Yesterday, I took to girls to Fields of Flowers in Purcellville. Forget that it was the hottest day of the year so far my stroller doesn't move through grass very well ;) It really was a perfect afternoon. My intention was to pick flowers and greens for a simple Memorial Day inspired table arrangement. You never know what you'll find at the pick your own flower farm, since pretty much every thing can impact availability. But I squealed inside when I peeked around the corner of the wisteria canopy and saw a row of deep red and pink velvety peonies. I had a hard time resisting cutting them all.
Then I discovered my NEW favorite flower: baptisia. It looks slightly like snapdragon, but the blooms are smaller, and a little more spread out. I love the way it looks with the buds unopened, and the softness of the stem. We continued to explore and found some gorgeous vines growing in another bush, some viburnum (I think), a bush with long stems of small flowering red, bell-shaped blooms (possibly an azalea variety? help, flower friends), a ninebark bush with gorgeous purple leaves and small white flower clusters, and wisteria. Kate, who works at the flower farm, took me to an area I've never seen before, and introduced me to mahonia, which grows these wonderful blue berries. Mahonia is an evergreen flowering shrub, and I cut off the long spiky stems and green leaves (like holly leaves) and just let the berry clusters hang over the pitcher!
When I put together arrangements, I start with the sturdier stems, and usually work my way through the stems, ending with the most fragile blooms/stems last. In this case, I started with the mahonia, since the stems are really woody and I knew I wanted them to cascade over the sides of the vessel. Then I added other pieces: vines, to which helped provide the shape I was looking for, viburnum, which helped fill out the shape. Then I added the peonies, which I chose to keep clustered together. Then I just added more and more filler (vines, baptisia, more ninebark). I am so pleased with the final product, and love that it's 100% local, fresh flowers! Hope you're inspired to go pick some blooms & make a subtly red, white, and blue arrangement for your Memorial Day!!