Floral compositions

Keep this principle in mind in decorating with flowers-make the most of them. If you have a good, varied garden, you will have an extensive supply from which to choose. If you receive a gift of flowers, you are limited by the contents of the box. That, however, need not limit your imagination.

First, a generous gift is delivered from the florist. It contains pompom chrysanthemums of orange and yellow, pink and salmon glads, a bunch of milkweed, and a bunch of huckleberry leaves.

Instead of jamming the entire boxful into a vase in a single enormous mass, the recipient thought out a few arrangements, keeping in mind the containers in the house, then divided the flowers intelligently. A few of the yellow chrysanthemums went into one vase, silhouetted by, the milkweed.

Next, more yellow chrysanthemums and half the orange pompoms were placed in a simple, triangular design in a flat glass bowl, stemming from a needlepoint holder fixed to the glass with a few lumps of modelling clay. The bottom of the bowl was curved and the clay not only anchored the holder but gave it a level stance.

Greens were broken up and stuffed into the open mouth of a vase to support the long stems of the gladioli. The height of this composition was exaggerated by wiring one gladiolus to another, giving it extra height. Two other glads, their stems wired in gentle curves, were inserted to provide a horizontal line, and other gladioli and the orange chrysanthemums were inserted to fill out a firmly held, well-balanced design.

When the flowers begin to age

Chrysanthemums naturally outlast gladioli and when, after a few days, the glads began to weary, the arranger separated them from the chrysanthemums, took the milkweed from the vase of yellow pompoms and used it to spray among the glads in a china serving bowl.

This left a generous bunch of yellow and orange chrysanthemums to be used in another decoration. A few branches of spruce, picked from the garden, were used to dress up an inexpensive straw basket in which, since it was not watertight, a small kitchen bowl was placed. The orange pompoms on the right evenly balance the yellow chrysanthemums and the weight of the spruce branches on the left in a rich and generous basket of fall flowers.

The deterioration of the glads goes on apace; the next day they are trimmed down to put their best face forward, and massed around a tall, central spike in a flat glass bowl and three which are still in fair condition are gathered with a few chrysanthemums in a water bottle for their final display.

In this imaginative use of flowers in numerous and succeeding designs, none of these compositions should require more than 10 minutes to put together.

Use unusual blooms

In planning a garden much of the strain on the creative imagination of the flower arranger may be relieved by venturing beyond rose, peony, carnation, iris, dahlia, delphinium, gladiolus, and other obvious popular choices, and including some of the more unusual ones, such as anemone, buttercup, columbine, lupine, forsythia, foxtail lily, redhotpoker, and amaryllis, thus making a real variety of blooms available throughout the season.

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