28 November 2014

A Bunch for the Weekend - # 31 - Big Pink Chrysanthemums

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

This is the last of the autumn flowers because on Monday its December and for the whole month I will be featuring lots of seasonal flowers, branches and foliage of one kind or another - for Christmas and New Years.

You'll need:

- 5 stems of large pink Chrysanthemums 
- a medium size vase or container in a contrasting colour - I have chosen a turquoise pottery jug 
- a vintage grain sack with some interesting writing on it

For conditioning the flowers - you'll also need:

- florists snippers or scissors
- a florist bucket

As always - you need to condition the flowers - remove all the lower leaves that would end up below the waterline in the vase . Cut the stems at an angle - to increase water absorption. Put in a clean container with cold water and leave in a cool place over night or at least a few hours before making the final arrangement.

I have removed most of the leaves - even those above the water line. I wanted to really show off the pink blooms against the dark turquoise colour of the jug. Cut a few of the stems so that they sit lower - almost resting on the edge of the jug and leave the others a bit longer. Measure by putting the vase at the edge of the table or counter top and hold the stem next to the side of the vase to get a sense where to make the cut.

The cloth I'm using underneath the jug is one I have used before. I love the rough texture of it and I think the light grey writing on it is so much fun. Its a grain sack from my Grandfathers old country store.

This is my little farewell to 'Autumn' - a season I really enjoy so much with all its strong colours - berries, twigs and leaves. I have to except that its now winter and I have to move on.

I'll see you on Sunday with 'Flowers of the Month' - showing you all the flowers I have featured during the month of November.  

Have a Happy Floral Friday and a Great Weekend!

~ xoxo ~


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

26 November 2014

Arrange Your Flowers! - # 6 - 12 Favourite Flower Arranging Books

Here are 12 of my favourite flower arranging and floral styling books.

The first four are all a bit cutting edge when it comes to flower arranging - some are modern and contemporary in style others are more romantic and incorporating lots of vintage containers.

Vintage Flowers (2011) this is the London florist Vic Brotherson's first book - choosing, arranging and displaying lush arrangements in vintage containers. Vic's very funky flower shop Scarlet and Violetbased in north west London, is full of vintage vases and containers. 
Here is my book review of her book. 

Vintage Wedding Flowers (2014) also by Vic Brotherson - romantic and beautiful summer arrangements - but not just for weddings. Vic did the very romantic wedding flowers for the model Kate Moss's wedding in 2011. 

Decorate with Flowers (2014) by Holly Becker - who writes the blog Decor8 and Leslie Shewring - who writes the blog A Creative Mint - creative ideas for flowers and containers and how to place them around the home. 
Here is my book review of their book. 

Flower Power (2007) by Swedish florist Malin Hidesäter and photographer Anna Skoog - bouquets and simple arrangements. Malin now works with Blomsterfrämjandet, who promotes cut flowers and house plants in Sweden. Blomsterfrämjandet do yearly trend reports that are worth having a look at - it's in Swedish - so you will have to do a translation.

The next four are all about how to bring nature indoors and making very natural and seasonal arrangements.

A Year in Flowers (2012) by Shane Connolly - seasonal flowers arranged in very natural and unfussy ways. Shane was the Artistic Director for all the floral arrangements at the Royal Wedding in 2011 for the Duchess of Cambridge. 

Bringing Nature Home (2012) by Ngoc Minh Ngo - floral arrangements inspired by nature. Arrangements by Nicolette Camille of the Brooklyn based Little Flower School
Here is my book review of the book. 

The Flower Recipe Book (2013) by Alathea Harampolis and Jill Rizzo - 100 easy-to-create arrangements set out as recipes - like a cookbook. They are the founders of Studio Choo, a San Francisco based floral design studio. 
Here is my book review of their book. 

Inspire - The Art of Living with Nature (2014) by Willow Crossley - 50 projects to bring the outside in. Willow shows you how to decorate your home using flowers, foliage and foraged finds. This is Willow's second book, her first was called The Art of Handmade Living (2012). 

The last four books are more about traditional flower arranging - all written by well established florists in the UK and America. 

At Home with Flowers (2011) by Jane Packer - beautifully simple arrangements for every room in the house. Jane's last book and I think her best. 
Here is my book review of her book.

Flowers Chic and Cheap (2010) by New York florist Carlos Mota - arrangements with flowers picked from the market or backyard.

Flowers Every Day (2012) by Paula Pryke - creative ideas for simple, modern flowers for your home. Paula mixes bought flowers with flowers from her garden. 
Here is my book review of her book. 

Simple Flower Arranging (2014) by Mark Welford and Stephen Wicks - Step-by-Step Design and Techniques. Sixty stylish arrangements - bouquets, small vases and table centrepieces.Their shop Bloomsbury Flowers is in Covent Garden and they have now opened a second location in Ham Yard also in the middle of London.

Have a Lovely Floral Day!

I will be back with more 'Arrange Your Flowers!' in January - in the meantime I'll see you on Friday with another 'A Bunch for the Weekend'.

~ xoxo ~


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

24 November 2014

Take 3 Flowers! - # 3 - Hydrangea, Viburnum Berries and Eucalyptus Foliage

I'm back with another blog post in the series 'Take 3 Flowers!' - where I will show you how to make easy but beautiful and stylish flower arrangements - just using three different flowers. Often one of the three will be some kind of foliage.

Using just three flowers will sometimes be a challenge - but it will also keep the cost down. Cut flowers can be expensive but foliage on the other hand tends to be cheep. You can use lots of it to help fill out the arrangement and to provide support and structure for the other flowers.

Using flowers in closely related colours and then finding a vase or container in a similar colour can be a challenge - but boy what a pleasure when it works!

I love using Eucalyptus as foliage at this time of year and like here combined with a beautifully coloured Hydrangea and some dramatic dark berries - you don't need to add anything else. 

You'll need: 

- 1 stem of Hydrangea in a dark blue or purple colour - with a large flower head
-  5 stems of Viburnum berries
-  7 stems of small leaved Eucalyptus foliage - there is one called 'Baby Blue' that has small roundish leaves
- a large vase or container - in this case I have used a tall grey French vintage enamelled water jug

Here in the UK you can still buy Hydrangeas - mind you they are quite expensive - so I just picked one stem with a very large head in gorgeous green, purple and blue colours. 

A few stems of Viburnum, with dark blue almost black berries, will go a long way and I love the little red stems.

Eucalyptus is such an useful foliage, so I'm using it again - but this time one with a different size leaves - small and round. 

For conditioning the flowers - you'll also need:

- florists snippers or scissors
- a florist bucket

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, dark place over night or at least for a few hours before making the final arrangement.

Sorry, about always repeating this last bit - but it's probably the most important thing you can do to make your flowers last longer! So I'm afraid you have to put up with me always repeating myself.

Pick a large container in a colour relating to the flowers. Start off with the Hydrangea. It will have a woody stem so you will need to split the stem by making a second cut up the stem. Place it towards the front - resting on the edge of the container. 

The Viburnum berries will also have woody stems - so make that second cut up the stem on those as well. Place the berries behind the Hydrangea - a little bit taller than the Hydrangea - kind of framing the big flower. 

Lastly - trim and split the stems on the Eucalyptus, if the stems are thick and woody, and place them behind the dark berries - just kind of sticking up at the back and the sides - giving the whole arrangement a bit of movement. 

Some colouring pencils in relating colours - in a vintage pewter jar

It's such a pleasure to be able to work with beautiful plant materials and the beauty of Hydrangeas never ceases to amaze me and it will probably always be one of my favourite flowers.

Have a Lovely Floral Monday!

See you later in the week!

~ xoxo ~


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

21 November 2014

A Bunch for the Weekend - # 30 - Pink Tulips

This week on 'A Bunch for the Weekend' - I'm featuring two kinds of bright pink tulips.

The tulip season nowadays seem to last from late autumn to late spring. I now see tulips at all my usual hunting grounds. To begin with I didn't want to buy any and tried to tell myself - "No Ingrid! It's too early for tulips!" 

But now I can't resist them any longer...!

I love tulips and buying these bright pink ones would almost make you believe it's spring - instead of dark November days leading up to Christmas.

You'll need:

- 2 bunches of tulips - in two closely related colours - I have chosen two different pink colours
- 2 similar glass containers with a fairly narrow neck - I'm using two vintage milk bottles
- a small lantern, a dark green basket and some fabric with an autumn theme

For conditioning the flowers - you'll also need:

- florists snippers or scissors
- a florist bucket

As always - you need to condition the flowers - remove the lower leaves on tulips as well as any that are damaged. Cut the stems at an angle - to increase water absorption. Put in a clean container with cold water and leave in a cool place over night or at least a few hours before making the final arrangement.

Put about seven to nine stems in each container depending on size. Keep the height of the flowers in proportion to the vase. Too tall and the whole arrangement will look like it's going to topple over and if they are too short is not going to look in proportion - especially with tulips that you would not have resting on the edge of the vase.

In contrast to the spring like tulips I have added a small vintage lantern - lovely when lit for those long November evenings, an old basket in a dark green colour and a grey and black fabric with a classic autumn theme - trees with no leaves.  

Have a Happy Floral Friday and a Great Weekend!

~ xoxo ~


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

19 November 2014

FLOWERS by ingrid and titti - Autumn Afternoon Tea

This time on 'FLOWERS by ingrid and titti' - the theme is 'Autumn Afternoon Tea'.

November sits between the last rush of autumn flowers, bright berries and colourful leaves and "Not quite ready to do Christmas yet". Or at least I'm not ready!

My inspiration came from this and the fact that I love getting cosy under a warm blanket with a good book. And like here light a candle, make a delicious cup of rose hip tea and enjoy a piece of cherry tart - just some of life's little pleasures.

The bright orange Chinese lantern are dried and still on their stems. They will stay this amazing colour for a long time. But keep them out of any strong sunlight - or they will fade.

Pick them when they are in full colour on a dry day. Tie with a rubber-band and hang in a dark, dry place for about two weeks. Once dried you can make arrangements using them on their own or mixed with other dried flowers. 

A simple willow wreath is beautiful just as it is or you can obviously decorate it in all kinds of different ways depending on season. 

Here are a few stems of dried Miscanthus grass - tied with some black twine. They are very easy to dry - I just put them in a vase with no water and that has worked for me every time. 

The very bright red cups and saucers I inherited from my grandmother in Sweden. They are called 'Karneval' - made in the 1930's by the Swedish pottery company Gefle.

I think this is a lovely time of year and I enjoy that little bit of a lull before the mad rush to get ready for Christmas starts. 

Titti Malmberg - my collaborator on FLOWERS - and who is based in Sweden - is also featuring an 'Autumn Afternoon Tea' over on her blog HWIT BLOGG - so please go over and see what she has done.

You can see all our FLOWERS posts HERE and also on Pinterest.

Have a Lovely Floral Day!

~ xoxo ~ 


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

17 November 2014

Tiny Blooms - # 2 - Pink Chrysanthemums

I'm back with 'Tiny Blooms' - my column that is about small arrangements. Small or tiny might be the size of the container or it could be the size of the flowers or the amount of stems in each container. It will also be that the arrangement is minimal both in presentation and that it's quick and easy to do. Apart from that there are no other strict rules - I allow myself a lot of creative freedom!

This arrangement is really all about being quick and easy! I have used five multi-stemmed little pink Chrysanthemums and a small to medium sized vase with quite a narrow neck.

The vase is made by Hornsea Pottery in 1963. They were known as Slipware vases. They have a painted grey band which is hand decorated with zig-zags in white slip clay.

While conditioning the flowers - I stripped off all the leaves and some of the lower little stems. When ready to make the final arrangement I measured the stems next to the vase and made the final cut. You might have to cut off a few more of the lower stems depending on how many there are towards the bottom of the stem. By removing leaves and lower stems I was able to fit more stems into the vase - creating a nicely domed arrangement.   

Multi-stemmed flowers take up more space in the vase and the individual flowers are at different heights. This means that when you make the arrangement you might have to compromise a little bit. For example in a narrow necked vase it's hard to to have both a full, tightly packed arrangement and having the flowers rest on the edge of the vase as you might normally do.   

So, what I ended up with is a nicely domed arrangement, the flower stems in proportion to the height of the narrow-necked vase - with a little bit of stem showing above the rim of the vase.

But - despite all that - it was still quick and easy!!  

Have a Lovely Floral Day!

~ xoxo ~


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

14 November 2014

A Bunch for the Weekend - # 29 - Dried Hydrangeas

This week on 'A Bunch for the Weekend' - I'm featuring some dried Hydrangeas.

Hydrangeas makes beautiful dried flowers that lasts for "years". Well, in the end they do become so dried and fragile - and dusty - that you have to throw them out.

Hydrangeas are very easy to grow in a garden - so its worth trying to grow them if you can and have the space.

There is a lot written about the right time to pick the Hydrangeas if you are going to dry them. You can also find many different methods on how to do it.

Here is a link to the best article I have been able to find. Its by the American TV presenter, lifestyle expert and author Mar Jennings. He explains much better then I could about the whole process. 

Once dried Hydrangeas keep their colour for a very long time - so even if you have to buy the flowers at a florist - they can be quite expensive - its worth it because you get so much pleasure out of them. 

This is my last bunch of dried Hydrangeas and I'm very pleased with them - as they have retained so much of their beautiful colour. Now when there is less to pick in the garden and less flowers available its nice to have some dried flowers on display.

Have a Happy Floral Friday!

~ xoxo ~


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