Flora to Fawn Over
Jill Brooke knows a lot about flowers and wants to share the wisdom. The former CNN correspondent, Editor-in-Chief of Avenue Magazine and New York Times journalist and author can now add entrepreneur to her CV. She’s the genius behind Flowerpowerwithjill, the first daily floral news website. The joyful platform gives her, along with her team, the opportunity to share her passion and help others explore the world of flowers – how to arrange them, grow them and understand them. The site has intel on everything from a ranunculi festival in California to which bloom is trending in the cocktail world.
“Flowers make people happy,” says Brooke. “We created a site that brings joy to people every day and also provides happy stories that are both interesting and useful. Flowers have ancient histories and healing powers that once understood are able to enhance everyone’s lives.”
With Mother’s Day around the corner, we asked Jill for some tips on creating flower arrangements using one of Tory’s new vases.
- Think of the vase as a statement piece.
In fashion speak, the vase is the handbag or a fabulous pair of shoes, the flowers are the classic dress. This allows you to just use one type of flower to still create a pretty look or you can mix and match with a variety of flowers.
- Proportions are everything.
Long narrow cylinder vases invite long billowy blooms. If it’s a 16” vase, my flowers’ height are around 16” above the vase rim. Shorter, chunkier vases (think 6” or 7”), stems should peek out of the rim by about 3” – 4”.
- Water is life.
Among the many lessons that flowers teach us about life is that some only bloom for brief periods while others are more long-term (such as carnations). But every bloom drinks water and by changing the water every day, you will prolong its natural life. Fill the vase ¾ of the way. Note: Tulips are one of the few flowers that don’t want a lot of water in the vase.
- Wash that vase!
Tackle the mineral deposits from previous flowers with an toothbrush and soapy water. Your blooms will smile with appreciation.
- Complementary colors are key.
You need to always have one flower in the vase that complements the tone of the vase and then play from there. You want to keep the same tones. Nothing wrong with contrasts, but, for example, if you have a pale blush pink vase, a bright gold yellow and vivid purple will clash a bit if those are the only hues used.
- It’s easy being green.
Use greenery as much as possible – it lasts longer and fills the vase so you don’t break the bank on flowers.
- Faux flowers make great filler.
Want to fill a large vase but feeling frugal? Fabulous faux flowers in the middle of the vase, surrounded by real ones, are another way to go. The human eye will always notice the real flowers, not the ones in the center.
- The medium is the message.
Focus more on the message you want your arrangement to convey. That’s the power of flowers unleashed. For example, for Mother’s Day. If your mom is no longer here, create a vase with an Iris. They represent the Greek goddess who created the rainbow to travel from heaven to earth. If you have an aunt who is like a second mother, make her an arrangement with purple hydrangeas – these convey that you appreciate being understood. Carnations also represent maternal love. After all, Mother’s Day became a National Holiday due to Anna Jarvis. She sent 500 white carnations to her local church for the mothers in attendance to encourage her campaign.