Thursday, April 11, 2013


Hello, again! You may have noticed here at Flowers A–Z that I have some proclivities. For example, I have a genuine soft spot for fragrant florals. Also, I’ve never met a delicate, garden-y bloom I didn’t like. So if you present me with a feminine vine that smells amazing, I’m SOLD. That’s why for today’s post, “j” is for “jasmine.”
The name “jasmine” (derived from the Arabic “yasmin,” meaning “gift from God”) characterizes a wide range of fragrant bushes and vines in the olive family. Jasmine is grown all over the world in basically all temperate and tropical climates. Throughout Asia, India and the Middle East, jasmine is cultivated for tea, essential oils and syrup. Since jasmine is “night-blooming,” the process of plucking the blossoms at just the right time to extract their essence is something of an art form.

There are countless cultural and religious roles for jasmine. In India, jasmine is placed on altars, used in garlands and worn in women’s hair. Perhaps best of all, jasmine can be grown indoors as a house plant, provided the soil stays moist. The bathroom can be an ideal spot for potted jasmine, particularly if it stays cool at night.
Follow me after the jump, where I’ll offer some tips for working with jasmine and highlight a few other gorgeous fleurs. Today’s design focus will be simple — a pretty, “girly” arrangement where the jasmine vine is free to drape casually. 

As I often do, I am saving my featured flower for the last added element of the arrangement. I have selected some fluffy, round blooms to pair with the jasmine. When working with a vine, I like to create a plane of texture and color from which the vine can appear to “spring forth.” I am drawn to the idea of the jasmine being the “wild” factor with the rest of the flowers tucked neatly underneath.
I began with incredible hot pink Darcey garden roses. Any chunky blossom will do here. I have also chosen a trumpet vase with soft lines. The bell shape of this vase makes designing much easier — as you place each flower in the container, it will fall nicely above the neck of the vase. As you add each successive bloom, the smaller base will cinch the stems tight and assist with construction.
And what is spring without ranunculus? Ranunculus fits all my categories here — feminine and round with an interesting texture. I like to let some ranunculus hang lower in the arrangement and others can sit higher “at attention.” Because we are aiming for a loose look, the structure of the arrangement is less important; it can be carefree, so experiment with flower placement. Do you like the look of grouping the blooms or alternating them?
Feeling the love of the season, I added some trick dianthus “grass,” which just happens to be fluffy and round, as well. And what a great shot of bright color to break up the pinks!
Now the star of the show — the jasmine. I added jasmine clusters to the center of the arrangement and tucked them into the sides. Because it is such a willowy vine, you can move the tendrils to drape over the top of the arrangement or down on the table. Although I always recommend cleaning the stems of flowers that sit below the water line, with jasmine you can get a bit lazy and leave the shoots and leaves in the vase. They don’t contribute much to the decay in the water, and I don’t find seeing them in the water particularly offensive.
I love the languid look of this arrangement.
The texture of the jasmine is wonderful — even the closed buds add something special to this arrangement.
Breathe deep and enjoy the next few days as the jasmine warms in your home — the sweet and lovely fragrance will linger! Meet me back here tomorrow when “k” will be for . . .

1 comment:

  1. I think this has to be my favourite, I have two jasmine plants one that dies back and the other one I brought recently that is ever green, looking forward to many fragrant evenings!. I love what you have done with the arrangement!



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