Saturday, March 24, 2012

Spring Flowers

Spring has sprung and I'm literally giddy with delight. After a thorough cleaning of my home (which coincided nicely with my annual tax time procrastination) I desperately wanted to bring the season indoors with some fresh flowers. I love the creative process of arranging flowers because you get to play with so many design elements—texture, color, proportions and shape. The overall aesthetic is up to the creator and you can take risks knowing that it will always be inherently beautiful. Flowers, to me, are decadent necessities; they brighten my home and my mood.

I adore simple arrangements of just one type of flower, like these amazing tulips from the Union Square Green Market. When you bring your tulips home, wrap the stems in parchment paper (if they're not already) and secure with a rubber band. Give the bottoms a fresh cut and let them sit in a vase of cold water for a few hours, which will toughen up the stems and hopefully prevent them from drooping.

These antique hydrangea make a statement and I especially love the unexpected whimsy of the viburnum, whose daintier heads pop up above the regal crowd. As much as I cherish hydrangea, they're high maintenance (a character flaw I put up with because they're so gorgeous). After giving them a fresh cut, take your scissors and cut the bottom inch of the stem in half and then into quarters (making an "x"). Put them in hot water from your tap. If they start to wilt, you can repeat the process and then spritz the heads with cold water.

I made this pretty pink bouquet of peonies and ranunculus to try and keep my spirits up in the midst of preparing my taxes. They sat on my desk, whispering sweet words of encouragement when I wanted to curl into the fetal position. Who knew a little floral pick-me-up could save me from such loathsome intensity?

The most important thing to remember about arranging flowers is that no matter how they turn out, you'll soften just a little bit every time you look at your creation. Flowers are a reminder that beauty can be found in ordinary things. Sometimes it's the simplest moments of appreciation that can change the way we look at our experience.