Hello again! We are nearing the end of the alphabet here at Flowers A–Z, but the creativity does not wane. For this week’s post, I selected a regal fan favorite: the tulip. This particular variety of tulip — yellow crown — opens beautifully and is the perfect remedy for any spirit anticipating a long, chilly fall/winter season. “Y” is for yellow crown tulips.
Although tulips are spring-blooming perennial bulbs, they are generally available for import year round in major cities. Tulips come in myriad hues and shapes: every color of the rainbow (except blue), cup-shaped, star-shaped, variegated, fringed . . . you name it. Typically, people associate the tulip most closely with the Netherlands, where they are grown in spectacular droves and shipped all over the world. However, tulips were originally commercially cultivated during the Ottoman Empire and are extremely popular in Iran and Turkey, where they have been featured over the centuries in art, literature and cultural celebrations.
The yellow crown and her crown jewels (okay, fine, vintage brooches, but STILL).
Tulips are such a dynamic bloom; after you bring them home, they continue to open and even grow in water, which changes their shape from a stiff stalk presentation to a courtly bow.
I am attending a baby shower this weekend, and it inspired me to use yellow crown tulips in a gift bouquet for the hostess. In addition to bringing the gift of fresh florals, I thought to embellish the bouquet wrapping with a few vintage brooches. This way, long after the flowers have faded, she’ll be left with a more permanent token.
The full post continues after the jump…
Oh, so many options from which to choose. Select a few vintage brooches or another trinket that your gift recipient might adore. If you select an item that cannot be fastened directly to the bouquet handle, you can always tie the bouquet with a simple ribbon and hang it from one end of the bow.
Gather your yellow crown tulips (or any bright tulip bunch) and prepare to make a hand-tied bouquet. For the record, tulips are generally inexpensive and widely available. If you pick up a bunch at your local florist (or street kiosk or market), lovingly cut the stems at a sharp angle and plunk them in fresh water, you could be perfectly contented. But let’s take it to the next level.
SIMPLE TRICK: I always get my floral tape ready before filling my hands with flowers. You can snip off two pieces for your wrap and do like I do: Stick them to the edge of your workstation for easy access with one hand. You will be grateful for this step when you have an unwieldy bouquet to tame!
I like to feature the tulips a bit higher than the other blooms in the bouquet. They have the opportunity to drape and show off this way. For my bouquet, I selected soft pastels for the accompanying blooms to go with the baby shower theme: peach cyrtanthus, silver spray roses, peach ranunculus and a little dusty miller for soft texture.
To create the bouquet, I hold the flowers in my non-dominant hand, add one bloom at a time using my dominant hand, twist the bouquet about one degree, readjust and repeat. This technique assures a round shape and allows you to keep the stems gathered in straight lines.
Good thing I had that floral tape at the ready! Use your dominant hand to grab the tape from the workstation and slip the end under the thumb of your non-dominant hand. Hold the end of the tape tightly with that thumb and use your dominant hand to wrap the tape all the way around the base of the bouquet.
Repeat an inch or so down from your first taping, and you will have a tidy bouquet handle that is ready for wrapping.
So fresh and spring-y! You can double down by using a stretchy floral tape overlay on the bouquet handle or simply move straight to your ribbon wrap.
When you have reached the end of your ribbon wrap, fold the edge under neatly and secure with pins. Some people might stop there. Not us, my friends.
I twisted the bouquet around and fastened three of my favorite brooches to the handle, an extra something special for the weekend’s event. Anyone can bring flowers to a social engagement, but not everyone decides to make the bouquet themselves and attach jewels to the wrap. You know who does something like that? A Flowers A–Zreader, that’s who :)
Waltz into your next party or gathering with a Cheshire Cat smile as you present the host or honoree with your bedazzled bouquet. Go ahead; feel smug about your accomplishment. And join me back here TOMORROW when “z” (Z? Are we already at z?) will be for . . .