…but I do love flowers and what artist could resist a blue/orange colour scheme! So when I was asked would I be willing to do the flowers for a wedding reception and the brides bouquet I had to say yes.
I’ve done some floral work for small family weddings before but nothing on this scale and I have a new respect for the work that a florist puts in to create those magical table arrangements.
Things rarely go smoothly when it’s not something I do often and this was no exception as the flower wholesaler didn’t get the flowers I ordered delivered and there were no orange flowers besides the roses . Since the brides colour scheme was blue and orange that was a bit of a setback.
I’m a real wildflower lover and am amazed at what you can find along the highway and backroads at any time of year so did a bit of foraging and came up with a few armfuls of orange montbretias and bucketloads of blue gum leaves. I also collected some blousy, deliciosly scented Iceberg roses from the brides family garden. Disaster averted!
The bouquet took a bit of time- it looks so easy when you watch a florist deftly demonstrating on You Tube ! In reality I moved flowers around quite a bit , fluffed it out a bit one side, then it was too much and had to take some away. I kept looking at myself holding it in front of the mirror to check if it looked balanced…just like I do with a painting! It did really help as I could see much more clearly any areas that were a bit out of whack ( yes that is a technical florist term!) I don’t think it’s perfect but just as with a painting I got to the stage where I thought changes were not going to make it better and probably would make it worse. So wrap it with ribbon and move on to those 42 table vases.
The most time consuming element was prepping the flowers – getting all the leaves stripped off the stems and cutting to size. It took ages but made the actual assembly of the 42 small table vases so much easier . Everything was ready to hand when I needed it- well that’s what it should have been like but in my real life kitchen I didn’t have enough room to lay them out properly and flowers kept jumping from one pile to another! It did streamline the process though…much like doing those all important planning steps before starting in with the paint.
The other major displa was an almost 8 metre garland for the top table. I took my bucket loads of blue gum, montbretia and roses up to the local art studio where there were long tables and layed out the garland in sections, wiring each section together then packing in a box in order so it would be a quick job to arrange them just before the reception started. I was worried about those Iceberg roses wilting so I wrapped their stems in some moisture matting for seedling trays and kept them in water until an hour before then deftly poked them into the garland hiding the ends under the gumleaves.
It was actually pretty quick to lay the garland sections and add the roses and montbretias and I was very happy with the end result. The seeded eucalyptus added some textural highlights so I was pleased I’d bushbashed to get them the day before, falling in ditches and getting caught on blackberry briars on the way.
There were a couple of big vases which were no problem and then a last minute addition of 3 window hanging bunches to use up a few left over flowers.
I like to evaluate my art once I’ve finished a painting so how did this rate? Overall I was pleased with the composition, loved the materials, was stretched by having to trouble and learned quite a bit along the way gaining new respect for the art of floristry.
It’s interesting how many other aspects of life have parallels with art. I’d love to hear how ,and if, you relate other activities to the passsions in your life.