Like a last minute gift from a fairy-god mother, I was able to join Nicolette Camille and Helen Dealtry at Schreiner's Iris farm for the Little Flower School workshop. This past spring in the Pacifc Northwest has been wet and cold. The flowers are late and the sunshine elusive. This day filled with flower adoration and the warmth of its hosts was exactly was my rain soaked heart needed.
First we painted with Helen Dealtry. Capturing the gestural essence of these lush blooms with her carefully chosen palette of inks. She is kind, warm and crazy talented.
After a delicious lunch eaten surrounded by blooms and fellow flower enthusiasts, Nicolette gave a demo that was just as you would imagine. Despite the late spring Nicolette and her team pulled together an amazing display of seasonal goodness for us to use. It was hard to pick flowers for just one arrangement. If only time had allowed, days could have been spent amidst this beauty.
Certainly she is one of the major players out there in this new floral design movement, but none are so open and funny, so welcoming and lovely as Nicolette. She is one of the best and yet she puts you at ease instantly. Her eye for color is inspiring and her designs sing in three-dimension --- beautiful from every angle.
For my own arrangement I was taken captive first by this silvery blue Clematis with a darker, delicate edge. This Clematis then whispered to be introduced to a beautiful Iris down the way. With these two as my starting point I began gathering other beauties to invite to the party.
This Iris is 'Imprimis' and like so many of the beauties selected for us had a wonderful range of mutable colors. It had both cool tones and warm tones. I played the blue hints off the clematis and pulled in some Sweet Peas with the same darker edge, 'April in Paris' which smell amazing. Then the warmth let me bring Iris 'Baboon Bottom' (such a sad name for a lovely Iris) and roses like 'Renee' and 'Cafe Latte', and then the russet pink of the little turk's cap Marathon lilies. Columbine, grape stems with emerging leaves, Heuchera foliage, Ranunculus, Ninebark, Euphorbia, and Viburnum all mingled and played their part as back up to the larger blooms.
I wish I had gotten a better photo against the black background, but I know Lesley Unruh's Photos will be stunners.
It was such a wonderful day. Workshops like these allow you to refuel and restore. They let you lay down the burden of deadlines, budgets and expectations. Hands, faces, and hearts in the flowers. Flowers, flowers, flowers -- thank you.