Hello dear readers, I’m back with a new flower column for you to enjoy this month. I currently live in Germany, but I grew up in the Ukraine and one of my most cherished memories goes back to summer months spent with my wonderful grandma at our ‘dacha’, a small Russian summer house. This was our seasonal second home where we grew our own fruit, vegetables and flowers! I was outdoors the entire time helping my beloved granny plant new strawberries or potatoes. Luckily, my grandma loved flowers as much as I did and so together we planted peonies, daisies and my favorite, irises. In fact, I think it was her who instilled a passion for flowers in me.
There was no better feeling than to go home with a bucket full of strawberries or a bouquet of peonies. When my mother and I moved to Germany, my granny visited and brought a few rhizomes from our dacha. She also planted peonies. With this background you might better understand my love of flowers an why I am really looking forward to share this special arrangement with you today fresh from the garden.
I instantly knew that I wanted to design a centerpiece around wisteria, this pale violet wonder, so that was my starting point. I focused on white and lavender tones to create a balanced look and started collecting flowers from the garden and the nearby forest (like the wild garlic & wild chervil). If you wish to make this kind of arrangement at home, you will need:
pliers – to cut the wire
tape – to fix the wire to the vase
clean and sharp garden shears
Once I got home, I prepared the vase and put in some chicken wire and fresh water. If the vase you are using is not deep enough, you can fix the chicken wire with clear tape to vase so you have a solid ground to work with.
I started with the wisteria because those were the biggest pieces in the arrangement and because they are fairly heavy so they needed to be fixed in place first. As you can see, I put the branches in all the corners of the arrangement. Not only does that provide balance, but it also gives a structure to the centerpiece. Because the wisteria has very woody stems, I clipped up the center from the bottom of each so the stem could absorb enough water. Also, make sure to cut each flower stem before placing into water since this helps to preserve the beauty of the flowers longer. Step by step I added the Spiraea. Once I had a full clustered base I added the Iris. This time I wanted the focal flowers to be in the middle, so the main actors can be seen at first glance.
To add an interesting touch, I placed columbines, wild garlic and wild chervil in lots of layers which added a beautiful depth to the arrangement and a loose, casual feeling. The last flowers I added were a few roses, just because they were blooming too and I couldn’t resist their cute faces. In the end you can see how the various shades of white and the purple-toned flowers highlight the beauty of the white Iris. They become a loose and airy frame to this pale and elegant beauty and make the eye wander from flower to flower.
I hope you enjoyed walking virtually with me through our yard and the nearby forest and making this arrangement with me. I will be enjoying every second of this arrangement and will see you in June with a new flower column. – Anastasia
(Photography, Text, Styling: Anastasia Benko. Editor: Holly Becker)