themed flower show in Houston. For two days the entries are displayed at the Museum of Fine Arts where huge crowds marvel at the astonishing creativity. 

 With so many of you interested in tablescapes, how could I not share these with you!  The arrangements  were to depict a dining experience at an exotic destination on a functional table for two. You may not find every element of the tablescape to be practical, but there is inspiration on each for our at home tables.

This is a very formal table with layers of textiles complementing the gold accents on the stemware and china.

Unique features are the unexpected use of orchids on the candlestickand the fish jumping into bowls filled with iridescent baubles.

As with the first table, a tall arrangement is the focal point.   I couldn’t help but think of sitting at either and wanting to move the arrangement to the side.

Two things, the teacup as a containerand a natural leaf secureing the napkin, are features  worth remembering.

This table is all about fun and thanks to the clever arrangement I could almost forgive its size as a centerpiece.  The use of pattern and color is consistent in every detail

right down to the elephants suspended at the layered corners.  What sets this table apart is its touches of whimsey.

Here pattern is key,and the layered textiles define the color palette used in both the flower selection and tableware.  

Overall, this is a simple table made warm and inviting by color and texture.  Did you notice that the floral arrangement is on the side?

So, there you have it, four different looks.  Keep in mind that in each case the table is secondary to the floral design. As beautiful as they are, the arrangements are a bit overstated for an at home table, but there are wonderful ideas for presentation and flower selection. Hopefully, there is something on each table that would translate to your personal style be it flower selection, color combination, the layering of cloth, the mixed textures or touches of whimsey.   I’d love to know your take away.

  i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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Once Again

dahliasI’m crazy for dahlias, but no matter how hard I try to grow them they never do well.  Dahlias need lots of sun and my yard is shade challenged!

DahliasSo, I get my dahlia fix by making an annual trek to Endless Summer Flower Farm where  at least 250 varieties flourish.

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They come in all sizes from small 

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to medium

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to almost as big as your head.

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They are so perfectly formed and the texture so waxlike you have to touch the flower to make sure it’s not artificial.

And the colors….well, it seems they are limitless!

dahliasThere’s no walking away without a bouquet of these beauties

tablescape/dahlias & gourdsand no matter where they are used, they are perfect.  

I’m thinking next year I’ll try again to grow my own, this time in pots.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

What’s With Delphiniums?

IMG_6797So many plants grow easily in Maine.  My problem is not being very expert about any of them.  Take delphiniums.  They are beautiful, but little did I know about how tall they grow.  As I watched them mature, I thought it possible that I’d planted one of Jack’s beans!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe taller they g0t the more top heavy they became meaning they bent and broke no matter how carefully they were staked.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWell, I thought, I’ll just cut these beauties and take them inside.  As soon as they were disconnected from their stem the blue ones began raining petals, but the lighter colors proved to be long lasting on table tops throughout the house.  On this table runner, they were also the inspiration for a casual table.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was one of those nights for a house favorite, fish chowder.  Playing off the yellow in the  runner, these plates served as a charger for varied colored bowls.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor salad, I chose these harlequin patterned dishes.  I never tire of using them as they are so versatile and add interesting pattern.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANapkins are one of my favorite table accessories as they are not only functional but add a little artistic flair to any setting.  This one is a simple accordion fold which when spread becomes a standing fan.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs this understated table shows, it doesn’t take much to make the ordinary special.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANow, about those delphiniums.  I felt so defeated by their unruliness that I cut them down to the ground, but they are a very determined flower.  Here it is September and they have come back ready to bloom and still growing!  We’ll see if I’m any luckier controlling them the second time around.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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Thursday Favorite Things

North Haven, Here We Come!

In a sense, each of us is an island. In another sense, however, we are all one. For though islands appear separate, and may even be situated at great distances from one another, they are only extrusions of the same planet, Earth.

J Donald Walters

North HavenNorth Haven Island is an easy 35 minute ride for us on Pipe Dreams, so we head that way often.  It is one of the few Maine islands (remember there are thousands) that has a year round population, much of which dates back generations.  I guess there are some people who are just born to be islanders.  Permanent population is slightly more than 350, and that number swells considerably from June through August when summer residents return to homes that may have been in the family for years.

North HavenThe only way to get on or off the island is by boat.  If you’re not lucky enough to have your own, a ferry runs multiple times to and from Rockland.

flag/maine/North HavenI always know we are close when I spot the lichen covered rocks atop which an American flag waves.  One of these days I’m going to find out who puts that flag there and thank him/her for such a welcoming sight.

North Haven/llobster buoysAnother clue that we are nearing the island is the abundance of lobster traps which makes us very glad Pipe Dreams has jet engines rather than props that can become entangled in lobster pot lines.  From what I’ve seen clearing props is not a fun job!

North HavenThe reason for this visit to North Haven is to have dinner at Nebo Lodge, a popular eatery and one of very few on the island.

North HavenIt is a quaint place, packed in the evening, that serves menu items made from fresh ingredients grown on the island.  You might be interested in knowing that a Maine Congresswoman, Chellie Pingree, has played an important role in developing farming on North Haven.

North HavenInside, tables are covered with vintage tablecloths, and if one is soiled there’s plenty more from which to choose.

North HavenSome of you would be envious of the collection.

This time of year fresh flowers are on every surface and fill the air with their perfume.  I never cease to be amazed by Maine’s summer beauty.

Dinner at Nebo is leisurely and relaxing to say nothing about good.  What is amazing is that I failed to take a single food shot to whet your appetite.  I guess we were in too big a hurry to enjoy!

 i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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From Bud to Beauty

peonypeony: a type of plant with large pink, red or white flowers named after Paeon, a student of Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine and healing

peonyCan you imagine this beauty being used to relieve headaches and help with asthma as it was in ancient times?

peonyFrom the time a peony is a tight little bud

peonyattracting ants with the nectar that forms on the flowers 

peonyuntil it drops its petals in a snowy mound, it is a thing of beauty.

peonyWho can bear to leave them outside to be weighted by rain and buffeted by wind

peonywhen inside, blossoms, alone or clustered, can brighten a room

peonyor add color and texture uniquely their own.

No wonder peonies are a favorite for so many people, and I am no exception.  Having them in my own back yard, at least in Maine, is a special treat and I savor each blossom from bud to finish during its short blooming period.  Not only do I relish a peony’s incredible beauty, I’ve even learned to pronounce  pe-e-ny rather than pe-o-ny as my great grandmother used to say!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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Texas In Bloom

Office View HoustonLiving in Houston, a fast paced, sprawling, big city, it’s easy to forget about other parts of Texas that really characterize what this state is all about.  

wildflowersThis time of year is especially good for doing a little exploring. It takes about an hour to get away from city sights and sounds and start noticing fields of bluebonnets, Indian paints and other wildflowers blooming along the road.  

bluebonnetsWe Texans can thank Lady Bird Johnson for thinking that Texas highways would be a lot prettier seeded with wildflowers.  How right she was!

wildflowersLovely though the highways are, it’s not until you get on the back roads that it’s possible to stop and enjoy the magic.

wildflowersSeeing a fluttery butterfly feeding

wildflowersor a tiny bug using a petal as a bed are such simple pleasures.

wildflowersThere is surprise to find startling colors peeking among thorny cacti

wildflowersor here and there a solitary bloom reaching for the sun.

wildflowersMy favorite field of blooms? Right here, wild and untamed.

Taking time away from the city opens my eyes to a new sights that bring smiles.  Won’t you come with me again to do a little more exploring?

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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Treasure Box Tuesday

You’re Gonna Love it Tuesday