Sunday, May 20, 2007

1707 and all that . . .



Yesterday was my birthday and the chance to do some party flowers for one of my longest standing customers - one of the customers who has been taking a couple of bunches from me weekly since 2002 when I didn't even have somewhere proper to grow them.

It was her wedding anniversary and an excuse to hold a themed party. The theme was 1707 - this year sees the 300th anniversary of the Act of Union of Scotland and England and also of the birth of Linnaeus the Swedish scientist who came up with the system we still use today to categorise plants and animals - so it had layers of Swedish style (she is Swedish), historicism and flowers.

I was asked to provide small arrangements for the long trestle tables and the buffet.

I love working to a brief like this. One of the great advantages of having so many antique dealers in the family is that I have the chance to pick up vases etc. and squirrel them away for the right occasion. About 6 months ago I bought some french pewter goblets and plates, thinking that they would be wonderful for weddings - church candles grouped on the plates, flowers arranged in the goblets.

So when I got a 1707 theme I knew exactly what I wanted to do - loose meadow type flowers - all introduced pre 1707, many native to Scotland and Sweden. I also wanted to make it yellow, blue and white, alluding to the Scottish and Swedish flags. The table centres are pictured above - the goblets are taped in a fine grid of waterproof tape and then hellebores, alliums, pig nuts, columbines and buttercups are arranged as upright as possible. When I delivered them yesterday I was told they looked "just like a Swedish meadow".

I also made a rococo arrangement of grapes, sweet rocket and wisteria (wisteria was actually another 100 years in arriving but visually it worked so well I cheated) and a candlestick draped in grapes and golden hop.

The party had a lot of effort put into the detailing - I am sure it was a fantastic night.

17 comments:

AliceC said...

Oh Jane...
I am beside myself with admiration for the imagination and elegance of these decorations. They must have taken you ages - a real work of art. I am so glad that you took pictures so that we can all appreciate them too.
Happy Birthday for yesterday. I hope it was a lovely day - if you were feeling at all reflective I hope that you gave yourself a pat on the back for all that you have achieved in the past year.
And I hope that Euan opened the next bottle of gin!
Alice

Victoria May Plum said...

The flowers look beautiful, I love natural looking flower arrangements, and the colours are so pretty.
Happy birthday for yesterday, I hope you had a wonderful day.
Victoria x

Marie said...

Hello Jane,

You are talented! What beautiful arrangements. I really like the meadow flower arrangements.

Belated Happy Birthday.

Marie x

Pondside said...

Good Morning, Jane, and a belated Happy Birthday, or as the Great Dane would say Tyllyke med fodsolsdag!
The arrangements for the Swedish friend were stunning! I wish I could have seen the tables! It sounds so very festive.
Your cushion kits idea sounds like a good one. People seem to be more and more interested in knitting and handsewing these days - one reads here about knitting groups, much like there were years and years ago. Go for it!
I really must have a look at your website! Happy Sunday!

Raindrops said...

Happy Birthday for yesterday. I hope you had a lovely day.
The flowers are just beautiful. What lovely ideas you have.
Tricia

Gigibird said...

I collected pewter for a while - I have no idea what happened to it - I am drawn to it's historical looks and easy care.I too have a think for old vases............

angelfeet said...

Happy Birthday in belatedness. Such beautiful arrangements.

And I love the hat!

toady said...

Just caught up with your blogs, the arrangements are lovely and regarding the embroidery kits I think it's a great idea. I used to do a lot of tapestry and embroidery, sadly eyesight failing fast. Toady

UN PEU LOUFOQUE said...

I had to read this if only to find out why 1707! The arangements are wonderful I hate stif formal floral dispalys and these are much more my style!

BeachysCapeCodCupboard said...

Oh how delightful! I love the combinations of colors and textures that you used in keeping with the Swedish theme! And a very Happy Birthday to you, too!

Fresh Floral Art said...

Absolutely Beautiful. And what a unique theme. Happy late birthday, hope you made a little something for yourself.

Sew Recycled! said...

Happy Birthday for yesterday - did you get any flowers!? Your arrangements look absolutely beautiful, very talented!

P.S thankyou for a little history lesson.

carolyn said...

Happy Birthday for yesterday.

Jane said...

Thanks for your lovely comments - I did have a great birthday - the weather was awful so we headed into Glasgow for lunch and shopping(I negotiated £700 off a range cooker in John Lewis which pleased me no end) and then in the evening Euan and I went out to Browns of Drymen for dinner. Very, very good food that made my toes curl in happiness.

J
x

Nonnie said...

Belated Happy Birthday! Hope you had a lovely day. The decorations for the party are gorgeous. I really love your style of arranging.

El said...

Wow! Happy birthday. Wow, too: what wonderful work you've done here. And the research! This level of detail is what people at the event will talk about for years to come, I will have you know.

weirdbunny said...

They all look truly brilliant !!!!! I'm very impressed ....