Spring into spring with pink, purple and something black

To buy a bouquet of flowers, from a return on equity point of view, is bad investment. Flowers start to die the moment they are removed from the stem, and as they loose their freshness, their value depreciate. But we adore flowers nonetheless.

As Michael Pollan pointed out in his book, The Botany of Desire, attractive flowers have a higher chance of being noticed by insects and animals (acting as agents of pollination), and thus bearing fruits first. Humans are also susceptible to this attraction.

Of the humans, Sherry has been most fatally afflicted. In addition to pink calla lilies and yellow daffodils in my office, there are also a variety of blossoms in my apartment, including snapdragon, forget-me-not, pansy, zinnia… You get the picture. And to top off my flower frenzy, a seminar on flower arrangement!

(image credit: Web/Ashley Kate HR)

(image credit: Web/Ashley Kate HR)

Word of the Day: Flower 
Flower 花(hua/ㄏㄨㄚ)

Last week, New York-based floral designer Lewis Miller presented his book Styling nature: A masterful approach to floral arrangements at the Barnes & Noble by Union Square. In addition to discussing his inspiration behind his creations — notably 17th century Dutch still life paintings, Miller did a live demonstration of his methods. Takeaways:

  1. Key factors to consider: color, composition, movement, shape and texture.
  2. Avoid clear transparent flower vessels. The vessel that you put your flowers in is as much a part of the final presentation as are the flowers.
  3. Remove leaves from the part of the stem that would be submerged in water. Leaves left in water rot, which can contaminate the water.
  4. Balance eye-popping spring colors (i.e. blush-pink, pastel purple and dandelion yellow) with darker palettes. Hellebores, which are evergreen perennial flowering plants known as “winter rose,” “Christmas rose,” make the perfect accompaniment. Remember to use black hellebores.
  5. Use flowers that continue to grow even after they have been cut. Excellent cut flowers include anemones and tulips.
  6. Be adventurous, play with color, volume and so forth, just remember to make your arrangement look good.

Miller takes inspiration from Dutch painter Rembrandt, adding darker tones to his flower arrangements. (Image Credit: Web/Lewis Miller “Styling Nature”)

Frankly, I am inspired! More flowers please!

p.s. It is very likely Sherry shall grow old as a plant lady, read blog post “One day, I’ll be an old lady with plants. In fact, given that I live on Wall Street — for you non-New Yorkers, the location spells closely tucked skyscrapers with limited sunlight exposure, I believe weekends call for a date with my plants. Just little old me, my sweat peas and tomatoes, and some photosynthesis. Yes?

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