Episode #413 – Tropical Bloom
On today’s Life In Bloom it’s a taste of the tropics with a Tropical Bloom – including a large scale party centerpiece, Wall Art made of foliage, I’ll show you easy techniques to create your own Monstera Madness, make Leis with my friend Jennifer, and we’ll also make a classic tropical cocktail.
All we need, really, is a change from a near frigid to a tropical attitude of mind.
– Marjory Stoneman Douglas
I’ve enjoyed the recent rise in popularity of tropical foliage and flowers – I refer to it as a bit of Monstera Madness in honor of the giant tropical leaves and flowers we see everywhere – both real and represented in fabrics, glassware, interiors and more. These over-sized leaves and flowers are a motif that transport us from our daily lives to a place that’s remote and relaxing! It’s a great go-to theme for parties or get-togethers that most enjoy. Let’s explore ways to create your own tropical bloom escape this week on Life In Bloom.
Tropical Palm Tree Party Centerpiece
This is a fun project- that is large in scale- but can be scaled down- to fit any opportunity. It’s created using a mechanic I learned years ago… taking a PVC pipe and adding Nails to one end… then setting that PVC Pipe into a paint can with quick-set concrete… I paint the PVC with Design Master Moss Green Paint- and then have a wonderful heavy duty apparatus to hold one of my Gala Bouquet Holders- then I just add palm leaves- and other flowers- in this case- it’s gorgeous protea from my Friend Mel Resendiz- at Resendiz Brothers Protea Farm- we toured Mel’s farm – in Episode #102- Protea Long Term Beauty! You can watch that episode here!
This project will allow you to get your Tropical Bloom on- just about anywhere!
Arranging Protea Flowers on location at Rosamina
On a recent trip to Colombia in South America- I visited my Friend Eli Perez- and his protea farm- Rosamina… where I had the opportunity to arrange the flowers he grows – at a flower bar- he set up for his guests… Eli was told that it was impossible to grow Protea and other Luecodendrons in South America- but leave it Eli and his father to figure out a way to make this gorgeous farm- the perfect place to grow Protea year round… These Protea are now a year round Tropical Bloom in Colombia!
This is a fun flower project- and we’re delighted to bring it to you- very near the Equator in South America!
Featured Flower: Anthurium
Anthurium are a favorite Tropical Blooms- and here’s some fun Flower Facts
- Anthurium is a genus of herbs often growing as epiphytes on other plants
- The name Anthurium is Greek, meaning Tail Flower
- Anthurium are also known as Flamingo Flower, Hawaiian Heart, Painted Tongue, and Laceleaf
- The Colorful Heart-Shape is Not A Flower. Though it looks like a waxy bloom, it is actually a spathe, or shield-like leaf. Its function is to protect the spadix, which contains several tiny flowers when in bloom. The spathe can come in many colors, such as pink, orange and white.
- Native to the Americas, and first discovered in Colombia, there are more than 1,000 species of Anthurium
- Anthurium are available as both cut flowers and house plants
- Anthurium plants remove toxic substances such as benzene, formaldehyde and ammonia from the air. They exude substances that kill molds and viruses thus keeping us healthier.
- Anthuriums symbolize hospitality
Tropical Texture Trend Arrangement
This is a fun Flower Arrangement that incorporates both Sand and a Candle (it’s SAFE way to use an open flame) and being able to use our Featured Flower- the Anthurium to create a Tropical display that is both Trendy and Textural. One of my favorite secrets is the concealed Soaked Flower Foam- that hides neatly under the sand… it’s a like a secret Oasis- that allows us to provide some Tropical Bloom- even in the middle of a sandy desert setting… I hope you enjoy this Tropical Bloom Arrangement!
Lei Making with GUEST Jennifer Pascua
My flower friend Jennifer Pascua joins me today for a lesson in making leis – but I’m not sure who the teacher might be - Jenn may have a cultural advantage at creating these South Seas Tropical Bloom Leis!
Jennifer’s Polynesian heritage (she’s from Philippines) brings so much to this episode- and she’s able to teach me more about her culture- not only with flowers- and cocktails- but also with the Hula! Jenn has mad hula skills- and has taught professionally… so she game to give me a few pointers- and help me get my Tropical Bloom Hula Skills improved!
I share professional Leis that you can purchase on line… these authentic- Ti Leaf, Orchid Leis (2 – green & purple), Kukui Nut & Shell Lei- are ideal for any celebration and are very popular for graduations- and other memorable Life events. Today I’m showing Jenn how to create a lei- using one of my favorite flowers- the Carnation.
We’re using some mechanics that many of us have around the house- A Large Needle and Dental Floss- that’s right- Dental Floss is durable and can easily be threaded into a large needle- then we can go about threading many types of flowers- into a garland that can be transformed into a Tropical Bloom Lei- and worn – to turn any occasion into a Special Occasion- that’s the Power of Flowers my friends!
Tropical Foliage Wall Art
Here’s a fun foliage project that can give any wall the look of a balmy oasis…using a Fabulous Foliage Assortment of Different Tropical Leaves- from Foliage Friends at FernTrust, I show you how to arrange several types of FernTrust Foliage- into a soaked flower foam wreath- and transform these Fun Leaves into a Piece of Tropical Foliage Wall Art- that can turn any Location into a Tropical Oasis!
I visit my Foliage Friend David Register- at FernTrust in Episode #109- All Foliage: Living Green- You can watch it here... and see many of the Fabulous Foliage offerings- in action in this Life in Bloom show dedicated to Foliage!
Learn more about the Tropical foliage Pack from FernTrust here- and pick up a flower foam wreath ring – that can be soaked at your local craftstore or on line!
Tropical Cocktail with GUEST Jennifer Pascua
My Flower Friend Jenn returns to help me create a Tropical Cocktail- and I’m sporting my Vintage Reyn Spooner Drinking Shirt… it’s a Classic- and I couldn’t resist wearing it for creating the Tropical Hibiscus Bourbon Cocktail. The Recipe for this cocktail is a BATCH recipe- so you can create them ahead of time- and have them ready to pour for all your guests!
Tropical Hibiscus Bourbon Cocktail Recipe
Batched Hibiscus Bourbon Cocktail – Makes 4 Cocktails
¾ cup bourbon whiskey
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup + 2 T orgeat almond syrup
⅓ cup hibiscus elixir
In a medium size container – a bowl or mason jar – combine hot water, sugar and hibiscus powder. Whisk until sugar is completely dissolved.
In a cocktail shaker, combine all ingredients. Add ice and shake vigorously for a full 10 seconds.
Strain into a rocks glass with crushed ice.
When making the batch cocktail, use a large mason jar with a lid to shake or stir very well with a whisk in the serving container. Because the almond syrup is thick and the ice is cold, you want to make sure it gets distributed evenly.
Have you floated away on a tropical breeze after this episode? I love tropical foliage and flowers and hope you’ve enjoyed these ideas for an escape. For Life In Bloom, I’m J Schwanke.