Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Environmental Floral Design

wooly thyme, Autumn Joy
and hens & chicks in my garden
Some people just have the knack, it seems.  Mary Audia is one of them, and is famous in this district for her talents.  At the District 5 Horticultural meeting she gave a workshop on environmental floral design that was inspiring.

She used plants in her arrangements that I often overlook in my own backyard:  the purple sedum, a big hellabore leaf, hosta, geranium, eunomous, euphorbia, bergenia, cedar, barberry....

The Ikenobo philosophy nicely aligns with environmental design:
  • seasonal plants, locally grown
  • slight imperfections are acceptable, even desirable, especially if they 'speak to the season',  like a hosta leaf yellow with autumn colour or with a pinprick hole...
  • materials kept to a minimum

I ended up taking home the arrangement and container on the left (complete with kenzin).  The scent of lily is strong, but not too overpowering.

There was another fun design concocted from a scooped out pumpkin, and then filled with orange glads and dahlias (ornamental kale or cabbage, and mums could be equally striking).

What's not environmentally friendly comes as no surprise:  pesticides; floral foam (it's  non-biodegradable and full of toxins like formaldehyde); and transporting exotic flowers long distances, which produces carbon emissions.

So why not choose plants grown locally?  Or better yet, from your own backyard?  The only problem with taking cuttings from the garden is just that - well, you are taking cuttings from the garden.  One less bloom to admire.

Alex put his cactus in among the marigolds. 

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