FLORAL DESIGN ~ Dynamic Duos


For this holiday season, I determined long ago that the accent colours in the dining room would be Radiant Orchid and Garnet.  This dynamic duo is warm, sexy, sultry, and hints at traditional Christmas with it’s own contemporary whimsy.  As you will see later, I use my chosen colour scheme not only on my tabletop (from yesterdays blog), but for my dining room tree ornaments (we do a second tree in the family room…this one is retro, colourful, and vintage, & is decorated with ornaments specifically chosen for the people whose presents wait lovingly underneath).  I use white and ‘something’ for the dining room – that something is either the colour of the year, or one that I feel speaks to us at that time.

I used 3 Garnet Mercury Glass Vases from Chapters/Indigo.  These little vessels are wonderfully sparkly on their own, as the interior is goldy/silver.  I chose them largely for their colour, and for their pragmatism…since they are not adorned with kitschy Christmas garb, they can be reused again and again.

I never really know what my flower arrangements are going to look like until they are done.  For these ones, I bought from several different shops and choose about half-dozen different types of flowers.  I always like seeded eucalyptus as my ‘greenery’ (that’s the silvery/green leafy stem you see throughout) because it has wonderful movement, looks a little icy, and provides delicious texture into bouquets.  I also like a bold, ‘focal’ flower, and movement…I don’t like a stiff, still bouquet.  They always seem so positioned and stoic.  Not the inherent nature of a flower at all!  Here is what I came home with…

collection before creation chapters

You can’t see from this picture above either, but I found the most beautiful tea roses…they were hot pink and almost a purple/red on the tips…gorgeous!  Here is a better shot of them.  In the first snap, they are clustered in the bottom left and the top right.  In the second, they are in a large mass on the left.

overhead1 closeup2

To arrange, start with bunches of flowers first.  Clusters, or large groupings, spread around the vase looks chic and contemporary.  You can see below that I’ve grouped hot pink carnations in the second picture.  In both, I’ve clustered garnet coloured mums.  Be sure to balance the colours, that is, repeat them in groups through-out the bouquet.  This keeps it looking balanced and attractive.  Then, use your ‘focal’ flowers and position them as you like.  For these bouquets, I choose a deep garnet peony…not cheap (Gasp…$7 each!), but entirely showy and fanciful and totally worth it.  Peonies NEVER disappoint.  See below…first one is in the middle of bouquet, second pic has peony on bottom right.  Sexy!

 overhead closeup4

I also used a few ranunculus.  I LOVE these flowers…so subtle, and yet deliciously romantic, textural, almost ethereal in the bouquet.  Second only to the peony in my opinion.  See below…these ones are light pink, with multiple layers of petals, and have a light green centre…


The last step is to add your greenery…here I used the seeded eucalyptus along the outer edges (just a bit…it can get a little crazy this stuff!), and another red texture in clusters and small dashes (to balance out the hard garnet mum masses).

All in all, a wonderfully over-the-top, totally showy, colourful, and whimsical flower arrangement.


“I must have flowers, always and always.” ~ Claude Monet

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