Oh, the Fall! Be still my heart! Nature’s display of oranges and reds almost makes up for the dull, dreary winter that is looming before us and what’s better than bringing those colours into our homes to brighten up the day?
I remember reading somewhere years ago, when North Americans seemed hungry for everything French and their je ne sais quoi, that French homes often have fresh flowers throughout. While I am not a fan of foie gras or mass transit strikes, I can firmly assert that I side with the French on two things: champagne and flowers.
Lured by the vibrant colours and clusters of blooms, I stopped into neighbourhood florist Gilded and Green where I met owners Nancy and Charlotte.
If ever you’ve wondered why arrangements from florists cost more than corner store bouquets wrapped in cellophane, I can tell you. Nancy and Charlotte are artists. They agonize over every detail of each arrangement: the perfect vessel, the balance of blooms to greenery, the length of each stem and the overall composition. With their discerning eye and unwavering dedication to quality, they select only the best for their shop. Like curators of a museum, each vase, plant and flower is part of a larger story.
On the day that I was in the shop, oranges, reds, yellows and purples prevailed. And oh, they were just so pretty!
I was amused by these whimsical moss sculptures that I was assured were low maintenance.
I said that I thought they would make for lovely gifts and Nancy was quick to offer some other suggestions for thank-you or hostess gifts that are not the traditional bouquet.
I couldn’t leave the shop without asking if they could share a few tips for budding wanna be florists (pun intended!) like myself.
- Keep it simple. Stick to 1-3 different varieties of flowers.
- Always add some greenery.
- Don’t be afraid of using colour but keep the colours in the same family, or go monochromatic.
- Cut the stems! Lop ‘em off! Very few arrangements actually look their best in tall vases. Tall arrangements are a tough look to pull off and you need the perfect space in your house to display them (think: hall foyer, large dining room table)
- Think about the vessel. If you have a vessel that you want to use, make sure that the flowers are cut down, and there are enough to fill it.
- Hire a professional. You may pay a bit more but a professional brings an understanding of the flowers as well as an artistic eye.
Have an arrangement you want to show off? Send us a tweet, an Instagram or Facebook message – we’d love to see it and we like to share!