by Kit Wertz
Pictured at left is the Pantone® color for 2013, Emerald green. The color authority calls it, “Lively. Radiant. Lush… A color of elegance and beauty that enhances our sense of well-being, balance and harmony.” Read the 2013 color of the year press release.
Color of the Year from Pantone®, the Authority on Color
Pantone® is a company that provides the color standards for graphic designers, interior designers and the fashion industry. This year, Pantone is partnering with Sephora and JCPenny (at JCP.com) to create beauty and home products based on the color of the year. So, if you love emerald green or want to spice up your life this year, you can wear it or decorate your home with the vibrant color. Get ideas on fashion and home decoration from Pantone’s Pinterest Board.
Pictured above are bouquets we made using Ruscus and succulent rosettes.
Emerald Green Flowers
There are more than a few green flowers available on the market and most of them are more on the pale green to candy apple green color spectrum. There are; however, a few flowers and many types of greenery that can be used to give your floral designs that jewel-toned look this year. Here are a few ideas of how to incorporate the 2013 color of the year into your floral designs.
Green Begonia Leaves.
Fluffy and fun Green Trick Dianthus is a darker green that goes well with the candy apple green of the Kermit Mum pictured above left and it also goes well with creamy Roses, Wax Flower and two-toned Carnations pictured above.
Limes add a rich jewel-toned Emerald green look to this design as well as the dark green Hypericum berries.
Fresh Lotus pods and green Galax leaves are also unusual and decadent options for adding Emerald green to your 2013 floral designs.
Stems underwater can add to your “greening” of your floral designs as they do here paired with curly willow stems as the stem architecture.
Green Ti Leaves offer a dramatic green look to this vase of purple and white Hydrangea.
Vase Gems and Vases
Table Scatter Vase Gems in Emerald Green offer a different look to your tablescape design from Save-On Crafts.
Pantone LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of X-Rite, Incorporated, is the world-renowned authority on color. For nearly 50 years, Pantone has been inspiring design professionals with products, services and leading technology for the colorful exploration and expression of creativity.
From their website: “In 1963, Lawrence Herbert, Pantone’s founder, created an innovative system for identifying, matching and communicating colors to solve the problems associated with producing accurate color matches in the graphic arts community. His insight that the spectrum is seen and interpreted differently by each individual led to the innovation of the PANTONE® MATCHING SYSTEM®, a book of standardized color in fan format.”
by Casey Schwartz
Red and Green Anthuriums in a giant size Obake Anthurium like this can make a fantastic impact in a Valentine’s Day design for a lover of tropical flowers.
Just Who Was St. Valentine?
Legend has it that the man, Valentinus, who was to become known as St. Valentine, had been performing weddings between soldiers and their beloveds. This was forbidden in the Roman Empire’s army under the rule of Roman Emperor Claudius II around the 4th century.
He had written a note to his jailer’s daughter on the eve of his last day on earth, “From your Valentine” as a goodbye as he would not live to see another day. Apparently the jailer’s daughter had been blind, and Father Valentinus had healed her. A fast track to sainthood and now a celebration of love for each other is celebrated, almost worldwide.
For thousands of years, the middle of February was when the Pagens would celebrate this coming of spring with mating birds.
Chaucer wrote a referral to Valentine’s day centuries later in 1382 about love birds referring to the engagement of King Richard II and Anne of Bohemia. They married soon after and they were just each 15 years old. Valentines Day is also mentioned in Hamlet from the 1600s. Poetry and special cards were the order of the day. Flowers to your true love, came on the scene a bit later.
History of Giving Flowers to Loved Ones on Valentine’s Day
The history of giving your loved one fresh flowers on Valentine’s Day comes from the custom of sending floral bouquets to pass on non-verbal messages. Introduced in England in 1717 and in Sweden in 1727, each flower had a specific meaning attached to it, making it possible to have an entire conversation using only flowers. This was especially popular in the Victorian Era, but then spread to all of Europe in the mid 1800’s and then to the United States shortly thereafter. If you want to learn how to make a bouquet with meaning, check out our “How To Make a Tussie Mussie” video in this month’s newsletter.
So if you want to send a message to someone, here are a few options for you:
Purple Lilac = “First emotions of Love”
Acacia = “Secret Love” – good meaning, as it is yellow and seems like it is disguised as a valentine flower
Aster = Symbol of love, daintiness, trusting
Daisy = Innocence, loyal love, Purity, Faith, Cheer
Gardenia = You’re lovely, sweet love
Honeysuckle = Devoted affection
Rose – Red = True love
Rose – Coral or Orange = Passion
Rose – Lavender = Love at first sight
Rose – Red and white together = United!
Snowdrop = Hope
Danes give Snowdrops and Verse for Valentine’s Day
In Denmark, they have a tradition of sending a bunch of snowdrops. Snowdrops are a bulb flower, which often pop out while snow is still on the ground. They are called “Vinterglaeks” – which means winter joke, as they are tricking the Danes to think that spring is over. The bouquet is accompanied with a sometimes silly rhyme and signed with dots. Each dot represents a letter in the suitors name. If the receiver can not guess the name from this clue, she must give, at Easter, colored eggs as payment.
Here is a sample of a translated Danish Verse…”Love’s first kisses are the snow-drops, Ringing here like fairy bells; Let thy heart bend low and listen To the tale their music tells.” Signed, …..
Here is mine.
“The flowers that bloom this early in spring, make the birds and our hearts sing,
Buy some flowers and think of sweet things to say, We wish you all Happy Valentines Day.” Signed, …..
by Casey Schwartz
A collage of traditional symbols for Chinese New Year.
Chinese New Year is the most important and longest festivity in the Chinese Calendar and is known as the Spring Festival. It is a major holiday for the Chinese and has influenced the Lunar New Year celebrations in the countries who share it borders. For 2013, Chinese New Year Falls on Sunday February 10th.
Chinese New Year’s Traditions
The idea is to thoroughly cleanse the house in order to sweep away any ill-fortune and to make way for good incoming luck. This celebration is 15 days long and there are specific traditions that happen on each day. From Firecrackers, to special foods, to cleaning.
Part of the cleaning, is to throw away dead plants, so that goes for fading flowers too, which cause bad Feng Shui. This should be done in prep for the 15 days, not during. Also do your sweeping ahead of time and not during, as you may accidentally sweep away some new good luck.
Flowers Given and Displayed During Chinese New Year Celebrations
Red is a must during this celebration, as it keeps the demons away. Flowers are used to freshen up homes and to give as gifts for hosts. Be careful of the colors you choose though. Avoid White flowers, which traditionally are used for funerals, especially Chrysanthemums. Stay with Peach Blossom for romance and growth, Pussy Willow for fortune, Bamboo for integrity and Narcissus for prosperity. Kumquats in a bowl would be like having a bowl full of gold. Kum means gold in Cantonese.
The pine, bamboo, and plum have been known since the Song dynasty (960–1279) as the “Three Friends of Winter.” In the cold season when most plants are dormant, the bamboo and pine remain green, and the plum is the first to bloom. These three plants are models of fortitude and uprightness in adverse conditions, and this type of resistance to the elements is admired by the Chinese. As a result, this combination is seen very often in Chinese artwork.
This year is celebrated as Year of the Snake, specifically, the Year of the Black Water Snake. Legend has it, that a Snake in the house is a good omen, because your family will not starve. Some signs of those born during the year of the snake are that they are intuitive, introspective, and refined. Graceful and exciting are also traits. These are the birth years for past years of the snake:
1905, 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001. Remember that the Lunar New Year falls sometime near the end of January or early February, so if you were born in early 1989, you could be the previous New Year’s symbol.
More Floral Ideas for Chinese New Year
In 2010 we created this Chinese New Year design that could be replicated any year. We combined the three friends of winter, Pine, Bamboo and Plum Blossom and added Cymbidium Orchids and Red Roses for good fortune in the new year.
Find more ideas on Chinese New Year flowers from our February newsletter of 2011 and our blog posting about Lunar New Year floral design using the three friends of winter. Download a PDF brochure on the fruits and flowers of the Chinese New Year from the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.
So open the windows and let the good luck pour in.
Pictured at left is a young student in our Huntington Library Tussie Mussie Class a few summers ago.
Casey Schwartz of Flower Duet has appeared on Public Television’s Creative Living with Sheryl Borden the past two seasons and returned to Portales, New Mexico to film another set of five shows for the 2012-2013 season.
This month, we feature a video on how to create a small posy or tussie mussie. Each collection of flowers has a special meaning and are often given to the recipient simply tied with a ribbon. Learn more on how to create these thoughtful and fun designs.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel: fashioningflowers so you’ll know when we’ve uploaded a new show of our own!
Flower Arranging: The complete guide for beginners by Judith Blacklock
Kit spotted this book on Amazon and thinks it looks like a winner for those who want more than a coffee table book of beautiful designs. This book puts all the hands-on lessons you would have in a floral design course and puts it down on paper in beautiful color photographs and black and white print.
Here is a snippet from Amazon.com:
“In clear and logical terms, Judith Blacklock has turned hands-on lessons into written word. Illustrated with hundreds of beautiful colour images and helpful line drawings, this book will enable you to create glorious floral designs with ease and enjoyment”
For students who have taken our floral design classes and private lessons in Los Angeles, they know we advocate using the most gentle methods to rid a rose stem of leaves and thorns before designing, but we have found a tool that we can recommend to help with this tedious and sometimes painful task.
This rose stem cleaner saves time, flowers and your hands! It will remove all thorns if you use gentle pressure and leaves in a way that will preserve the stem. Soon to be available for sale in our floral design classes, workshops and on our Shopping Site.