Not very promising for Blooms Day, eh? But don’t go away. You might be surprised by how this story ends.
Yesterday’s wind did a good job trimming branches from the trees, including these whips from a weeping willow. I wish I’d found more.
Because, with their flexibility and buttery colour, weeping willow whips make excellent material for flower arrangements. And they’re free!
Gather as many as you can find, and twist them together into a loose rope. Then insert both ends into your vase to form an armature or framework for your flowers. With the armature in place, it will be easier for the flowers to stay where you’ve put them. Plus, the armature adds a little extra something to the design. Here’s what I did with mine.
I learned to make something from nothing as an amateur floral design competitor in my local garden club. Floral design can often cost a bundle in fresh flowers. As I didn’t have a bundle, but liked to play the game, I often used what I could find for free (or at reasonable cost).
For a design themed around clouds, for example, I used rhubarb flowers and leaves from my sister-in-law’s garden, in blue glass vases. I thought they looked very cloudlike, and so did the judges.
For a foliage design (shown left), I used curly kale, red cabbage, rosemary and some fronds from a fern I already owned.
For a design called “Blast Off” (right), I scoured vacant lots around town for weeds. It won a Judge’s Choice. (Please forgive the lousy images – they’re hastily shot photos of bad photos.)
Keep your eyes open – and sometimes keep them on the ground – because you might find something humble you can use to great effect. I’m sure you already have ideas. Why not share them here?
For other ways to experience the garden in February, go straight over to May Dreams Gardens, where every 15th of every month Carol hosts a floral show and tell from bloggers worldwide.
Thank you Helen! Looks great! Now, I know how to use the branches of my grape vines that I cut yesterday!
Helen, they look great. We too did some flower arranging in our club but did not use all the more unusual plants as you did. I really like what you came up with. The kale and red cabbage are nice additions.
I love those somethings from nothing! That design with the kale and kabbage is killer 🙂
Thanks for all the tips. Have to say I love those end of winter pix of all the interesting garden debris that's blown down.
Great to see your photos from snowy Toronto–interesting about the willow whips and very pretty. I am in snow-covered Pennsylvania, but the temperature suddenly shot up and I managed to find some flowers outside. Happy GBBD, Carolyn
What a fantastic use for those willow whips! Very creative, and very pretty Helen!
trouble is, when I keep my eyes on the ground I end up bringing rocks home 🙂
It's strange. I hadn't imagined you as a flower arranger.
A charming post and an arrangement that brightened my day. Thank you
I think they look great. Congrats
That is a great tip. And the final product looks very beautiful.
I love the rose arrangement, and the weeds (seriously, weeds?) look great too.
Thanks, everyone! Last night brought us a little more snow, but the sky is blue, blue, blue, and it all looks quite pretty. The new snow even disguised the ugly grey stuff on the roadsides (which my sister has dubbed "meggin"). So I'll put up with a little more winter. Of course, it helps that yesterday I noticed the tips of snowdrops pushing up through the frozen earth. Spring is on its way!
Hey, Wiseacre, I'm always bringing rocks home, too!
And, Esther, I haven't competed for a few years due to time constraints. But I did enjoy the challenge of coming up with unconventional designs to interpret the themes. More people should give it a try. It's fun!
You are so clever and creative. Making something from nothing what our forebears always did.~~Dee