How To Make Wildflower Arrangements?

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As we motor through the countryside, drifts of gold, purple, orange, and blue meet our eyes at every turn. With these glorious flowers blooming along our roadsides, no one need say never has enough flowers for a massed arrangement.

The individuality of the flowers is lost in the general effect of uncontrolled growth. Still, when we pick a few here and there—leaving many to reseed themselves—we become more aware of their differences in character.

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Some of them do not multiply easily and are on the conservation list. They are rightly protected and can be cut for arrangements only if grown in one’s garden.

Asclepias Tuberosa

The orange butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) shown here and Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) seeds are on strict conservation lists. 

Still, you can plant them in your garden and cut them for arrangements. Many nurseries sell these plants.

These distinctive arrangements by Edith Chandler have many features which are particularly interesting to the artistic flower arranger. 

Heavy plant materials are used sparingly for balance and proportion. In addition, the selection of containers emphasizes the textures.

These arrangements show how one can adapt different flower forms to various mass arrangements and stabilize the groupings. 

In each arrangement, small fluffy flowers or foliage are used in greatest numbers, and more solid flowers or heavy seed pods are used sparingly – a good idea in any mixed bouquet.

The cat tails, seed pods, and leaves are heavier than the grouped frail flowers, and the brightest flowers seem heavier than those with less vivid hues.

Studying The Arrangement Design

By developing a line within the mass, Mrs. Chandler guides your eye through her designs gracefully and easily. 

To study the design of an arrangement, try focusing first on the top, then the sides. One side will catch and hold your attention. 

From here, your eye will travel throughout the pattern. Mrs. Chandler’s beautifully harmonizing colors also lead the eye through the design.

She used a diagonal line from left to right to add movement and soften the severity of the heavy vessel on an iron trivet (see arrangement top left). 

She still recognizes the container’s vertical sides and repeats that line by placing a tall piece of Joe-Pye weed (Eupatoriuni purpure-uni) vertically above the diagonal plane.

The fiber mat on which the arrangement (top right) is placed is a good choice for the character of the materials used. 

Forming The Outer Outline

Butter-and-eggs ( Linaria vulgaris), various types of grass, and pokeberry form the outer outline of the arrangement with as much activity as one might see in sprays from a water jet. The ceramic rooster has something to crow about.

Again we find action indicated in a mass arrangement of roadside flowers and foliage (bottom left) through the placement of the materials.

The natural bark container has sensitive color. Textures are so well assembled and are so well related that ferns, Queen Anne’s lace (Daucus carats), goldenrod, black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta), and butterfly-weed (Asclepius Theresa) are as distinctively beautiful as any exotic flowers one could find anywhere.

Play With Colors

Harmony in analogous colors, skillful balance, and proportion contribute to the beauty of this charming arrangement.

Cat-tails, dock, milkweed, and Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) seed pods are carefully arranged in a distinctive silhouette (bottom right). 

The looped cat-tail leaves, which call attention to the shape of the handle, relate the arrangement to the container.

Mrs. Chandler has brought the figurine into the composition in four ways: in color, in texture, by using it as a container for seeds from the arrangement, and, most particularly, by the line within the design of the plant material from left to right which draws the figure to the brown tones.

Wildflowers As Lovely Arrangements

Wildflowers can provide many lovely arrangements for the next two months. And even if they do not seem as showy as some of our garden flowers, they can add a great deal of color inside the home, echoing our glorious autumn.

Large bouquets of tall growing plant materials are lovely at the side of our entrance doorways. Baskets hung on the porch wall can be filled and tumbled with gay flowers.

Wildflowers used indoors deserve the type of grooming Edith Chandler gives them in the arrangements shown here.

44659 by Marget Cochrane Cole