The landscape is grey and white. There’s billowing snow all around. Perhaps you can see a few evergreens or some of last summer’s weeds still poking up through the snow, but beyond that, January is a pretty barren month here in Northern Michigan.
But thankfully, there are still flowers growing in other parts of the world. Flowers that can quickly bring a little bright spot into our day or remind us that warmer months will return. In truth, January is when the flower markets really seem to jump to life – Japanese and Dutch products show up with some of the most unusual colors and shapes. The year I went to New York and visited the flower markets in January was unbelievable, I should have planned better because I simply wanted to try and buy them all.
Back to today, and the flowers I have in my studio right now. I’ve chosen 5 that I’m loving at the moment, sticking a little more to the basics, and hopefully inspiring any of you who might find yourselves in a creative rut or perhaps scared to plan any events in the winter months because “there aren’t any flowers this time of year”.
A truly white flower against a strong green stem, this bulbs begin showing up in the wholesale markets around this time of year and are available throughout most of the spring. The full flower is about 2-3 inches in diameter and covered in clusters of smaller flowers. I love these as fun accent flowers giving some lacey texture to an arrangement, or I’ve also incorporated the smaller, individual flowers into wrist corsages and other wearable flower pieces.
I’ve coveted these little blooms in other designer’s work for years. I see it growing up fences and charming stone buildings. But, it’s not available in Michigan and does not have the tolerance for shipping, until now. This delicate little guy has been dried and is now the perfect little textural tidbit for an arrangement. The shape of the flower and overall look when placed in an arrangment is similar to a sweet pea, but we don’t have to worry about freezing them in the chilly January air and the color is more creamy, rather than a true crisp white. It warms up a winter arrangement, while still complimenting the landscape outside.
Also referred to as a Lenton Rose, these little guys are one of the first ones to spring to life in the garden. I’ve heard of them popping up and blooming through the snow, although I’ve personally never had that experience in my own garden. They are a great winter flower option though, not only because of the season, but also the subtle color they add to an arrangement. They’re mainly found in shades of pink, purple, green and white. The a single bloom usually contains more that one hue, creating a natural ombre effect and I simply love any flower that won’t define itself as just one color. Second bonus point for this little bloom, the colors are usually more on the antique scale which will appeal to those of us who like color, but not when it’s loudly screaming in your face.
This is a new one to me, I saw it on my wholesaler’s list and thought I’d give it a try. I loved the texture and silvery color. Silvery green foliages are extremely popular, definately in the winter months, but really the entire year through. I’m always on the lookout for new ones to replace the ever popular dusty miller which everyone seems to love, but I personally have very little luck with. This is more delicate and textural adding just a touch of silver to an arrangement and making a really great, sturdy and linear, frosty option.
My favorite of the standard roses, the quicksand rose. She’s hardy, dependable and opens up beautifully. She’s the perfect neutral, blending with pinks, white, beige and more golden hued flowers. Its the subtle way that she takes control of an arrangment that really makes me love her even more. She’s popular any time of year, although her availablity becomes a little more scarce during the summer months, due to the high demand.
This list could have carried on for awhile, but for now, those are 5 of my favorites. I’ll be sharing how I combined them into an arrangement and a tablescape later this month. Plus if you recieve my newsletter, you’ll get bonus content including an exact flower recipe and video. If you’re not on that list, you can joing HERE.