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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Orchid Arrangement

Orchids are my absolute favorite flower! Its' not just because they are timeless and effortlessly sophisticated, no. They last for almost 3 months with their blooms (with proper care), they're fairly easy to keep even with no green thumb, and there are so many ways to style them!

There's a cute floral and home store here in Atlanta that is close to my heart. When I got my first apartment here that was tiiiiiiiny, this small shop was my haven and my goal. The arrangements of furniture, the way they made each showroom feel like a garden home, the expensive and sophisticated style and was an absolute dream. 

One of my favorite things on display was an orchid arrangement. This arrangement wasn't cut flowers. It was a mix of southern ferns, orchids, willow and moss. 

You know, a few years ago I read an excerpt that people keep flowers, plants and animals in their home because in a way - it takes us back to our historic roots of living outdoors and being one with the land. Call me a romantic or someone that's very nostalgic, but I like the thought of that. 
Then sparked my own creation.

This bowl was given to me by my grandmother. It is an antique from France in the 18th Century used to wash hands and face in the morning. 

You may have a bowl or urn that is smaller or has no sentimental value and it will work perfectly. In this particular situation, I wanted to make a grandiose arrangement because we will be having company to our home this weekend.

For the ingredients for this and any arrangement you create, there is a saying you should keep true and dear to your hosting roots. 

Use a spiller, a thriller, and a filler.

Let's start with our base, here. My orchids are from an orchid green house 45 minutes north of Atlanta. Sure, it's a trek but for the cost and the quality, I look forward to paying homage once every 3 months or so. This place is amazing! They have exotic birds only found in rainforests, orchids for rows on rows and exotic plant species you've never seen or heard of. Rather than just a simple visit to pick up great-looking and well-priced orchids, I feel like a 5th grader again on a field trip to learn and see new things that this world has to offer and open my horizons.

Speaking of opening new horizons, why don't we show this fern our plans for dividing and meeting new friends on the other side of the pot.

For this arrangement, I used a bright-green moss, a maidenhare fern, a potato vine, and three white phalaenopsis orchids - one with a double spike (two stocks with flowers).

Now here's a question I often get - 'How do I choose my orchid?'

Many people are tempted to get the orchids fully bloomed because they are beautiful and full of large blossoms. Don't be one of these people. While I agree there should be a few fully bloomed flowers on your orchid, you want to choose an orchid that still has a few buds waiting to bloom. Why? Your arrangement will last much, much longer.

Once the flowers are fully bloomed, you'll have about one month, if not less, until the gorgeous white petals become brown rotting memories of all the hard work and money you put into creating this gorgeous arrangement. Take it from me, if you get a plant that still has buds waiting for their debut, your arrangement can last you months.

My preference with making these is to start with your base - orchids, and then add your thriller - fern, follow by adding your spiller - vine, and finish with your filler - moss.

Don't feel distressed or irritated if your orchids topple over in the process. It's just going to happen. Grab 'em and pop them back into position while filling. The soil and filler will help them to stay in place towards the end.

Quick tip - orchids don't typically need as much water as other houseplants. Especially the ones I'm using in my arrangement. To keep them from being over-watered and dying, I keep them in their original plastic casing and add everything else around it to cover the pots.

This can be messy. I used some foam board to cover my table, but a simple drop cloth or some plastic will do. I also decided to add some succulents to add interest and depth to my piece. Have fun with it!

Lastly, I purchased some mood moss to cover up any soil and tops of the orchids with plastic showing to make the entire arrangement look flawless!

Breathtaking, am I right?

Let me know how yours goes!

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