Monday, January 18, 2016

A Beautiful Mess

Creamy, white roses for a wedding.

Pale pink ranunculus.
My finished arrangement back home.
Last Wednesday, I took a field trip with my fellow "Night Bloomers" Garden Club members and spent the afternoon visiting Rick's Flowers in Sterling, Virginia where owner, Rick, not only talked flowers for every occasion, but also gave us a class on making an architectural flower arrangement that we took home to enjoy and remember our gathering by.

It started as a beautiful, sunny but typically cold January day that warmed up with each flower we added to our arrangements and even though we all used the same flowers in the same order, each person's sweet bouquet of pink roses and gerbera daisies along with steel blue eringium (sea holly) and seeded eucalyptus, took on it's own unique personality and appearance as we built upon a foundation of glass and green oasis. Rick was (and is) a great teacher.  You could tell he spends a lot of time working weddings as he patiently guided us through the art of flower arranging while a gaggle of women continually talked over him. However, we did manage to stop talking, here and there, long enough to allow him to give us instruction.  "Cuddos" to him!

"Decorating for a wedding is like dressing a woman.  You can have a beautiful dress but putting all of the right accessories, jewelry, shoes and things together to make an entirely, wonderful and truly lovely presentation is what everyone will remember long after they have seen it.  The same principle holds true when planning the flowers and decorations for a wedding celebration. Whether you spend a lot or a little, make sure the flowers are beautiful to compliment the occasion."                  Rick of Rick's Flowers
Rick (far right) showing some of the group how to first get started on our arrangements.  Can you feel the creative juices beginning to flow?
Everyone's flower arrangements taking shape.

Before we got started on our flower creations, he gave us a peak into the busy and complicated daily life of a florist, balancing weddings to funerals and every other occasion in between, big and small, that calls for beautifully arranged flowers.  I might add, he did this whole presentation in a very cool, calm and collected manner even though he had a huge wedding event, out here near in my neck of the woods, at the Salamander Inn, in Middleburg, VA this past weekend.  Rick's workroom was filled with frilly hydrangea heads, delicate wax flowers, unfurling white roses, fragrant stalks of stock, dreamy ranunculus and so much more, all lined up and waiting patiently in buckets of cool water, making the work space an extremely pleasant place to be.

A beautiful mess.
Frilly and fluffy hydrangeas waiting to take their proper place in upcoming wedding arrangements.

While we made our arrangements, Rick told us about his life with flowers that began when he was just thirteen, back in his home town of Atlanta, GA.   One of his first jobs entailed working for a demanding florist who taught him the ropes and furthered his love of this creative, fulfilling and sometimes, highly stressful profession.  How many people go to work every day and do what they love to do for thirty years and counting?  If you, like Rick, are one of those people, consider yourself very fortunate!
"The earth laughs in flowers." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Lunch time and a toast to our gracious host.  Our arrangements paraded down the center of the table, making the January day a floral and culinary affair we will remember for a long time.
One of the finished arrangements waiting for lunch to be served.

So, we laughed, we talked, we listened, we arranged and learned more than a thing or two about the art of flower arranging and enjoyed ourselves immensely, finishing the day with a beautiful luncheon among the flowers, sitting at our banquet table that was dressed in pastels decorated by us, largely thanks to Rick.  The delicious fare was prepared and coordinated by fellow "Bloomers" Kim and Mary. This fresh January floral outing could not have been more perfect!  Really--if you do not belong to a garden club and think you may want to join one, call me--I have connections.  Besides that, any and all garden clubs are always welcoming and looking for interested people eager to share and learn about the natural world of flora and fauna. It's worth your time, believe me.

Rick and Arlene.
We also made simple yet elegant boutonnieres.

Showing off the boutonniere I made.  Yes, I know it would look much better on the jacket lapel of a handsome groom (or perhaps my prom date?) but this is what I had to work with. 
In any case, thank you Rick of Rick's Flowers for your generosity, knowledge and patience and thank you fellow "Bloomer" Arlene, who works for Rick and arranged the outing for us.  It was hardly a beautiful mess but truly a beautiful time!

1 comment:

  1. It was such an intimate moment and you could really feel the love and energy in the place. Our ceremony at Seattle Wedding venues was the most beautiful and romantic ceremony I could have ever expected (and all our guests made sure to tell us they felt the same way once it was over!).