Purple Flower Fight… To the Death…
I don’t like not knowing answers and am generally hesitant about taking people’s opinions as truth. So, I’m not about to make a wired bouquet that is expected to look stunning for 12 hours without knowing the flowers are gonna give it their best shot, even without all the necessary elements of survival. If only cut flowers could live on love…. (sigh)
So it is time for yet another Lola Science Experiment. It’s not terribly scientific. Basically we will stick all the potential players together and see who can rock it the longest on no juice. But just to make it scientific-like, here are the specs. My house, where these very unacceptable photos were taken stayed about 63-65 degrees. The experiment began on Friday, June 24th at 8:30 in the morning. Just to make it super scientific, you can imagine me in a white lab coat and white flip flops.
The players are…
Behold the lovely fighters
Now based on what I know and backs of cereal boxes, I’m guessing that the stocks will kick the bucket first and the orchids will win the fight. Lets see…
12:00pm on Friday
It’s been 3.5 hours and stocks, lisianthus, and delphinium are wussing out early. Stocks is softest, then delphinium, then the lisianthus.
The Allium is loosing its cool somehow holding it together.
Roses are standing strong,
Brodiaea and orchids seem bored and unmoved.
Four hours later, stock is toast. Delphinium is soft but still holding form. Lisianthus is soft but still straight and holding it together. Allium has almost lost it. Dendrobium is softer and starting to droop. Ocean Spray Rose is getting soft. All other flowers are awesome.
at 5pm, Allium kicks the bucket.
At 6:30 pm, Delphinium checks out.
at 8pm, Dendrobium, one of our star players is out.
At 11:30pm, 14 hours after the flowers were cut off of sustenance, both roses, the Vanda and Phale Orchid, the Lisianthus, and the Brodiaea are rockin’ and rollin’.
Everything still aok.
(this is the part where I start to get distracted with other projects and stop taking pictures)
Here is the summary.
Day 2, 9:30 am- Lisianthus calls it quits after 25 hours of a fight. Roses and Brodiaea are showing droopage and the orchids are a bit soft but still holding shape.
Day 2, 11:00 am Ocean Song Rose dies (26.5 hours) followed by Cool Water Rose at 3:00pm (30.5 hours).
Day 2, 9:30pm- Phalaenopsis Orchid has gone limp beyond acceptability. (37 hours)
At the end of day 2, Brodiaea is droopy but flowers are still firm! Vanda orchid is getting floppy but still holding shape.
Day 3, 10:00pm, the Vanda Orchid is worn out after nearly 60 hours.
The crazy thing is Brodiaea is still looking fantabulous and is obviously the clear winner.
It’s not until day 6 that Brodiaea is retired. And not because it looks bad. The top half or so looks vibrant and is still turgid. It’s just because I’m bored… this experiment has gone on so long that a house spider is starting to incorporate the flower into its web house. Even the spider recognizes the flower for its staying power. Let’s hear it for Brodiaea!
Luckily. ALL the flowers held up for a sufficient length of time for my flower making purposes. From this experiment I have learned where certain flowers will be placed to highlight long lasting lovelies. And here is some of the finished product.
I smell something. It may simply be that months of mucous filled pathways are finally opening up (thanks to Seattle’s 3 days of downright fine weather). Or it may be that flowers just smell pretty dang good this time of year. Better than other times.
And that got me thinking… I know just how important smell is for giving latent memories a kick back into the here and now. So why then, as a floral designer, am I not taking total advantage of the ultimate long-term marketing plan?! Of course, I hope that in fifteen years some frazzled mom will be driving her tween to a Beiber-of-the-day concert, and get a whiff of a floral scent that reminds her of her wedding day. This then leads to a happy mom remembering how much she loves her husband, and how much she loves her twerp with the weird hair in the back seat. Happy lady leads to the kid getting an extra 20 bucks which leads to happy kid and leads to hubby getting an extra smooch which leads to happy hubby and so on and so on. The world is a better place because I had some smelly strategy. AND she remembers how gorgeous and yummy smelling her flowers were which reminds her to check out what Lola Event Floral & Design is up to these days….. Probably they’ll have their own TV show by then, or running creative process workshops in the south of France… or Tanzania.
Maybe not that far. But still, our sense of smell is really pretty amazing and gets studied all the time. Did you know that smell is the first sense to mature, and the emotional/memory to smell connection is stronger when we are younger and sticks around the longest? So when you are 109, a Pieris bush might still dredge up memories of your first kiss in elementary school underneath a pieris shrub. AND unlike sight and touch, which have to be processed in order for our brains to understand, our smelling equipment has a direct connection to our brain. In fact, it turns out that the junk that handles smell hangs out inside of the junk that makes emotions and stores emotional memories inside our noggins. Check out this New York Times post for more: “The Nose, An Emotional Time Machine” by Natalie Angier.
Anywho, here are some pics of my favorite smelly, memory making flowers and the lovely arrangements that got to host them.
Cherry blossoms! The smell literally can smell up a whole room. This arrangement was for my sister’s wedding on our family’s farm. Check it out if you haven’t seen it. It includes fringe tulips, agonis, cherry blossoms (or are they pear?), and artichoke foliage.
Peonies! So delicate, so expensive, so quick to bite it, but so worth it. This gorgeous spring bouquet is what I would choose if I were getting married in the spring. It’s one of those arrangements you make and then stand back and say out loud… “Emily, you have done good in the world.” Maybe not out loud. Other flowers include ranunculus, quicksand roses, white majolica roses, hellebores, pieris, and anemone.
Rosemary! One of my all time faves. It really goes with anything you put in a vase, or anything you put in your mouth. Unless you are putting the vase in your mouth in which case you should worry about other things besides what else to put in there.
Pieris! Definitely one of my memory triggers. I love this smell. Actually, so much that last year I already wrote about it in the Cutting Garden Post. Click here for more on that.