This was a bit of a “wacky” autumn holiday dinner for close friends. It was after Canadian Thanksgiving and well before the American’s celebrate their holiday. We are neither American nor Canadian, but have almost always had a turkey sometime in October/November for the last 20+ years. At any rate, we decided to have a “festive” meal recently and I consider it the first of our holiday get-togethers, albeit much earlier than usual.
I left for the wholesale flower market at 6am on a Friday and got there by 625am, traffic wasn’t bad at all. I walked up and down the entire length of the market to see what was on offer, and quickly realized there were almost no roses at all, recent storms perhaps having wreaked havoc on supplies from the North. But there were lots of other flowers on offer, and they were a curious, colorful smattering of flowers that you might get in Spring, Summer and Fall in more temperate climates, in other words, a real miss-mash.
A good friend was also hosting a dinner party of her own that evening, and she was crazed, and asked that I pick up some flowers for three arrangements for her dinner as well. So I was buying for two, and if you have been reading the blog for a while, I tend to overdo the blooms, and go lightly on the leaves, for the most part. I started off trying to keep an orange and purple range of colors, but that kind of got waylaid by purchases of orange, yellow and other blooms.
It all seemed a bit chaotic, and in retrospect, I should have avoided those carnations and maybe the bright yellow snapdragons as well…
…the problem with mixing this many types of flowers, some with soft stems, others with woody stems, some that will wilt faster than others is that you might end up with arrangements that are total disasters.
One way would have been to put just one type of bloom in each vase, but of course that seemed to simple. I just took a deep breath, took out my clippers, put water in some vases and mixed in some flower food and hoped for the best.
When we got back home, I put all of the flowers in copious amounts of fresh water for at least 3-4 hours before I started to work with them. This gives them time to settle and drink up and that should help make them last longer, not to mention look better.
The first of five arrangements on the long dining table, this one at the end, and the smallest or lowest in height.
A second arrangement, slightly taller than the first.
And the arrangement at the center of the table, with the tallest height, but still low enough for nearly all guests to easily converse across it.
A lush but only medium height arrangement on a side table in the living/dining area. I also made 3 arrangements for the friend with a dinner party, but forgot to take a photo of those!
Ornamental gourds were scattered around the flowers. And a few votive candle holders added as well to light the arrangements from below with a gentle yellow light.
That’s what the dining table looked like…
…and all in all, the flowers seemed to mirror the colors of the abstract painting in the living room. I didn’t plan it that way, it just seemed to happen. Considering that we told guests it was a “casual come as you are” dinner, the arrangements turned out a bit fancier than intended. But then again, getting everything just right on the first holiday dinner of the season would probably be too much to ask for.
P.S. If you are wondering why a didn’t name all of the flowers in the photos, it’s because I don’t actually know what half of them are called. :)