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.