Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Welcome back for another adventure in the floral alphabet!  Today in A-Z, “N” is for the precious and lovely Nerine.  Nerine, sometimes called a “spider lily,” is native to South Africa, although the bulb is now grown throughout the world.  Nerine is in the same family as the perhaps more familiar winter-blooming amaryllis bulb.
Nerine is lightly fragrant and quite simple to use in designs.  The stems have no leaves to be pared and each blossom has several buds that will eventually open and bloom.  Because the nerine has a delicate composition, I like to display it with other more substantial blooms.

Because the nerine are a bold pink hue, I decided to choose a richly colored blue vase for contrast.
I also happened to pick up these completely amazing cornflower blue Dutch hydrangea, which I thought would set a fabulous landscape for the arrangement.  The bulk of these hydrangea will facilitate nerine placement.  You could actually fill out the entire vase with 3-5 hydrangea and then simply add nerine, if you were so inclined.  But you know I prefer to really jeuje, so…
Mustard yellow yarrow will do the trick.  I think this combination of the blue and yellow has a very Country French feel.  Notice I added the yarrow in a cluster, almost forming a strip, just to the left of center in the arrangement.  Particularly when using a shock of bright color, it can be interesting to “color block” in this way.  It adds a modern twist to an arrangement of otherwise classic blooms.  I also worked in a European, pavé style with this arrangement, which works beautifully for displaying the nerine.
Going with a spring theme, I added muted pink parrot tulips (aren’t they outrageous with that green feathering?), blush peonies and soft pink astilbe.  I like how the hydrangea allow the other blooms to nestle right in.
And finally, the nerine (in various stages of opening) along with some baby yellow ranunculus.  In fact, this arrangement might be a wonderful “new baby” gift!  You have your pinks, you have your blues…
With each passing day, the various elements in this arrangement will continue to grow and change shape.  The tulips will literally continue to grow a few inches in water and open up wide, the peonies, ranunculus and nerine will also evolve and bloom.  So, for those wildflower/garden style lovers, your arrangement that started in rather a neat bundle will let its hair down soon enough :)
Enjoy working with spring bulbs of all kinds while we still have them and join me back here tomorrow when “o” will be for…

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