17 Dec2012

We usually try to schedule two holiday dinners on consecutive nights. It’s easier to mobilize everything, it saves on food costs to some degree, and flowers are used for at least two events. This was this year’s fairly massive floral arrangement that was placed in the middle of our living and dining area for the holiday dinners. An early morning trip to Dimasalang (the wholesale flower market) on a Thursday initially yielded a rather disappointing first impression, there just wasn’t that much to choose from it seemed, and the quality of many blooms was not the finest. After walking up and down the street twice, I finally decided to try to anchor an arrangement on ornamental cabbages, some hydrangeas, and lots of other “fillers”…

I always think I don’t have enough material to work with, so I get more, and well, sometimes you can overdo it. :) I liked the outcome for the most part, but I did vacillate between describing it as a “bad hair day” arrangement and a “large 360 degree holiday show-stopper”. Guests seemed to like it, but perhaps they were just being polite. :)

There are lots of green and flowers in the arrangement that I do NOT know the names of. But it did have cabbages, hydrangeas, small green mums, snapdragons, carnations, funky light green foliage, queen anne’s lace, etc.

I used a large fruit stand as the base, and put four bricks of floral foam into which the stems were stuck. The ornamental cabbages had very short stems, so they were kind of buried by all the other stuff…

Another view of the arrangement, with the Christmas tree in the background.

The arrangement lasted 2-3 days before it started to look a bit tired, so I cannibalized it to make three smaller arrangements, extending the life of some blooms and getting the most out of the flowers and greens.

Approximate cost of the large arrangement was roughly PHP2,500 or $62, and it took roughly an hour to do (plus time to go to the wholesale market). Far, far less cost than if you ordered it from a fancy or not so fancy florist. Yes, it is a bit extravagant, but considering that it played a part in holiday dinners for say 30 guests on two different nights, I think it was well worth the money and the effort.



  1. Cheryl says:

    so nice! merry Christmas and a Happy New Year MM & family! more blessings to come!

    Dec 17, 2012 | 8:31 pm


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  3. Betchay says:

    Bad hair day? of course not! Though not as colorful as your other previous arrangements, nevertheless you’ve made the purple hydrangeas stand out amongst the variety of greens.Well done MM!

    Dec 17, 2012 | 8:49 pm

  4. Thel from Florida says:

    Beautiful– truly a holiday show-stopper! Flowers makes me soooo happy and contended.
    Thank you kindly for sharing.

    Dec 17, 2012 | 9:07 pm

  5. Andrea says:

    I agree with ms. Thel…it’s beautiful and it makes me feel good and inspired to do the same for our guests…

    Dec 17, 2012 | 10:20 pm

  6. natie says:

    Beautiful!! So lush! White filler flowers are Lysianthus, and the green ones are Bells of Ireland.

    Dec 17, 2012 | 10:31 pm

  7. Lydia Bautista says:

    amazing find and awesome outcome. really nice.

    Dec 17, 2012 | 10:48 pm

  8. Hungry says:

    Marketman, I think you should consider a book on entertaining. You have a knack for it. I couldn’t even imagine that snapdragons are available in Manila because it easily wilts in the heat. Thanks for sharing !!

    Dec 17, 2012 | 11:00 pm

  9. Footloose says:

    I was going to say your primary arrangement reminds me of the track stopping arrangement you encounter as you enter the Metropolitan Museum in NY and surely enough, after reading Natie’s identification of the rose-form greenish white flower and vaguely remembering you had a post on that too made me search lisiantus (http://www.marketmanila.com/archives/recycling-lisianthus) and what do you know?, the very image that initially came to my mind, a post on the Wallace legacy at the Met

    After rereading this post from a year ago, I’d say this current arrangement is another home version of that said monumental arrangement that guards the inner entrance and that you have to literally get around in order to reach the grand stairwell.

    Dec 18, 2012 | 12:13 am

  10. joanie says:

    another beautiful arrangement. Happy Holiday, MM and family!

    Dec 18, 2012 | 4:02 am

  11. Chinky says:

    Looks great! A Happy Christmas to you and yours and the rest of the MM community!

    Dec 18, 2012 | 6:39 am

  12. cecile says:

    i like those arrangements. they are refreshing to look at :)

    Dec 18, 2012 | 7:57 am

  13. Papa Ethan says:

    Your whole composition was definitely a winner! Considering that you just put it together by “oido” I find that there is overall coherence in terms of form, color and symmetry. The same holds true for the “cannibalized” version you did afterwards. It takes a bit of daring and confidence to combine purple and green since that color combination isn’t very common.

    Personally, I find that most of the available local arrangements often put together diverse elements (florals, foliage and fillers) that do not really agree with each other, such that the end result is a visual chopsuey — attractive perhaps, but not quite right.

    Congratulations on your handiwork!

    Dec 18, 2012 | 8:25 am

  14. pixienixie says:

    Your first arrangement isn’t a bad hair day, in my opinion. In fact, I made a mental *wow!* when I saw the picture heralding this post. I must say, though, the Christmas tree in the background totally stole my attention. I love trees done in the traditional Christmas colors – none of those funky purple trees with oversized purple flowers in the mall.

    Dec 18, 2012 | 8:25 am

  15. Khew says:

    The arrangement has a very appealing temperate garden/country look. Yes, pity about the hidden cabbage.
    Just wondering – did you use an oasis block( the green sponge ) for the large arrangement? Sometimes, people soak it by misguidedly pressing and forcing the block into water. This is counter productive as you’ll normally find that the centre somehow remains dry no matter how long it soaks. The trick is to simply let the block sink into the water naturally. It only takes 2 or 3 mins. and the block gets truly and fully saturated.

    Dec 18, 2012 | 8:50 am

  16. alicia says:

    Just gorgeous. I think I need to show you what a bad hair day really looks like. You would be appalled if you saw an arrangement that I labored over for hours. Can I send over my vessels? :)

    Dec 18, 2012 | 9:18 am

  17. dhanggit says:

    drop dead gorgeous and i love the mix of colours :-) we’ll try to make a nice centerpiece too, you just inspired me!

    Dec 18, 2012 | 9:53 am

  18. Mini says:

    How lovely! Have a blessed Christmas, Sir.

    Dec 18, 2012 | 10:11 am

  19. millet says:

    i’m a sucker for cut glass, so more than anything, it was the last picture that got me. nice arrangement, but for christmas parties, i would prefer reds and oranges, although those have probably gone straight from the farms to the florists.

    Dec 18, 2012 | 11:05 am

  20. Stinker says:

    Rarely comment but I have to say the color combo/arrangement is very, very classy..Love it!

    Dec 18, 2012 | 11:21 am

  21. Connie C says:

    A virtual bouquet for all the we-men of the Philippines. The RH bill has passed!!!

    Dec 18, 2012 | 12:14 pm

  22. Connie C says:

    (cont’d from #18) in Congress……And hopefully the third reading of the RH bill will proceed smoothly in the House and the Senate!

    Dec 18, 2012 | 12:29 pm

  23. Mandy says:

    Love it! :)

    Dec 18, 2012 | 1:59 pm

  24. Marketman says:

    Connie C, yes DEFINITELY a YAY for the RH Bill!!! millet, it’s a Hoya, that venerable Japanese crystal manufacturer that has since stopped its home division. I bought it an at ukay-ukay in Cebu for very little. Once I noticed the Hoya marking, started bargaining… :) alicia, hahaha, I need to see the environment the vessels will be placed in. A guest at one of the dinners thought I had a new secret florist in my back pocket… kept them guessing for a while… khew, you are right, oasis. And yes, the right way to soak them is to let them float in water and let them naturally sink all the way down. Leave them there for another few minutes before using. Footloose, I also did a red one with the remnants of the Met inspired piece last Christmas Eve, in case you missed that post, here. Natie, thanks for the names, I did know lisianthus, but bells of Ireland, what a descriptive name!

    Dec 18, 2012 | 2:29 pm

  25. max says:

    love it

    Dec 18, 2012 | 2:43 pm

  26. matthew filart says:

    the “funky green foliage” is called bells of ireland.
    btw, MM, what a lovely arrangement and advanced merry christmas!!

    Dec 18, 2012 | 7:45 pm

  27. ConnieC says:

    The 2012 arrangement compared to the 2011 one offers a nice contrast and quiet elegance…….a visual relief from the reds, perhaps a subliminal message in MM’s brain, reflected in the arrangement, to ease a bit from the crazed holiday season.

    A blessed holiday to MM, Mrs MM and Teen and Sister too ( too bad can’t do the ham anymore…health issues) and to all the lovely netizens who visit and comment on MM’s blog!!

    Let us all hug our children and grandchildren!!!

    P.S. #18 deposed to #20 instead

    Dec 18, 2012 | 8:00 pm

  28. natie says:

    Blessings to everyone and Happy Holidays!! RH Bill, yeyy!!! I used to work in a Family Planning Clinic in Bacolod mid 70s..Always been an advocate.

    MM, BettyQ and everyone who posted on the Leche Flan Chronicles, I made several Flans last weekend and they were superb!! Thank you!

    Bells of Ireland last so long, and I think they ‘dry’ well too…just like Hydrangeas, Eucalyptus and Baby’s Breath.

    Dec 18, 2012 | 10:43 pm

  29. DhayL says:

    I loved it! Not your traditional holiday colors, but something different and it has a “nature feel” to it! Good job!

    Dec 19, 2012 | 1:53 am

  30. Sleepless in Seattle says:

    Flower arrangements are my eye candy,Mm..you just step it up with a lot Knot!! Love all of them..just plain classy.

    Dec 19, 2012 | 7:28 am

  31. mench says:

    lovely! merry christmas marketman!

    Dec 19, 2012 | 12:26 pm

  32. MP says:

    Hahaha MM! “Bad hair day”!!! Far from it MM…. They’re a sight for sore eyes….

    Merry christmas MM community!!!

    Dec 19, 2012 | 1:16 pm

  33. manny says:

    Zubuchon Flower Shop?!?!? ha ha ha

    Dec 19, 2012 | 4:47 pm

  34. cumin says:

    If that’s a bad hair day flower arrangement, you can be my hairdresser, MM.

    One more feature on Zubuchon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=zHn-c5YeLYk

    Dec 19, 2012 | 5:06 pm

  35. Thel from Florida says:

    MM, today I found out the magazine that has the article about your teen. I’ll go and buy it now. I’m so excited. Hope she got home safe for the holidays. God Bless always.

    Dec 19, 2012 | 8:26 pm

  36. Marketman says:

    Thel, enjoy the magazine! :) cumin, thank you so much for that, didn’t even know it had aired, and I wasn’t around when they filmed it…

    Dec 19, 2012 | 8:29 pm

  37. Jade186 says:

    I think know which magazine this is as well :-) My son shares the same name of her xxxxxx school.

    Dec 20, 2012 | 3:22 am

  38. Raneli says:

    MM the flowers looked beautiful..just the right colors which don’t have to be chrimassy.

    Dec 20, 2012 | 12:31 pm

  39. Charm says:

    I liked it :)

    Dec 23, 2012 | 9:02 pm

  40. flores lima says:

    Very good pictures, each of which highlights the details of the bouquets, and I see a lot of variety, very good post.

    Jan 2, 2013 | 12:26 pm


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