Friday, May 7, 2010

The Flower Color Journey

Dear Beth invited me to be a guest blogger on Acorn Pies.
Thank you, Beth, this is my very first guest blog!!
You asked me to write about my way of color coordinating in flower arrangements, and here it is:


It starts with a discovery trip through your garden/ your flower shop/ your pot plants ( or all of them).
Choose a flower which attracts you by its color combination. I would suggest choosing a flower with 2 or 3 obvious colors for starting the journey:

This wonderful garden rose shows a beautiful pink outside and a soft peach-orange inside of her petals.

Now take a deep look into her inside: a golden yellow tone develops there, corresponding with the golden yellow anthers.

Look at any flower with great interest and from all sides: the lower outside of the rose shows us yellow again! Three colors and all their gradations in one blossom: yellow, orange and pink.
Now the Journey begins: let's search for a flower in one of the rose's colors!

A small cranesbill in light pink. That will fit to the pink gradation in my rose. Look at how cute the anthers of this cranesbill are! Thin and slender and with a little, little tip of yellow at their ends!

One more beautiful pink: these are Armeria flowers, sweet balls, which show the same delicate pink and, can you see, again those fine fine yellow dots!
Now let's intensify both those tones:

One of my best flowers is the columbine! She mixes a little bit of red into the Armeria and Geranium Pink and shows a deeper pink tone and more of yellow, too! Always take your flowers to the rose and compare by holding them beside each other. You will discover more and more fine color details.
Meandering through our small small garden, a Rodanthemum with the cute name of "Petit Heart" catches my eyes with her wine red center: can you see, how this color is just the sequel of the columbine's deepened pink?

The "Petit Heart" shows pink petals, too, that is very kind of her, because it links her so nicely to my rose. I can find one more companion for her: Miss Pelargonium Citrosmum: more pink, less wine red, but nevertheless very similar, like the color siblings they are:

Now it's enough pink for my taste, let me widen up the wine red tone, which I found in Rodanthemum and Geranium and Columbine, and let me jump to a more exciting friend:
the Viola:

Viola now is teaching me: wine red fits to yellow, yes, it does! Now I need my rose once more :

Please scroll up and down and compare those 2! Can you see , how Mademoiselle Viola is just intensifying what we can see in Madame Rose? Oh, now we can be more courageous! Lets jump to YELLOW, beaming shining yellow:

A dash of Jasmine ( Jasminum nudicaule) in bright yellow, that what we need and that's what we saw in our rose, do you remember? We are just repeating what we saw! Yellow is a beaming color, we do not need a lot of it, just a dash.
Next step is : we become conscious of the Peach-Orange in our rose:

and repeat it with the lovely Cyrtanthus:

Can you see these tiny, tiny yellow spots at their blossom's tips?
And now we will do a leap which is hard for many people: we enhance that Orange and go courageously to one of the fullest Oranges in a May garden: do you know Tropaeolum ? Nasturtium?

Their Orange seems to me the color with the highest radiance. Tropaeolum is always good for an accent, so please take only few of them, they easily dominate the whole concept if there are too many.
Secretly enjoy that there is again yellow in the middle of our nasturtium and that brings us back to our rose:

Our Color Journey ends here. After this journey I always feel as if the flowers were leading me rather than my searching for them.
Now you want to know what I do with my discoveries, don't you?
I hope you are not already tired, that's a looong loong posting!

I did cut all the flowers, took off the leaves in the lower part of the stems and let them have a big drink of water in a deep container for at least an hour in a cool and dark place. Meanwhile I searched for a container and decided to show you an easy way to arrange flowers, a way my kids especially love: take a deep and wide plate and put a small saucer upside down in its middle:

Now search for another plate in the same color and put it on top, you build a kind of sandwich:

which you fill with water.

Place a flower between the 2 plates, it will most magically lock in-between. Start with the leafy flowers like Geranium

and Jasmine. You might stick them in various directions; that weaves them together even better.

Now get our color leaders, the roses, into the circle of flowers. You had better cut their stems short, as their heads are heavy.

The tiny flowers are following then. You do not have to make differences in height and length, that's a little bit difficult to fix. Same length for all flowers creates a nice picture, too.

Can you see how much the Nasturtium gives the picture a vivid atmosphere? All that pink needs some warmth! Our arrangement is ready now.

The inner plate is useful: you can put fruits inside or cookies or favorite things, just what satisfies you after that color journey:

Now let me stop here. I hope you did enjoy the FLOWER COLOR JOURNEY, I hope it's not too long, I just can't stop myself if it's about flower colors!

Thank you so much for inviting me, Beth, and I hope to see everybody here again!

A Note From Beth: Be sure to check out Gabriele's blog Natural in Japan at: or click on the title of this post to go to the link.


FairiesNest said...

Such a great post! I love flowers and the plate arrangement is a new one to me...very cool!

Appleshoe said...

Wow! I have never seen this done before. This is gorgeous. Wow. Thank you for the instructions. Take care.

Beth said...

Dear Gabriele,
You taught me so much today! I have always been hopeless at arranging flowers. I just pick a lot of colors I like and try to jumble them together in a vase. Now I know how to approach it! It is like art! You look very closely at one flower and learn all you can about it. You study its colors and it tells you what it needs to play with. I love the gorgeous photographs and am awed by your creative and observational powers. I also think that you communicated it all very, very well, and in a delightfully whimsical way, which I think is a huge accomplishment since English is not your mother tongue. My friends, all of you lucky women who are planning special Mother's Day brunches for your mother this weekend, here is a beautiful gift from Gabriele, something to help you decorate a special table. Thank you, Gabriele! love, Beth

Ariella said...

The plate arrangements are unbelievably beautiful!

Linda said...

What a wonderful journey of colour!

Amanda said...

Beautiful! I love the bowl arrangement. I hadn't thought of doing that before. The colors are so pretty together. Really, thank you! Its been very inspiring.

marcia said...

thanks for was lovely.


prettydreamer said...

So gorgeous ... thank you!~Pamela

Gabriele Kubo said...

Thank you for all your comments! They made my Mother's Day!

onegoldensun said...

The flowers are stunning! Thank you for sharing this inspiring how-to. I love all the beautiful projects on this blog.