In a world where "less is more" is preached and or sometimes in the world of social media, "more is more!" is vehemently praised, it can be confusing when it comes to floral design and how to approach any empty vessel. Based on my 12 years of experience as a Floral Designer (I started young, I'm 29), I always revert back to the basics and that's being a resourceful Florist! What do I mean by being a resourceful Florist? Well if you think about it, it's easier (so to speak) to design with all the botanicals in the world but to design with less, now that's a task that will challenge! Questions comes swarming into your mind and they consists of "how do I fill my vessel with not enough materials, how do I build and design something that would not fall apart the moment I let go, and how do I make a captivating arrangement that would truly showcase each natural element? This is where resourcefulness comes into play.
To answer all of the above questions, I'll walk you through a spontaneous journey I had a few days before Christmas day. It was a crisp and beautiful December Day and I had my heart set the night before that I would make my way to my local floral supplier to pick some specialty blooms for a Holiday arrangement for myself to enjoy. Come the day-of, plans changed and I was in no mood to commute at all. In that moment, I got excited because this would be a fun little treasure hunt challenge and I LOVE creative challenges. I stepped outside into my backyard and looked around.
Foraged and Found
What I found:
- From a shrub, some evergreen branches with mini conifers still attached
- A Golden Euonymus shrub (who has turned half green over the years) with dusty-pink berries just cracking open to reveal fleshy goji-berry colored seeds ready for the wind and birds to carry them away
- Japanese Honey Suckle Vines with transitioning color leaves with a few black berries clinging on from where fragrant blossoms use to be
- Crawling Ivy Vines (The Hedera helix 'Baltica' variety aka 'English Ivy') with dark green foliage with a more green-purplish-tinge showing through this season against white-patterned veins
- A bare tree branch that broke off from a tree somewhere
Be Captivated to Captivate
The transitional colors, seasonal hues, and the intriguing berries and seeds captivated me and reminded me that this moment is truly an example of designing amidst the seasons and working with Nature's landscape. Designing "on-the-fly" is usually a skill that most Florists have as Nature is ever-changing and flower yields throughout the world fluctuates and changes with the seasons. Generally, when it comes to event and wedding designs, I am 90% certain I will receive the flowers I plan for but the 10% leaves room for the unexpected and although scary in a world where certainty is sought after, to me that's also an opportunity for magic to happen but I digress.
Once all my materials are foraged I was able to gain a bit of direction on where my designs will take me. Evergreens are such quintessential foliage for the Winter season and with the brown conifers, berries and different textured greens, my arrangement is headed in a cohesive and seasonally-themed direction. I decided to look indoors to see if I had anything that would make this arrangement even more inviting--something that would tell a story even. AHA! I found chestnuts and a couple of dried stems of Lepidium from a previous wedding--more seeds and green airy textures to create movement. Does anyone think of "The Christmas Song" when they spot chestnuts in the Winter? I know I do and I shamelessly play it on repeat this time of year.
Intention Stems from Appreciation
As you can already tell, a huge part of the design process does not just start when you insert the first stem. The design process starts right when you step outside and turn on your Abundance Mindset. This perspective happens when you learn to appreciate the magnificence of each natural element, the way it grows, and the story it tells at its current state. From that appreciation you can begin to weave your magic and tell this grand story of Christmas/Holiday time sprinkled with age-old traditions that are even glorified in catchy toons. It's basically nostalgia on repeat!
When you or a florist operate out of the Abundance Mindset, you begin to intentionally design in a way that showcases each material in all its glory without overstuffing or doing more than what is needed. Once this mindset is tapped into, it's all art from there plus floral understanding and design techniques of course. I hope you enjoyed this little spontaneous adventure and may you always "fleurish" amidst the seasons!