In news to hand this week, we shall investigate The Weekend in Retrospective. In other words, oh my goodness we had a superb Sunday playing with flowers at our flower arranging workshop. Our floral filled thank you to Sarah and Bulloo Blooms for delivering an important lesson in life, the sheer pleasure of flower arranging. The fine art of bringing the outside in without the mud.
Let me recite my morning mantra from Sunday: tulips; snapdragons; stocks, the clove scent of my childhood; Geralton wax; alstroemeria; lisianthus; creamy-apricot roses with just a blush of pink, all Australian grown and with a hint of tea-rose fragrance to gently waft through the air. A pink statice, fairy statice I should think, fine and delicate, and some olive as a filler. I have just whizzed down to the sitting room to check my hand- tie bouquet and I get ten out of ten for my memory. So why can’t I remember my passwords or pin number? Perhaps I should imagine them as bunches of flowers?
This was all added to the Moble collection, sourced by the Impatient Gardener and yours truly the day before. Another excellent morning well spent, starting off as any expedition does with a Rutledge involved; that is, with a totally unconnected task thrown in for good measure.
If we are going to pick flowers we might as well fix the pump at Bannerman’s while we are on the way (why? to where?) and I can hook up the delivery pipe and try out the fitting Dad and I have invented which will pump water three ways whilst delivering even pressure to all lines as required, ensuring that if the sheep come to watch you enjoy a great bush shower, they can have a drink at the trough at the same time. Thank goodness, that sounds simply essential.
As it turned out, it was most fortuitous as I found a beautiful eucalypt whilst wandering around the waterhole (helping), with blue-green leaves hanging from red stems and dripping with lime green buds. Then onwards to pick Ruth’s Creek which was blooming with hop bush, Dodonaea spp, in every shade of pink through to brick red and Senna spp, Butterbush, in bud and flower, all with wonderful silver foliage to fill what I now know to be negative spaces in your arrangement. Hither-to known to me as needs a bit more oomph.
Lastly, we visited a few Bloodwood trees, Eucalyptus terminalis, some heavy in bud, a very few with early flowers and others shrugging their shoulders, saying not this year. We picked the low hanging stems, weighed down by the creamy bunches, and some higher ones requiring a ladder, the branch loppers and me to try and catch them on the way down. Then home again to strip the stems and fill the buckets, ready to meet their city cousins on the morrow.
It was a joy to share these incredible flowers with such a fun group of people and to observe the colour and form of each stem and why and how it may be maximised for impact. It was also so interesting to see how we all created what was ostensibly the same arrangement but with vastly different results; all were beautiful and a reflection of the individual personality and how we responded to the flowers. We learnt how to condition our flowers and how to look after them to ensure a longer vase life. I also learnt the value of having it all laid out and prepared before you start, which saves a great deal of rushing out to pick more, madly holding the bouquet in one hand whilst trying to pick with the other.
The clever choice of the apricot rose was appreciated when placed beside the creamy buds of the bloodwood in our asymmetrical arrangement; the blush of pink in both such a perfect combination and then set-off by the blue-green leaf of the gum with its yellow buds. The farm-grown roses looked so comfortable with their bush-grown companions, which just goes to show that the south-west makes everyone feel at home!
We have so much of beauty in our natural surroundings, I know I do bang on about it at times. Truly though, it is there for us all to see, we just need to go out and appreciate it. The arranging of flowers delivers another important lesson in life as well: no matter who we are or where we are grown, we can all complement each other if we are arranged with creativity, care, and a gentle hand. We just need to be able to dip our toes in the water.
Thank you, Sarah, for such a wonderful morning,
The Moble Gardener