Wildflowers of California

I went on a hike a few days ago and picked up some wildflowers along the way. Would you expect anything less of me? Didn’t think so.

This white scabiosa is distinctively striking. Scabiosa, crocosmia and wild dill also complete the foraged bouquet with the scabiosa bulb part of the medley.

Then I played around with this Jonathan Adler vase, and tried several arrangements to see what looked best in the bud vase. The vase is really fun and was gifted to me (from this fabulous designer, whom I assisted on the floral arranging for her very own wedding back in June).

I pretty much decided I like each individual flower in the vase. In other words: It all works. But I figured this much.

In the end I decided to stick with the dill and crocosmia pairing (as seen below).

Outside in…

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- Sometimes some of the most interesting product is right outside your backdoor. You just have to know where to look, and when to put your creative goggles on.

I ventured out back this week and was delighted to wade about in the knee-high possibilities. You call them weeds, I call them exotic blooms.

In my opinion, pruning is always a good thing. So why not put the scraps to good use?

Ah, the joys of a pocket knife. It’s good to carry one. Especially on hikes. You never know what you might run into…

And while the rest of California is serving Nasturtium on a plate, I’m all too happy to tuck a few stems into a round cobalt blue vase. An unidentified wild blue flower also makes an appearance.

Wild Egg-Yolk Flower

I have actually seen growers selling this tall white flower at local Farmers Markets recently. It must be in season. Whatever it is. What do you know, I saw some growing alongside the street here in the neighborhood. They seemed to have escaped their grower’s yard. Better for me… And just in case you are wondering I do not forage from anyones front or back yard. I always forage from neutral property. I am always discreet, respectful and never take more than I can carry. If anything, I re-root at home, hence, continuing the growing process. Somewhere else.

This flower reminds me of a tall stalky poppy, as well as an egg yolk. For obvious reasons. It has a light scent and the pollen does shed. Unfortunately..

Wild. Flowers

This flowering plant is growing alongside the highways and I can’t help but be enchanted by the tiny yellow flowers attached to the branches which seem to grow in no particular order. The pattern is all its own. The growth reminds me of Pencil Plant (cactus family).

On a walk today I did my civic duty (of trimming and pruning) by cutting back some of this wild yellow plant. I had enough to fashion into several arrangements, including this one (above) with a curious pink flower.

I was running along the mountain trail and seriously stopped right in my tracks. I really thought I had discovered  wild orchids growing up on the mountain and was kicking myself for not bringing my pocket knife. Upon closer inspection this pink bloom is attached to a vine that is flat and light in weight.

I took enough to arrange in vases as well as to pop into soil. I am really hoping this clipping roots, as I’d love it growing wild across the balcony.

Wildflower Bouquets

In a previous life I worked in a flower shop in Texas. I certainly miss working in that flower shop now. Being amongst constant, and amazing beautiful selections of fresh-cut flowers. Many exotic, many tropical, and many from  far away places, like Holland, Costa Rica, and even California. I loved having the creative freedom to put something together based upon a certain price range, and with no other specifics. I use to love when I was just given an amount to work with, and it was free rein to create what ever I wanted; designer’s choice. I do miss those days…how fitting now that I live in California, the land of flora and fauna. The land of plenty. Tall purple Lilac trees are blooming down the street. My mind is still amazed to see Calla Lilies sprouting tall everywhere. Abundant bushes of Hydrangea in every yard. Tulips and Iris grow wild….yes that is how it is here..abudantly beautiful.

I am fortunate to have access to some amazing hiking trails close by, and I find inspiration around me constantly. My mind still churns with creative ideas, and I see color, texture, and the balance of design in many things. Even within the sight of a snail who has lost its shell, or rather is looking for one. And moss engulfing a muddy step.

And though I do not have daily access to tulips and roses in every color imaginable, or daily deliveries from far, wide, and locally, I have my own local. And I can’t help but not create something from what is around me. The Queen Anne’s lace is in full bloom, and is some of the tallest varieties I have seen. There are many other wild flowers growing and I am in awed inspiration….

On my hike today, I decided to bring my camera as well as a strong grip. I began collecting, foraging, designing, arranging..I started with this, and it slowly evolved into something more.

Composed of wild Iris, Queen Anne’s lace, several types of grasses, leaves, and several flowers I honestly don’t know the names of it is essentially a spring wildflower bouquet. When I arrived home, I decided to re work the flowers into a small glass square vase I happen upon at the local Ross for about 6 dollars. I am happy with the arrangement as a casual and wild hand tied bouquet, which I’d love to tie with some gold or black satin ribbon. It also works well as a wild yet composed vase arrangement. Would be lovely in a small silver julep cup or brass gravy dish..

As my dear friend Charles ( a brilliant and fabulous Floral designer and Chef) once told me ” When life gives you lemons you make lemonade”. Well I have plenty of lemons, and I’m happily squeezing away..