Episode #312- Sunshine Flowers
Today on Life In Bloom we’re featuring a timeless flower – the Sunflower. I’ll make several arrangements using this popular bloom, create 3 dimensional wall art, and I’ll visit a clever baker who creates exquisite flower cookies and more!
“If I were a flower.. I would be a sunflower. To always follow the sun, Turn my back to darkness, Stand proud, tall and straight even with my head full of seeds.” – Unknown
Few flowers immediately lift the spirit the way Sunflowers do. They are bright and cheery, and as warm and inviting as their namesake, the sun. Their brilliant yellow petals, also known as “rays,” form a sun-like appearance that has made them a crowd favorite, especially in the summer months. We start this show- in the Lenderink Sunflower Fields- (just near my house- it was a test field- but coming soon- it will be a tourist stop- here in West Michigan- Stay tuned for my visit- in Season 4 of Life in Bloom!
Sunflowers have become iconic due in part to the Sunflowers series by Dutch post-impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh. Letters to his brother Theo indicate creating the vivid oil paintings brought van Gogh much joy. Sunflowers continue to be a constant inspiration for fashion, home interiors, crafting and more. With the advent of social media, many seek out golden fields of them growing in the summer. for irresistible selfies.
Sunflower Topiary with Tree Fern – on the Deck
Let’s create some fun flower arrangements- using Sunflowers! The Sunflower- is Mother Nature’s Natural Topiary- A LARGE flower on a stem- and thus the Sunflower provides both Inspiration and mechanics for these topiary inspired bouquets- that feature both Sunflowers and Tree Fern- an American Grown Foliage that is grown by our Friends at FernTrust in Florida- The pairing of these two flower and foliage elements- are a great contrast to one another- and the Tree Fern provides a wonderful texture and color- that compliments the Sunflowers!
I create these on the deck- at my home – it’s a wonderful place to arrange flowers- I hope you enjoy these fun – topiary inspired arrangements- made with Sunshine Flowers!
A visit with Cyclops Bakeshop – GUEST Kara Bolt
I’d like to introduce you to an amazing friend of mine- Kara Bolt from Cyclops Bakeshop. I fell head over heels – for her amazing Hand Crafted Artisan Cookies… Of course she got my attention with FLOWER Cookies- but Kara – makes fun, themed cookies – that reflect the season, special events, and even pop culture.
While my friend Kara- recently decided to take her career in NEW Direction- she coordinated with our friends at Donut Garden- 100% Vegan Baked Goods- to continue with the artistic creations of her cookies! Cyclops Bakeshop original concept is great hands and the cookies are still amazing and delicious!
It’s so important that we lead with Passion – in our careers and hobbies- and it’s also important to share our passion- with others… that is what Kara does so well… in this episode- you’ll learn more about how she started her woman owned business- how she crafted her passion- into a business… and catch a glimpse of her amazing talent – that she used to inspire, excite and ultimately pass along to others! I hope you enjoy this visit with Kara and Cyclops Bakeshop!
To learn more about these cookies- (and the donuts) visit their website at www.DonutGarden.com
Garland with Sunflowers
I love a party- and it’s fun to have a garland of flowers running down the center of the table. It’s easy to create – with Sunflowers and Ribbon- you can start with a pre-made garland of foliage (or even re-purpose a Christmas garland- no one would know).
I like to use 3 different kinds of ribbon – I’ll use tints tones and shade of yellow- and run out a an ample length of each- then I simply use a bamboo skewer to push the ribbon into the garland- making big loops…
Then it’s time to add the sunflowers- Sunflowers can last quite a long time out of water- so I can add them right before the party- or if I need more longevity- I could place them into a water tube. Placing the Sunflowers where I’ve gathered the ribbon – looks like the flowers are holding the ribbon in place… To make the flowers last even longer- I can spray the entire garland with an anti-transpirant- to reduce evaporation.
Now all that’s left is to set the table and bring on the party!”
Sunflower Centric Flowers
Sunflowers are fun to arrange with but it’s also fun to work with flowers that are reminiscent of them and play around with the colors and scale we’re familiar with…
Let’s create an arrangement with Daisies, Chrysanthemums, Black Eyed Susans, along with a few Sunflowers and create a bit of Sunshine in a Vase!
Featured Flower: Sunflower
- As far back as 3000 BC, Native Americans grew Sunflowers for medicine, oil, and food.
- The seed of the Sunflower is highly nutritious, and are a rich source of protein, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, and vitamin E.
- Sunflowers need at least six to eight hours of sunlight a day, but more time is ideal.
- The flower buds display a unique behavior called heliotropism—they gradually move to follow the sun’s position in the sky as it moves throughout the day from east to west.
- In 2012, U.S. astronaut Don Pettit brought along a few sunflower seeds to the International Space Station. Petit regularly blogged about his budding friendship and shared photos of the gardening process.
- Sunflowers, are typically yellow but can also be purple, orange, or red—or even a mix of these hues
- Sunflowers range in height from 1 foot for dwarf varieties, to giant varieties more than 10 feet tall
Here’s more great information about Sunflowers – https://www.bhg.com/gardening/flowers/sunflower-facts/
And more about the Sunflowers in space- https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/68726/10-glorious-facts-about-sunflowers
Square of Sunflowers (A permanent botanical- wall art project) #FlowerCraft
What if Sunflowers came in the same coloration as Daisies? Wouldn’t that be amazing? Well they do – in a way. These permanent flowers show off what such a color combination would look like. Very fun, right? Permanent or silk flowers are wonderful stand ins for fresh flowers when fresh are either not available – or sometimes are not practical for a situation. Even principles of Feng Shui allow for silk flowers or images of flowers as substitutes for fresh flowers. We could style these in a vase, but I asked myself, “what can I craft with these, that isn’t practical of possible with fresh flowers…”
I think it’s fun- to stretch our design skills every now and again- and with this project- I create an armature out of curly willow- featuring flatwire- as the mechanic- to hold the armature together! It’s a simple technique yet- it yields artistic and professional results. Once the Armature is created- it provides a simple structure- that will hold the Sunflowers and other flowers in place!
If you want to watch this flower arrangement project- from beginning to end- just follow this link- and watch the video on my website- www.uBloom.com/Sunflowers
This project is also one of over 40+ Projects featured in my Award winning book- “Fun with Flowers”- that won the Living Now Book Award for Home and Craft Projects- you can order your very own copy of my book at this link: www.uBloom.com/Books
here’s some more great information about Sunflowers – https://www.sunflowernsa.com/
I hope our journey through Sunflowers has resulted in a sunny disposition. I know they always bring me cheer. Whether you grow them in your garden, pick them up at the farmers market, or gaze into artwork, be sure to take a moment to bask in their golden glow. For Life In Bloom, I’m J Schwanke.