Got a favourite colour? Mine is unreservedly GREEN: anything from sage to avocado, khaki to lime. So with St Patrick’s Day approaching, what better way to celebrate than taking some inspiration from the Emerald Isle, from the clover and the leprechaun…
St Patrick’s day, a cultural and religious celebration on March 17th, commemorates the passing of Ireland’s patron Saint (A.D385-461), the arrival of Christianity in Ireland as well as the heritage and culture of the Irish in general. Celebrations include public parades and dressing in green attire or adorning yourself with Shamrocks, the symbol Saint Patrick is said to illustrate the Holy Trinity. The Lenton restrictions on eating and drinking are lifted for the day, which has in turn propagated the tradition of consuming alcohol on the holiday (not that the Irish needed an excuse! Ha!)
Green is a wonderfully calming and neutral colour but it is often underrated, and people tend not to see the true value of adding foliages to an arrangement, or using green berries or blooms to ‘lift’ a colour scheme. As a florist on countless occasions I have had a hard time convincing a customer that what we really need is more green rather than more flowers or more colour. And so this week my mission is to turn that around!
With so many lush foliages available in green it is easy to create long lasting arrangements that are low maintenance and are stunning in their simplicity. Alternatively a variety of fresh flowers are available in everything from soft pistachios tones to rich, olives, ideal for creating textured, versatile arrangements that complement almost any colour scheme or decor.
Song of India:
There are hundreds of varieties of succulent plants. Succulents are supple, long lasting plants, that can be utilised as ‘cut flowers’ (with no stem), with bamboo skewers used to create an artificial stem. They do not require alot of water and create a great ‘focal’ with their flower petal-like formation.
Molluca Balm (Bells of Ireland):
Molluca Balm is bright lime green in colour, long and elongated, with flower pods along the length of the stem. In the language of flowers, it represents luck- no wonder it is known as the ‘Bells of Ireland’.
The Orchidacae family is widespread and diverse. Cymbidium orchids are available in various green tones (among other colours). Cymbidium orchids are generally available throughout May-October within Australia.. They are long lasting and ideal to use enclosed within a tall vase, or as an eye catching centrepiece in a more varied arrangement.
The exotic Slipper Orchid is also available in stunning greens however are far less accessible, more expensive and rarer to find. Certainly well worth it, if you can mange to get you hot little hands on them! For this reason they are often reserved for use within weddings or special events.
Soft green and bright lime green varieties of Dendrobiums-the common Singapore orchid are also available. This orchid is more affordable and available all year round through international suppliers. They are not cultivated locally. The flowers take water through both the stems and the flowers so you can immerse flowers in a basin full of water to rejuvenate there appearance every couple of days.
Chrysanthemums are available throughout the year in different varieties. The flower heads occur in various forms, and can be daisy-like or decorative, like the buttons (above), disbuds, spiders or pompoms. They are available in a vibrant, fresh, lime green tone. Chrysanthemums are extremely long lasting. The disbuds are an ideal focal flower whilst the spray forms (spiders or buttons) are great to use as a ‘filler’ flower.
Tropical Anthuriums are plastic like in appearance and are often mistaken as artificial. With approximately 1000 species within the genus, the Anthuriums form the largest genus of the arum family. The bloom contains both male and female structures and is often seen to be rather phallic. They are ideal teamed with fresh cut foliages or other tropical blooms.
The possibilities to explore are limitless! Don’t forget there are several other varieties of fresh flowers commonly available in green, like Jade green roses, heleborus (winter rose) or hydrangeas which are popular for weddings, and carnations which continue to make the comeback of the century! Poppy pods, lotus pods, artichokes, berries and much more are also available in gorgeous shades of green so rather than just getting those cold ales flowing, get those creative juices going too and create an arrangement that will make your friends #greenwithenvy!
Til next time remember,
“Green is the prime colour of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises” –Pedro Calderon de la Barca