Winter Blues and The Tulips Cue

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If you are anything like me, and suffer from the winter blues, the idea of spring has now replaced your wildest fantasy. I look forward to seeing the 10 foot snow bank at the end of my driveway melt into a small lake, but more than that i want to see my garden beds. I will probably walk by them dozens of times once they are revealed from their wintery slumber, with my view consisting of nothing more than wet dirt, but then one day they will be there. The green fleshy leaves of one of the first flowers to emerge in the spring….my tulips most likely a few less then last year since the squirrels probably helped themselves to a little snack or two but who can blame them.

For the history and science oriented fans in the crowd you should check out this link from PBS for the documentary entitled “The Botany of Desire”. When tulips first came on the scene in the flower world in 1634, it triggered what is known as tulip mania. The flower actually gained such popularity that is became expensive enough for the bulbs and flowers to be used as a form of currency.

http://video.pbs.org/video/1283872815/

I will refrain from going on and on, but appreciate the tulips they are amazing, and if you want to send a beautiful bouquet or arrangement to someone you love you know how to reach me.

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A Little Love and a Blowtorch

Today I thought I would share my first major project, that launched me into the floral design career. You see at design school we cover all the basics that florists need to know, from bows to wiring flowers. Then of course comes the budgeting and the ever important aspect of listening. Yes there is a class, and tests on listening, which actually is the most important part when dealing with your clientele. You need to listen to them describe their dream verbally and turn it into a physical reality which if you are not listening, will lead to a very unhappy client. Of course now a days most people come prepared with pictures to help guide the inspiration.

Every so often a designer is given a “gift”, and by gift I mean the words :” I trust you , and I know that you will make it look beautiful.” Our final project when graduating  tapped into these words except there was no client. The pieces were were to be exhibited at the Montreal Botanical Gardens for their 2011 Rendez-vous Horticole. We were given a budget and told to basically go nuts.

The piece needed to meet certain design elements, as well as incorporate food in some way, since that was the theme of the agriculture exhibition.

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My Friend Genvieve Blais and I worked as a team on the project and here was the beginning of our idea, a tree stump that was so nicely dragged all the way from Ontario. With a lot of love, we removed all the superficial roots keeping only the major branches and root systems, scrubbed, hosed, and once dried busted out the blow torch. Much to our delight we noticed while blowtorching on my driveway, and getting some rather odd looks from my neighbors, that the wood was becoming more and more red, with a slightly glazed appearance. The theme of the project was Renaissance, or the Re-birth. The idea was that even after a natural disaster event, such as a forest fire, that nature will always find a way to start over. We wanted to keep the flowers bright and colourful to maintain a strong contrast with the trunk, and with regards to the food aspect we chose artichokes to represent new blooms.

So here it is….

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With our design skill let loose, we created our first masterpiece. We were very proud of how it turned out, more beautiful then we could have ever imagined. The best part  was that the public seemed to agree, seeing as it won the people’s choice award at the exposition that year.

A piece like this is truly unique, and I am still anxiously awaiting to incorporate such a piece into a beautiful outdoor event that could perhaps perk up the card table, gift table or even bar depending on the event of course.