Episode #508 Collections in Bloom
Today on Life In Bloom it’s all about collections, living collections of trees and hosta plants in the garden, artwork featuring flowers in various forms – and even swizzle sticks and recipes.
“I believe in collecting things that you connect with. We should surround ourselves with things we care about, that have meaning.” – Nate Berkus
In some circles I might be known to be a bit of a pack rat. I do love a good collection and have many personal collections that I enjoy. I’ve shared my flower frog collection on the show – as well as my Starburst Franciscan Dinnerware. Although she mainly collects experiences, as many people do today, I’ve even inspired my niece Grace to collect the pattern Echo, by the same creator, Mary Chalmers Brown. I do try to be mindful of collections, however, and have become more particular to adding to collections or starting new ones. Of course, this rarely applies to flowers. I can always find a bit of room in the garden for another specimen. Let’s dive into some curated collecting and see where we wind up.
Collecting Flower Artwork
J shows off his many collections of different types of artwork featuring flowers… of course!
As you can imagine much of what I collect is based in flowers. My home décor frequently includes flowers.”
“The most commanding piece of décor or artwork is the wallpaper featuring flowers. It’s created on a large scale so you can’t miss it. These designs are by Ellie Cashman and I love them. One is in the living room and the other in the bedroom. I use them to accent a wall in the room – it’s almost like a giant painting.”
“I have also started collecting vintage paint by numbers paintings, usually with a flower motif, sometimes a garden scene. I enjoy the graphic nature of the paintings.”
“Botanical artwork with a scientific flair are also great for décor in the home. I have only a couple of prints of this type of artwork – trying to limit myself here.
“This painting of Carnations and Lilies has special significance as it represents my grandparents Carnation Joe and his Lily. It was painted for me personally as a wonderful gift [J relates specific story details - not too long].”
“I have also collected a couple of pieces of this embroidered flower artwork. A nice aspect to these is their smaller size – you can tuck them here and there amongst your décor.”
“This is collection of a style of Free embroidery – as opposed to counted stitches – known as Crewel. It’s origins date back to 17th century England – and even earlier – but this grouping is representative of the craft’s popularity in the 70’s, with Flowers are a popular subject – hence my interest.
“There are two special pieces of artwork that have been on the Life In Bloom set many times – the Chrysanthemum painting as seen in an episode based on that flower. This smaller piece is an Edelweiss painting and it’s painted on the glass – Edelweiss was my Grandma Lil’s Favorite Flower!”
“While I always encourage everyone to enjoy fresh flowers when they can, even artwork with flowers provides similar benefits. Scientific studies have shown that viewing artwork of flowers can have the same calming and de-stressing benefits.”
“The next time you’re looking for artwork or considering a change in décor, consider adding flowers to the mix – it’s an effective way to relax with flowers.”
Collecting Wall Pockets
J shows off the ceramic Wall Pocket collection, then gives tips on arranging in them and makes a bouquet in the Owl Wall Pocket.
“Here’s our Bloom 365 tip…”
Wash vases in the dishwasher – especially helpful for small vases
Cocktail Swizzle Sticks
“Here’s a fun collection – cocktail swizzle sticks! Most of these are vintage. Many of them are from tourist destinations and hotels of yesteryear…”
J Makes FAUX Flower Cocktails with Fresh Flowers- and then inserts different and unique flower and plant inspired Swizzle Sticks…
J goes through some particular examples. Adds one or so to a flower arrangement as an accent.
One collection many people possess, but may not think of it that way is their recipe collection. Whether it’s a favorite aunt’s cookie recipe, favorites from a vintage cookbook, or dishes you’ve perfected over the years, taking the time to gather recipes is doubly rewarding – firstly for keeping track of them, but perhaps more importantly to enjoy the rewards of your collection by preparing them.
Here’s one of my favorite recipes – it’s a Shrimp Dip that is great on crackers or with corn chips…”
Shrimp Dip Recipe – (the complete recipe-hehehe)
1 Can Small Deveined Shrimp – Drain and mash with a fork…
Add the following…
3 Heaping Tablespoons Organic Mayonnaise
1 Box- Softened Organic Cream Cheese
1 Container Organic Sour Cream
1 Heaping Tablespoon Horseradish (3 Tablespoons?)
6 Drops of Tabasco Sauce (10 drops?)
3 Heaping Tablespoons of Organic Ketchup (for color, amount will vary)
1 Tablespoon Italian Dressing (mentioned but did not include)
4 Tablespoons Lemon Juice (*also known as a “Schlug”… )
Mix together- and refrigerator… Serve with Frito Scoops or Ruffled Potato Chips
Featured Flower: HOSTA
Hostas are herbaceous perennial plants, growing from rhizomes or stolons, with broad lanceolate or ovate leaves varying widely in size by species from 1–18 in (3–45 cm) long and 0.75–12 in (2–30 cm) broad. The smallest varieties are called miniatures. Variation among the numerous cultivars is even greater, with clumps ranging from less than four in (10 cm) across and three in (8 cm) high to more than six ft (200 cm) across and four ft (130 cm) high. Leaf color in wild species is typically green, although some species (e.g., H. sieboldiana) are known for a glaucous waxy leaf coating that gives a blue appearance to the leaf. Some species have a glaucous white coating covering the underside of the leaves. Natural mutations of native species are known with yellow-green (“gold”) colored leaves or with leaf variegation (either white/cream or yellowish edges or centers). Variegated plants very often give rise to sports that are the result of the reshuffling of cell layers during bud formation, producing foliage with mixed pigment sections. In seedlings variegation is generally maternally derived by chloroplast transfer and is not a genetically inheritable trait.
- All hosta plants grow best in shade with filtered sunlight. Too much sun exposure scorches the leaves. These plants grow more compact and produce more flowers in shady conditions. Varieties with white and yellow leaf colors like “Gold Standard” (Hosta fortune “Gold Standard”) and “Cherry Berry” (Hosta x “Cherry Berry”) do not tolerate any sun exposure.
- Hosta plants produce a variety of leaf shapes and colors. “Ginko Craig” plantain lily (Hosta x “Ginko Craig”) produces lance-shaped green leaves with white edges. “Golden Prayers” (hosta x “Golden Prayers”) grows lemon-yellow heart-shaped leaves. “Wide Brim” (Hosta x “Wide Brim”) leaves are textured with green centers edged with yellow. Other shapes include oval and round leaves with glossy or smooth surfaces; some varieties have wavy leaf-edges. Varieties are available in dark-green, greenish gold, gray-blue and variegated colors.
- All hosta varieties produce flowers in the summer. The spikes of blue, lavender or white trumpet-shaped blossoms loom on stems above the leaves. “Eola Sapphire” (Hosta x “Eola Sapphire”) produces purple flowers over blue textured leaves. “Hadspen Blue” (Hosta x “Hadspen Blue”) grows bright pinkish-purple blossoms, while “Guacamole” (Hosta x “Guacamole”) offers bright white flowers. White flowers on hosta plants smell sweeter and stronger than purple varieties.
- Hostas are available in many different sizes, ranging from 12 inches to 5 feet across. Plant these perennials in areas that will accommodate the spreading size of the clumps. “Empress Wu” (Hosta “Empress Wu”) grows 4 feet tall and spreads 5 feet wide and “Francee” (Hosta x “Francee”) grows 2 feet tall and spreads 4 feet wide. Among smaller hostas, “Little Darling” (Hosta x “MonChard Little Darling”) reaches ten inches tall and 14 inches wide and “Minuteman” (Hosta x “Minuteman”) spreads only 18 inches wide.
Fun Flower Facts about the Hosta: Hostas are named after Dr. Nicholaus Host, a physician to the emperor of Austria.Hostas are edible and some varieties are grown as a leaf vegetable and are especially popular in Japanese cuisine.
Small Vase/Toothpick Holder Collection
“I’ve long been fascinated with Tiny Flower Arrangements- and I always look for tiny vases that can hold flowers- and sometimes – they even tell a little story!
I had purchased ‘Tiny Flower Vases’ and started a collection- when I recently realized that these “Tiny Flower Vases” are most probably- Vintage Toothpick Holders…
Not all Tiny Flower Vases- are Toothpick holders though- but sometimes that was the original intention… and many times- the Interesting “Storytelling” Versions- are made in japan and feature figurines or animals…
However any small vessel- that will hold water- can become a Tiny Flower Arrangement!
I love the idea of a Tiny Flower Arrangement- and I also enjoy- the story behind them… or better still- the story or memory of finding or discovering a “tiny flower vase”…
Let me show you some of my favorites- and let’s make some TINY Flower Arrangements inside them… I’ll share some of my favorite tips and tricks for these Miniature Flower Creations!
TIPS for Small Flower Arrangements!
Spray Flowers (or foliage) – example Spray Roses, Carnations or Chrysanthemums – can be broken apart
and used individually in small arrangements…
Adding Flower Food- to a water bottle- makes for a convenient way to add water to these tiny vases
Bundling flowers together – so they won’t fall out… Create a bundle carefully- and then bind with craft wire…
Use Less- it takes fewer flowers- or sometimes just a single flower to fill a vase-
A single flower or geranium leaf- can create a great deal of interest in a small arrangement
Check water Frequently- these vases don’t hold much water- and flowers are thirsty!
Anything that will hold water- can become a flower vase…
Surprise your guests (or yourself) with flowers in unexpected places…
Now that I’ve introduced you to my wonderful collection of tiny vases…. what tiny vessel do you
have that might be filled with a few flowers? Use your imagination- and don’t forget to share your
fun projects with me!
Intro from garden next to Trees. Arrangements on Patio from Tree Branches-
Inspired by Claes Oldenburg- who collected Trees…
Tree Quotes for this segment- Arbor Day- Fall is a cheaper alternative- REST…
Celebrate a Tradition, Memory, Event or Friend…
Flowers from YOU- Viewer Feedback
J presents a viewer arrangement or message
Viewer: Jeannie Greene
“Today I have 2 photos to share with you from viewer Jeannie Greene…”
Her arrangement contains Rudbeckia Hirta (Black Eyed Susans) and a Banksia Protea… and she delighted me with a close up- so I can see the detail in both- the Protea Banksia – and this unusual tubular petaled rudbeckia
“Thanks Jeannie! I LOVE to see pictures of arrangements inspired by the show and created by viewers – our nickname for them is “Schwankes” – send your pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org – the letter j at the letter u- bloom.com and watch for more Schwankes on upcoming shows”
“Hopefully you’ve acquired some ideas on starting your own meaningful collections. If you already have your own wonderful collections, remember to take some time to review, and enjoy them every once in a while. For Life In Bloom, I’m J Schwanke.”