♥ i heart macro ♥ – Pollen

Pollen

Its time for another ♥ I Heart Macro Sunday! ♥

More goodies from the garden.  I made another bouquet and then took these close-up shots.:

Macro shot of flower centersthree brown flower centers with yellow rings of pollen

yellow dahlia edged in pinklilac colored flowers in my dahlia bouquet

bouquet of Dahlias

✿✿✿

Lori of Studio Waterstone  hosts a weekly blog hop of close-up photos.
Visit Lori to get links to more great macro shots.

studio waterstone

Easy Spring Flower Arrangement

Helleborus Floral Arrangement

Would you like to add a beautiful accent to your livingroom coffee table, but don’t have much time or patience for an elaborate floral arrangement?  I’m about to share with you the most simple and pleasing flower arrangement imaginable.  All it takes is some blooming Helleborus from your garden. 

Helleborus come in a variety of colors.  Some bloom in the winter and are commonly known as Christmas Roses.  We have three colors of Spring blooming Helleborus in our garden:  deep purple, white with purple flecks and yellow.

Helleborus blooming in our garden

White and purple helleborus

5 petal yellow Helleborus

As you can see in the photo below, most types of Helleborus flowers hang downward, like bells.  This makes it difficult to see their faces in a floral arrangement, but we can easily solve that little problem.

purple Helleborus in garden

Here’s How

Fill a shallow bowl with water.  You can get creative here.  Perhaps you have a shallow serving bowl–even an 8″ (3.1 cm) pie pan would work.  In my case, I’ve used a bowl that was originally purchased to hold potpourri in the bathroom.  I never use it for that purpose anymore, because I love using it for flowers.

Shallow bowl filled with water Cut some stems of Helleborus.  The number you will need depends on the size of your bowl.  I used 8 for this bowl.

Cut Helleborus on kitchen counter

Now cut the stems so they are about an inch (.4 cm) long.

cut helleborus stems 1 inch long

Float them in your shallow bowl.  The Helleborus will remain “sunny-side up”.  This way you can enjoy these pretty blooms even better than when they were in your garden.

Helleborus floral arrangement

Place your arrangement on a low table, so that when you sit down, your line of vision will gaze down toward the upward pointing Helleborus faces.  I placed my arrangement on the shelf under my clear glass-topped coffee table in the livingroom.  The lovely flowers put a smile on my face every time sit on the couch to read or relax.  Enjoy!

Helleborus floral arrangement

I had cut one more Helleborus stem that didn’t fit in the arrangement, so I placed it in a crystal goblet and set it on the dining table.

Helleborus in a crystal goblet

What are you favorite springtime cut flowers?  Let me know if you try a floating Helleborus floral arrangement.

Monday Meanderings: Fall Floral Arrangement

Reader Challenge Update

I completed my necklace for Lorelei’s Reader Challenge.  I was stewing about what to do with the white chain, but I came up with a solution that works quite well.  The “Great Revealing” of everyone’s work will be October 17th.  It’s hard not to share before then but…I won’t!

Purple Asters

My husband came into the house this afternoon, with his arms filled with all these asters.  The rain had beaten them down and they were now lying on the driveway.  He’d cut them out of the way and inquired, “Do you want to do something with these, otherwise I’ll throw them away”.  He knows me.  Flowers never go to waste around here!

Floral arranging has a lot in common with jewelry design.  Both fulfill  my love of color and beauty.  Both require attention to balance, proportion and texture.

Mini Floral Design Tutorial

Floral arranging is one of my favorite activities, so I think I’ll try sharing the steps I took in creating a bouquet with these flowers.

  • When planning a bouquet, give a little thought to selecting a pleasing color combination.  To some extent this will be limited by what is blooming in your garden at the time.  Right now we have abundant amounts of  black-eyed susans, which I decided to combine with the purple asters..   Purple and yellow is a lovely combination, but its best to choose a predominate color and a secondary color.  If the colors are present  in equal amounts they tend to compete for attention.  Thus, I used mostly the purple asters, with fewer black-eyed susans giving bursts of golden-yellow.

 

black-eyed susans make a pretty addition to a flower arrangement

Black-eyed susans make a pretty addition to a flower arrangement

 

  • Remove all the leaves from the stems that will be under water.  Leaves + water = rot = bacteria = wilted flowers.  The leaves on these asters were ugly anyway because the weather has turned cold and the asters are starting to die.

 

purple asters with bare stems

Purple asters, leaves removed

 

  • Next you need to cut the stems at an angle.  The angle allows more of the stem surface to be exposed to the water, making it easier to keep the flowers hydrated.  After cutting the flowers, they need to have those cut ends placed immediately in water, or the ends will seal over. Just place them in an extra vase or pot until you are ready to use them in your arrangement.

 

Cut aster stems at an angle, before placing in a floral arrangement

Cut the flower stems at an angle and submerge stems in water.

 

  • Now you can begin placing stems in your vase.  Do not cut all the stems the same length, instead place some taller ones in the center and taper down toward the sides.  Turn the vase as you go, to keep the arrangement balanced.  Some people like to place the vase on a lazy-susan, so they can easily turn it, as they add flowers.  As the stems interlace inside the vase, you will be creating a structure that will help support the stems that you add later.
  • When it is starting to get full, add some of your secondary color.  Are there some gaps?  Add more of the primary color or fill in with something airy, like baby’s breath.  It looks better if it isn’t perfect, so don’t fret.  Just have fun.
  • Now sit back and lets nature’s beauty sink deep into your soul.  Breathe deeply and let the contentment in.

 

Purple aster and black-eyed susan flower arrangement

My finished arrangement

 

 

A beautiful arrangement of purple asters and yellow black-eyed susans

Maybe I should design a bracelet in these colors! I think it would be lovely.