1 October 2014

FLOWERS by ingrid and titti - Late Summer Colour

This time on 'FLOWERS by ingrid and titti' - we are doing 'Late Summer Colour'. 

I can hear you say: "What is she talking about - all I can see is white and green - not much colour there!"

Well, I went out with the best intentions - imagining coming back home with brightly coloured Dahlias, Chrysanthemums, Asters and Hydrangeas.

It was not to be - at one of my local Wednesday farmers' market - all the Dahlias were already gone when I got there - even though I was really early. 

At the next stop - a flower stall a few streets away - I didn't I see any Dahlias or Chrysanthemums and when I asked - I was told that they don't stock them because nobody buys them. And the Hydrangea was so expensive my jaw dropped open. 

It's a crazy world out there - all I was asking for was seasonal flowers!!

But I was not going to give up so easily - I quickly had to re-think my strategy and as there was plenty of white flowers to be had - I went back and could happily pick and choose from both places - all kinds of different white flowers.  

I picked out some lovely white medium-sized Chrysanthemums, some white snapdragons also called Antirrhinum - that the bees love, and the last ones were some stock flowers that are also called Matthiola. 

White flowers often have a lot of light green coming through - in this case all the flowers I used have some green either in the buds or the centre of the flower.

I also bought some lovely snowberries - these white berries has quickly become a favourite with a lot of designers and stylists - and I'm not surprised as they are just lovely. They also come with stunning pink berries - you can use them with or without leaves - mixed in with other flowers or by themselves.

As always - condition the flowers by removing any leaves that would end up below the water line in the vase. Cut the stems at an angle - to increase water absorption. Put in a clean container with tepid water and leave in a cool place over night or at least a few hours before making the final arrangement.

I added a few little green vases - among them this amazing hand-blown vase - that is more like a piece of art - a beauty with or without flowers. 

I arranged the flowers directly in the vase - I wanted the shorter flowers to sit just above the edge of the container. It's a very large vintage preserving jar that I picked up in Sweden at a 'loppis'.

I then cut the stems longer in the centre of the arrangement to make a nice domed shape. 

When I work with flowers I use both a pair of snippers and a sturdy pair of scissors. It's often quite handy to have both. I also often wear a pair of gloves - just to protect my hands and nails. 

Here is a little close-up of the three white flowers and the white snowberries.

My collaborator on FLOWERS - Titti Malmberg over on her blog HWIT BLOGG - is also posting about late summer flowers - so pop over and see what she is up to.

If you are interested - you can see all our FLOWERS posts HERE or on Pinterest.

Have a Lovely Floral Day!

~ xoxo ~ 


[Styling and photography © Ingrid Henningsson for FLOWERS and Of Spring and Summer.]

30 September 2014

Flowers of the Month - September 2014

This is the second month I'm featuring 'Flowers of the Month' - where I'm highlighting all the different flowers I have used during the month of September.

Here is a link to the month of August flowers.

The name of the flower - under the image - is also a link to the post where I featured the flower.

I hope you have enjoyed the month of September in all its floral glory!

Have a wonderful Floral Day!

~ xoxo ~


[Styling and photography © Ingrid Henningsson for Of Spring and Summer.]

28 September 2014

Florets - Floral Quote - # 78 - by Kristin Perers

"Find creative ways to bring nature inside. Look to what is left in the garden. Flowers such as rudbeckia, nigella, poppies and sunflowers have wonderful sculptural seed heads, giving them a life long after what is normally considered their prime. Combine spiky thistles and plump rose hips with turning foliage for vibrant autumnal display. "

~ Kristin Perers ~
[Kristin Perers: American based in the UK, designer, stylist, painter, photographer and author of The Seasonal Home.]
[Quote from: The Seasonal Home by Kristin Perers.]
[Flowers: Asters.]
[Vase/container: Zinc florist bucket.]
[Styling and photography © Ingrid Henningsson.]

Have a Lovely Floral Sunday!

~ xoxo ~


26 September 2014

A Bunch for the Weekend - # 23 - Pink Chrysanthemums

This week on 'A Bunch for the Weekend' - I'm featuring some stunning bright pink Chrysanthemums.

Chrysanthemums flower from late summer to about midwinter - but you can also buy them most of the year from florists and big flower markets. 

I love these small chrysanthemums - they are only about 3-4 cm across. This pink one has a very dark centre and the colour fades to a pale pink at the edges.  

I've made two arrangements - one large one in a ridged clear glass vase and a small one in a small, also ridged glass vase in dark pink. 

You'll need:

- 10-15 long stems of Chrysanthemums in a bright colour
- a clear glass vase with a narrow neck
- 9 short stems of Chrysanthemums
- a small vase in a similar shape to the big one
- a few fun things in matching colour - in this case a small rag weaving, a piece of fabric, some ribbons, a few spools of cotton and a vintage pair of tailor's scissors.
- a small platter or plate in matching colour

As always - condition the flowers by removing any leaves that would end up below the water line in the vase. Cut the stems at an angle - to increase water absorption. Put in a clean container with tepid water and leave in a cool place over night or at least a few hours before making the final arrangement.

Remove any leaves that will end up inside the vase it looks better with just clear stems and no leaves showing through the glass. With a narrow neck you will also be able to fit more stems into the vase - without any leaves.

I wanted this arrangement to look really full and just have a mass of flowers tightly packed together. So this is an arrangement that you'll need to make in your hand - almost like a handheld arrangement - but not quite - you'll not be putting the stems in a spiral. 

Hold the flowers in one hand and add with the other. Arrange the stems at different heights and fill in where there are empty spaces to make a really full and slightly dome shaped arrangement. 

The stems will end up different lengths at the bottom - so when you are finished putting the arrangement together  - put the vase at the end of the table or counter and estimate at what height you need to cut the stems. Leave a little bit of stem showing with a few leaves at the top - it will make the arrangement look in proportion to the vase. Then cut the stems all the same length and put into the vase. 

I have finish the arrangement off by putting the big vase on the floral platter and placed it on the pink and white rag rug weaving.   
Just for fun I have also added a few fabrics, ribbons and spools of cotton around a pair of vintage tailor's scissors - all in matching bright pink colours. 

The ribbons are all from Jane Means ribbon collection. I'm one of Jane's Ribbon Bloggers - we feature her ribbons in some of our blog posts.   

Have a Wonderful Floral Weekend!

~ xoxo ~


[Styling and Photography © Ingrid Henningsson for Of Spring and Summer.]

24 September 2014

Arrange Your Flowers! - # 2

This is the second instalment of 'Arrange Your Flowers!' - and it's all about keeping your flower buckets and vases free from bacteria and how to keep your tools clean and sharp.

1. It's very important to keep your vases and containers scrupulously clean. Always clean the containers you use when conditioning your flowers after each use. 

After every time you discard a bunch of flowers give the used vase a good clean. Cut flowers start to decay as soon as they are cut and any decaying stems in the vase produces bacteria. Any build-up of bacteria in the vase will further shorten the life and increase the deterioration of the flowers.

If you live in an area with hard water - calcium deposits will also build up on the inside of the vases and leave white or light-brown powdery or scaly deposits. With very stubborn stains you might have to use some kind of scouring pad or very fine steel wool. Just go gently and make sure you don't scratch that old crystal vase! 

2. Hot soapy water and a bit of scrubbing is usually all you need to do. Use a dish brush for any larger vases or the flower buckets. For smaller vases with narrow necks use a bottle brush.

You can also buy tubs of little copper beads that you swirl around with water. They will remove any build-up of stains in hard to reach places. The beads are reusable so clean, dry and store them for next time.

You are often given the advice to use bleach for cleaning vases. I don't use bleach - its not environmentally friendly and there are too many questions surrounding it's usage and what it does to the environment and our health. 

3. Another important thing is to keep your cutting tools clean and sharp.

Just like with containers and vases - grime, dirt and bacteria will build up on your scissors, snippers and secateurs. They get sticky from the sap in the flower stems and leaves; and will eventually develop a brown residue on the blades. You will have to clean this of with hot soapy water - you can use the same dish brush that you use for cleaning your vases and containers. You might sometimes have to go over the blades with some steel wool. After washing and drying - wipe the blade with some oil to prevent any rust and to keep it working smoothly.

4. Sharpen your tools on a regular bases. The sharper they are the cleaner the cut. It's very important that you don't crush the stems. A crushed stem means that less water will be absorbed by the stems and transported to the flowers and leaves - and will result in your flowers not lasting as long.

There are all kinds of sharpening tools out there to buy or you might already have a steel for sharpening your kitchen knives. It's not too difficult to learn how to sharpen a pair of scissors or snippers - it just takes a little practice. After sharpening you should wipe the blades with some oil to prevent rusting.

Here is a link to the first 'Arrange Your Flowers!' - # 1

I'll be back next month with more advice on how to 'Arrange Your Flowers!'. 

Have a Creative Floral Day!

~ xoxo ~


[Styling and photography © Ingrid Henningsson for Of Spring and Summer.]

21 September 2014

Florets - Floral Quote - # 77 - by Shane Connolly

"I also learnt that exuberance is not autumn's only attribute. It can be subdued, with the calm, gentle colours of fading hydrangeas; the milky white and blush pink of snowberries; the parchment shades of mushrooms or the papery browns and buffs of hornbeam and beech." 
~ Shane Connolly ~ 

[Shane Connolly: florist and event designer, he designed the flowers for the Duchess of Cambridge's wedding in 2011, author of three books - A Year in Flowers, Table Flowers and The Language of Flowers.]
[Quote from: A Year in Flowers.]
[Flowers: Hydrangea and pink Snowberries.]
[Vases: Swedish vintage Gustavsberg jar.]
[Vintage props: Vintage handwoven rag rug from Sweden.]
[Styling and photography © Ingrid Henningsson for Of Spring and Summer.]

Have a Wonderful Floral Sunday!

~ xoxo ~


19 September 2014

A Bunch for the Weekend - # 22 - Pink and Yellow Dahlia

This week on 'A Bunch for the Weekend' - I'm featuring some stunning pink and yellow Dahlias. Here in the UK Dahlias are still going strong - so yet again some more of this extraordinary flower.  

You'll need:
- nine stems of Dahlia
- a vase or some kind or container that matches the colour of the Dahlias
- 10-12 strands of raffia to tie around the vase
- two decorative plates that matches or picks up the colour in the flowers and the vase. It's good if one is bigger than the other, so you can see the decoration on both plates

As always - condition the flowers by removing any leaves that would end up below the water line in the vase. In this case I removed all the leaves as I didn't want any green showing. Cut the stems at an angle - to increase water absorption. Put in a clean container with tepid water and leave in a cool place over night or at least a few hours before making the final arrangement.

Twist the lengths of raffia loosely and tie them around the top of the vase. In this case a vintage pink jug. I looped it through the handle and made two simple knots - leaving the ends quite long to casually trail down the sides and onto the plates and table. I just like the simple and casual look. 

Cut the stems long enough for the shortest to rest on the edge of the container - then cut the rest in the middle a bit longer to form a round dome-shaped arrangement. The flower heads should sit just next to each other - quite closely together - but you should be able to see each individual flower head.

Finally - put the vase on the two plates and you have a pretty and romantic arrangement - for your table. 

Just for fun I have thrown in some vintage wooden spools of cotton - I love the worn old labels and that some are empty and others still have some of the old cotton tread left on the spool. 

In the background I arranged some of my favourite wicker baskets - in three different sizes - adding to the romantic country look.

Have a Wonderful Floral Day!

~ xoxo ~


[Styling and photography © Ingrid Henningsson for Of Spring and Summer.]