Saturday, November 26, 2016

Great colors for late autumn, questionable lines

When we acquired this rust-colored container, it opened up all sorts of possibilities.  I think this was our first effort.  I can now see where we could have improved on the shape (I so want to move that piece of magnolia at 1 o'clock over to the center).

Also,  at 8 o'clock and 4 o'clock, those two pieces of brown-backed magnolia (which l think was a perfect choice for the late November Sunday) were too stiff and severe.  We should have lowered them, pointing downwards instead of straight out.  We really didn't have any curvy pieces of foliage to work with.  However, with a bit of tweaking, we could have formed a more triangular shape.  More roses pointing down would have helped.

I do love the combination of the 'Teddy Bear', brown-backed magnolia, the apricot-colored roses, the orange deciduous holly and the persimmons.  I don't think I would have chosen the floppy brown amaranthus.  Maybe we could have used something like sorghum that had better structure.

Also, with this container, it's necessary to fill in the area above the curved handles.  Otherwise, they appear as ears, and the birds in the center look like lips.  Our recent arrangements using this urn have been more successful.  Actually, white and cream roses for a fall wedding with some cattails and dark green foliage (maybe even some bosc pears on sticks and more velvety brown backed magnolia) look stunning in this container.

Still, the color combination pictured here remains one of my favorites for the late fall season.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

A wedding in August

Every Sunday I bring my camera to church to photograph the flowers.  However, I don't always know which team did the arrangement.  This was done in early August 2015, and judging from the colors, I'm thinking there was a wedding.

A close-up below shows a lovely combination of pink and green.  It looks like that's some sort of yarrow (the flat pinkish-lavender flower; I could be wrong on this).  They used white delphiniums and two types of pink roses.  Since this was done in August, I believe those are Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight.'  I'm sure the roses that dropped their heads on Sunday morning (there were only a couple) held up for the wedding the evening before.

The other arrangement shows how large our rotunda is.

Flowers for Benjie

Our church in Atlanta has more than 7,000 members.  When the new sanctuary was built in 2002, we started a flower guild.  This was necessary because the only place for flowers was in front of a whitish-gray (very cold-looking) huge slab of marble at the front.  The arrangements had to be at least six feet tall (ideally seven or eight feet) to make any kind of impact and to be the right size for the space.  We also needed a large arrangement in the middle of a rotunda-shaped narthex.  It would have cost thousands to hire a florist each week to do arrangements of the sizes we needed.

We have 10 teams.  We arrange on Saturday, and if there's a wedding that evening, we use the bride's colors.  If not, we can have colorful flowers like we've done above.  All of our teams use wholesale florists.  Our team (#6) always selects the flowers in person on Monday.  On Thursday, we either have the flowers delivered or pick them up.  Then, we prep them in the sacristy at the church.

Our chief arranger for the altar was Benjie Jones, an interior designer who always created a garden-like arrangement.  He would perform his magic, working quickly, until it all came together.  I would usually bring the foliage from my property.

On June 16 of this year, Benjie died after a valiant struggle with congestive heart failure.  He was on a list for a heart transplant, but suffered an infection in one of his ports.  This weakened his heart further, and he didn't make it.

We couldn't imagine how we could carry on without Benjie, but luckily Peggy Witt, who served three years as head of the Flower Guild, had figured out his method and is now able to "channel Benjie."

The flowers above were arranged by Peggy, and our team dedicated the flowers to Benjie on the Sunday after what would have been his 66th birthday on August 12.  We used a black urn, because Benjie loved black.  All the interior trim in his fabulous house in Virginia-Highlands is painted black, as is the outside.  If you Google his name, his house, which was on many tours, will come up, showing his unique style.

Our team almost always uses hydrangeas, roses and lilies as a base.  In this case, we added button-type green chrysanthemums (we seldom use chrysanthemums; this was unusual for us) and sunflowers with a yellow center.

The branches that came from my yard were winter honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima), tea plant (Camellia sinensis - it gives us very tall branches for the center), and Abelia chinensis.

Below is a close up of the altar flowers.  The narthex arrangement, using the same flowers and foliage, was created by other members of Team 6.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Carla's Narthex arrnagement

Note the callicarpa (beautyberry) coming down on the left of the arrangement.  Its purple/pink color picked up the color of the roses.  This is one of those compositions that you had to stand there and study, or you'd miss something.  There was even colorful nandina foliage included, along with the berries in their orange stage.  My camera did not capture this well at all.  Large and stunning.

Detail of Carla Stoutameyer's fall arrangement for the altar

Carla's color combinations - always fascinating

There's no doubt Carla Stoutameyer (Team 8) has an eye for color, and she's not afraid to try different combinations.  Here, large, cabbagy dark pink roses ('Pink Floyd') are mixed with orange roses and lilies.  Green chrysanthemums, sunflowers, orange deciduous hollies and ornamental grasses and thin cattails add to the color and the lines.  The rust-colored container is the perfect touch.

Carla used some holly and anise as greenery.  A detail of this composition shows the the lovely juxtaposition of flowers and berries.

Flowers for dedicating the new Fellowship Hall, November 24, 2013

A second large arrangement was put together by Peggy Witt and Wendie Britt.  I think they had someone from another team also helping.  Letsa Marietta was in on this one, as well, I think.

These are essentially the same flowers that were used in the Narthex.  This time, you can see some orange peppers were thrown in there, as well.

This arrangement was beautiful from all sides.  It was hard to choose a favorite to post.  I really loved those apricot-colored roses.  The lighter lilies were a good match.  Both the Narthex and this arrangement  looked like a fall garden.