Monday, March 29, 2010

Palm Sunday Bouquet

This past weekend marked Palm Sunday and Peter volunteered (or rather, I volunteered Peter) to make the flower arrangement for our church in celebration of the holiday and the beginning of spring.

We went out Saturday afternoon in search of plant material for this, which took us to places ranging from our own backyard, as usual, to Costco for fresh flower bouquets and then to Home Depot where he happened to walk by a lovely palm plant just waiting to be put to use. Peter, whose mantra is "no flower bouquet or arrangement can ever be too big" set his sites on designing something bold, dramatic and imaginative--his trademarks in flower design, of course.

Then, when we finally arrived back home, the real fun began with him assembling his creation on the back porch in the late afternoon sun. Starting with red maple and cherry tree branches filled with colorful, fragrant blossoms along with pussy willow for the core of the arrangement, Peter let his imagination take over and the design began to take on texture and life in an old iron urn which is often his vase of choice. Although the urn is heavy, (it takes a strong back to carry it, even when empty) it can hold a lot and can easily withstand tall architectural arrangements. Most importantly, it won't tip over.

The flowers in this arrangement hold many meanings important to the Easter Season beginning with white lilies for purity and majesty and white roses for love and respect. There were also white chrysanthemums for truth and cherry blossoms for nobility. Red maple stands for elegance and reserve while palm branches are probably the most important symbol in the arrangement in honor of Palm Sunday marking Jesus' triumphant return to Jerusalem and the beginning of the most Holy Week in the Christian Calender. Sprigs of boxwood for endurance and eucalyptus for healing helped to complete the entire floral spray into a very thoughtful display.

Garden lore claims that Palm Sunday, the 6th Sunday of the Lenten Season, is also a good day for gardeners to sweep out the church and scatter the gathered dust over their gardens where it would protect and fertilize the soil during the growing season. Palm Sunday has often been thought of as a good day to plant seeds as well. This year, it is still a bit early to be planting anything other than frost-hardy seeds and plants in our Northern Virginia area.

The flower arrangement was simply beautiful and welcoming, standing tall in the church sanctuary on Palm Sunday morning. I hope it brought the same good thoughts, joy and remembrance to those who attended the services there as it did for Peter and me on such a glorious early spring day.

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