Thursday, October 4, 2012

While I'm on a roll, here are some more images from my 1957 copy of Better Homes and Gardens, Flower Arranging.
This time with a Modern, contemporary bent. Yesterday's arrangements were pretty, the editors call these, exotic. What do you think?

"Black ceramic accessories showing the Scandinavian influence in their designs are well placed to balance the branch of laurel flowing out in the opposite direction"

And look, that mother-in-laws tongue in the centre, looks just like a mother-in-law's tongue about to spew forth...

Yep, floristry is all about balance, colour and shape.
(btw, this is easier said than done, proof below...)
I give the gang from Better Homes and Gardens three out of three for this one. What do you think? A pleasing composition? (that phrase is trotted out frequently in the book)

Gorgeous gladdies

(my favourites - I carried a bunch a few bright red ones on my wedding day) In this pic, apart from the glads, I really like the "artful simplicity" of that bird sculpture and the red pottery tea set too. Look at the shape of that teapot. Nice.

"Coordinate the colour schemes of flowers and room furnishings"

Check. I'm a big fan of yellow, (even though we repainted all of the yellow walls we inherited when we bought our house) and that lamp, couch, wallpaper, ETC! I love the pattern and colour of the croton leaves, I reckon they bring this arrangement to life (the editors concur - funny that!)

"Oriental arrangement in tune with Modern room"

Arranged by Minoru Saito. Flower Master. (No less!)

(Is this the kind for Ikebana that would rock your cabana Annie?)

This one's obviously more about the room than the flowers (although the blurb says the flowers provide a dash of warm colour) I've included it because I really like that couch (curtains, rug, lamp, painting - you get the drift)

"Imagination and the right vase lend canna leaves a brand new sophistication"

This arrangement would look perfect in the grown-ups lounge room at my house. If you saw what was on our coffee table at the moment (I did have a pic to show you, but I was so embarrassed I deleted it) you would see that my flower arranging skills need work. 

And I've got evidence...

This afternoon I attempted to replicate this

nasturtiums are plentiful in our garden at the moment)

I tried to do what it said in the book ie. to wrap long nasturtium stems around sticks for height and breadth, BUT if it wasn't my sticks that kept snapping, it was my nasturtium stems! In the end I went free-style and came up with this





Now...where's page fifty?

"Make a virtue of simplicity with easy arrangements anyone can do"

I think I'd better start there...



  1. I like your arrangement, Kylie, nothing wrong with a little freestyling! Love the blue sofa too. Xxx

  2. I like that the flower design on the vase mimics the nasturiums - sweet bouquet!

  3. I rather like your free-style Kylie and LOVE the cabinet they are sitting on.

  4. It looks good to me! The gladioli are gorgeous too, and have the best accessories. X

  5. I like your arrangement. It made me laugh and then I saw its beauty and decided that you have mastered the art of 50s flower arrangement. This is fun re-creating the Mid-Century through food and flowers. I think those carnations in the Ikebana arrangement were photoshopped. Seriously.

  6. No. no resemblance at all. But far, far nicer, I think.

    Sorry I haven't done the fridge tart yet - just been soooo busy - we're even eating ready meals some days. (did I really just admit that? blimey.)

  7. Love your nasturtiums and the vase they're in. The arrangement that was so stunning in its simplicity that it caught my eye was the one of bronze canna leaves. My grandmother always grew tons of cannas, and if she had ever seen that book, she could have had a ball making canna leaf arrangements. :)

  8. They were grasping with that Nasturtium arrangement. I reckon it collapsed and karked it with in hours. The leaves are large and respire quite a bit and the stems are very sappy/juicy. I can't see this being achievable by anyone. I do the same as you and have bright happy bunches of the flower in a yellow teapot. Our nasturtiums won't be out for at least a couple of months yet!

  9. P.S. I do like the first arrangement the best except I would sub the mother-in-laws tongue. Great structure but it really is like crocodile hide!

  10. I am loving this step back in florist time Kylie. Your nasturtiums look great on the yellow cabinet! Happy Friday :)

  11. Never mind - I much prefer the more ... "natural" look!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  12. I mush prefer your version the blue room.

  13. mother-in-laws tongue; over here they're either called women's tongues or else, sanseveria's, which they also are, of course. i don't know what it is, but i'm slowly falling for those spiral mockeries. if one can plant them in a huge planter, made of black ceramics, e.g., wide and sturdy, they become something else entirely.

    my small women's tongues shoots are small. i'll have to wait a few years.. in time, they will pop up in a picture of the house reno, i'm sure. for now, gloom! but i'm not letting it get me down. nope. how are your transfo's going?

    the pictures you show her have a lot to answer for, bringing me in a right sentiental mood... :)))

  14. I think yours looks great. We always had a Mothers-in-law tounge in our TOILET when I was growing up. Lol.

  15. You will not believe it, but I have that same picture of the blue sofa. There are parts of that room that I LOVE, but then parts of it that send me into a fast depressing spiral! :)