Frogs. Not the kind that jump, but the kind that hold flowers, are an indispensable tool in flower arranging.
They have different names like "pin" or "cage". Some are only big enough to hold a single bloom and others will wrangle a large arrangement. They can be used over and over and unlike floral foam are non-toxic. I have a small collection.
Some were given to me as wedding presents and others passed on to me from my grandmother's collection. You rarely get to see them once they are put to work, but like so many pragmatic and useful tools they are beautiful and interesting just to look at.
With an assist from some lovely Hellebore x orientalis out of my garden, I photographed a few of my favorites earlier this spring.
This guy - sort of a dragon turtle - was my grandmother's. I have always thought it was wonderful to look at but never really used him. Then it dawned on me that he is perfect for Hellebore. Their downward tilted faces hide freckles, spots, streakes and ruffles. With the habit of drooping soon after being picked, unless they are left to harden off a bit, they can be so tempting and yet often disappointing as freshly bloomed cuts. But, cut short and perched on the back of this "frog" their lovely faces can be properly ogled. Now, I am in search the perfect dish to hold water underneath them.
This one was also my grandmother's. Those little hoops can be turned and twisted to hold branches and stems. My grandmother was an amazing gardener and the arrangements and bouquets from her garden were inspired. More about her later...