January 2023 is here, and I am thinking back on a very fun project from the past holiday season. Longwood Gardens invited its Continuing Education Floral Design instructors to stage floral designs in the conservatory’s Music Room display. My photographer friend, Kate Fahey, went with me to get these wonderful pictures.

The theme of this year’s Music Room was “A Flower Shop” and the room was filled with a magnificent Christmas tree, a wall of wreaths, buckets of fresh flowers, beautiful garlands, and two stunning models wearing floral gowns. An enormous moss chair was next to the table where we would place our designs. (See how little I look in the picture below next to the chair.)

My assignments for this project were the week of Christmas and the week of New Years and I planned and created two very different designs.

PROJECT 1 – Christmas tradition

My Christmas design was inspired by the moss chair and the garlands of greens and lights surrounding it.

To tie in with the moss of the chair I used a rust metal basket filled with moss.
A variety of garden greens filled the basket, cryptomeria, golden cyprus, and white pine. Textural contrast was created with folded shiny aspidistra leaves, and variegated holly.
Red ilex berries added asymmetric interest and red willow branches provided height. Flowers were a variety of red hues, roses, carnations, gerbera, and Hawaiian anthurium from Green Point Nursery.

Shiny aspidistra leaves were folded and stapled for a ribbon like effect. Bright red carnations were placed under the darker red rose to increase its visual impact.

For the final design a garland of pinecones wrapped around the basket and the light from above made the whole design glisten.

PROJECT 2 – New Year’s Celebration

Inspiration from New Year’s Eve fireworks.

Having had the experience of the previous week’s designing, I changed my plan a bit for this week’s arrangement. I had originally planned a tall, slender black vase to hold the flowers but changed to a more substantial gold Art Deco container. It allowed for a more substantial design that would show better next to the heavy moss chair.

Materials for this design included the large gold vase, gold painted palm fronds, and a few gold branches. Greens are shiny fatisia leaves and cascading textured cryptomeria. Yellow cymbidium orchids and oncidium were the flowers.

The final design filled the room with spirited flowing orchids to bring in the New Year.

Happy new year to all.