Floral

Apples and Roses: A Rosh Hashana Table Arrangement

roses and apples arrangement

I was looking to create a SimpletoWow fruit and floral arrangement worthy of the Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year) table.  On Rosh Hashana, we dip an apple into honey as a symbol for a sweet new year (see Dip the Apple… Rosh Hashana Cupcakes), so incorporating apples into the arrangement was a no-brainer.    I wanted the apples to remain as pristine as possible so that they can be admired as part of the table arrangement but still be ceremoniously eaten later.

Voila!

roses and apples arrangement 2

SUPPLIES

2 large open-blossoms
2 unblemished apples
6 short but full boxwood branches
two to four foot section of 2″x6″ wood beam
copper spray paint
6 clear 4″ square glass vases
water

TOOLS

hand sander
copper spray paint

INSTRUCTIONS

Using hand sander, sand rough edges of beam.

Spray paint the top and all sides of the beams in your favorite color.   I used metallic copper spray paint.  Allow to dry.

Cut two open rose blossoms off of stem.  Float each rose in each of two vases filled with water almost to the top.

Cut six short and full boxwood stems.  Place three boxwood stems in each of two vases filled with water almost to the top.

Select interesting and unblemished apples sized to fill the remaining two vases.  Place these apples into the vases without adding any water.

Set up the six rose, apple and boxwood clear 4″ square glass vases at equal intervals along beam, aligning first and last vases with the edges of the beam.  Optionally, alternate vases on the left and right sides of the beam.

Please Note: This post contains affiliate links from Amazon, which means I earn a small commission if you click and make a purchase.

Gorgeous Roses on a Rose Gold Base

roses on copper

Don still brings home roses just about every Friday.  He brings home a different color every week just to keep things interesting.  While I always favored tropical flowers like birds of paradise, ginger flowers, antherium and haleconias,  I have learned to enjoy and embrace the simple, classic rose, mostly because that is what Don brings home. Every week.

There was a time when Leah would set our Shabbos table on Thursday night and then suggest a matching color of roses to Don so that everything would match.  Nowadays, I am back to setting the table on Friday mornings.  I look forward to the color surprise as Don brings home a dozen roses right after Shacharis (morning prayers) and before he leaves to the office on Friday morning.   I just match my napkins and table design to whatever the rose color of the week is.

I still try to keep the roses for at least two weeks.  Sometimes, we are lucky and can even enjoy them for three weeks.  The newer roses are mere buds, while the older roses are open, mature and beautiful.  Most of the time, by the end of the first week, the week-old roses are starting to droop.  They look so forlorn on the edge of their stems, barely able to hold on.

Once cut off the stem and floated in water, each blossom takes on a new life.  It is amazing how these “older” roses are even more beautiful than their young counterparts. Invariably, my guests ask me if the roses are real, because their complexity borders on perfection.

And I love these roses because they are real.  And mature.  And beautiful despite their age.

Is there a metaphor to the aging process?  Maybe.

This week, to match the vintage looking roses, I resprayed one of the wooden planks that I sanded and painted in an arrangement of Single Roses: Simple, Upcycled and Breathtaking.  I chose a copper color (rose gold) paint, so currently in vogue and such a perfect match to offset the delicate and unusual color of these roses.

Voila!

roses on copper

SUPPLIES

6 large open-blossoms
four foot section of 2″x6″ wood beam
metallic copper spray paint
6 clear 4″ square glass vases
water

 

TOOLS

hand sander

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Using hand sander, sand rough edges of beam.

Spray paint the top and all sides of the beams in your favorite color.   I used metallic copper spray paint

Cut open rose blossoms off of stem.

Set up 6 clear 4″ square glass vases at equal intervals along beam, aligning first and last vases with the edges of the beam.

Fill each vase two-thirds with water.

Carefully place each blossom in each vase.

 

Please Note: This post contains affiliate links from Amazon, which means I earn a small commission if you click and make a purchase.

A Simple and Regal Gladiola Arrangement

orange gladiolas after arranging

I love gladiolas.  I love their ladder-like flowers that are soft and delicate.  I find gladiolas to be regal and tall, stately, yet graceful.  I look forward to each higher blossom budding and opening, just as the lower blossoms are withering and falling off.  I love the deeper and interesting shades of this flower, gladiolas that come in deep orange,  scalloped red and midnight purple.

Gladiolas seem to be a flower from the past,  a flower that has lost its way for no good reason.  They are rarely admired anymore and are hard to find.  Their graceful silhouette no longer seems to be in fashion and I feel badly about that, sad for their disgrace.  I am always excited when I can find gladiolas for purchase at my local market.

My husband, Don, hates gladiolas.

Don associates gladiolas with funerals.  I’m not sure why.

There are no flowers at Jewish funerals.  Jewish law requires burial as soon as possible and that the body be buried with simple shrouds in a plain coffin with no special adornment.

But, Don insists that Gladiolas are funeral flowers.

Sorry, Don.  I still love Gladiolas.

And, this week, I found them at my market.  Each bunch was $1.99.  How could I resist?

 

SUPPLIES

sharp pruning shears

tall glass vase

 

DIRECTIONS

Trim gladiolas so that base of flowering blossoms begins just above the top of your vase.

orange gladiolas before arranging

Strip leaves from each gladiola, setting the leaves aside.

orange gladiolas laid out with leaves removed

Fill vase with water and place gladiolas in vase, arranging them so that they branch out slightly from the top of the vase in each direction.  You may want to keep turning the vase to make sure that the gladiola arrangement looks good from all sides.

orange gladiolas in vase

Add the gladiola leaves to the arrangement, making sure that they are evenly distributed within the arrangement and that the water level is reaching the base of each leaf.

orange gladiolas after arranging

Really, Don.  Aren’t these flowers gorgeous?

 

Please Note:  This post contains affiliate links from Amazon, which means I earn a small commission if you click and make a purchase.

Floating Gerber Daisies in Series

I am enchanted by simple floral arrangements that highlight the beauty, intricacy and detail of individual blossoms.  From my very first blog post entitled  It’s all about the arrangement (psst….even with last week’s roses)until now, I have advocated for using a few blossoms to create inexpensive and stunning floral arrangements.

When there are many blossoms in an arrangement, very often the individual detail of each flower is lost.  It’s hard to tell the trees from the forest, or rather the flowers from the arrangement.  In an arrangement where a few blossoms rule, it is important to choose full-bodied blossoms like open roses, gerber daisies or large chrysanthemums.

Here I simply floated gerber daisy blossoms cut right below the blossom in square glass bowls.  For a little extra pizzazz, I encircled each blossom with tall leaves that I snipped from my lily bushes.

Voila!

floating gerbers.JPGfloating gerber daisies up close.JPGfloating gerber daisies in series.JPG

A Bottlebrush Arrangement

 

20170728_181652

My favorite floral arrangements are those that bring the outdoors inside.  This weekend, we are visiting the Upper Galilee and we are always amazed by the beautiful varieties of plants and trees that are native to this gorgeous part of Northern Israel.  One of my favorite shrubs found is this part of the world  is the Callisteon, affectionately known as a bottlebrush plant.  The flowers of this shrub resemble a bottlebrush and are unique and stunning.

For this Shabbos, I designed an arrangements using three branches of a bottlebrush shrub and two Monstera leaves brought in from the outdoors.

Shabbat Shalom (peaceful Shabbos)!

Simple Layered Iris Arrangement

For last Shabbos, I decided to pamper myself with some flowers other than the roses that Don brings home ever Friday morning.  I picked up some beautiful irises at Trader Joe’s on Friday afternoon and arranged them using Dusty Miller and Hosta leaves from my garden.

Here it is:

iris arrangement

TIPS

For effective layering, use tall straight flowers for the top layer.  Good choices for the top layer are tall roses, irises, allium, tulips, gladiolas, birds of paradise or lilies.  For the bottom layer, use large leaves that fan out creating a base that covers the top of your floral container or vase  For the middle layer, use leaves or flowers that create a color or textural contrast between the bottom and top layers.  Great choices for the middle layer are hydrangea, dusty miller, herbs and filler flowers.

An Endless Row of Roses

For a recent dinner party, I constructed arrangements of single roses on gold wooden planks (see An arrangement of Single Roses: Simple, Upcycled and Breathtaking).  For that original arrangement, I used 6 roses for each 6-foot section of gilded wood.

This arrangement takes inspiration from that one, but uses 10 single rose blossoms for each 6 foot wooden plank.  This leaves almost no whitespace between the individual vases of rose blossoms and creates the illusion of an endless row of rose blossoms.

Simple to Wow?  You decide.

 

roses in a row

Roses in a Grid

 

Just about one year ago, this blog started with a simple arrangement of rose heads floating in a grid-like pattern: It’s all about the arrangement (psst….even with last week’s roses)  I have mixed things up by using floating roses in so many different ways.  I have mixed rose blossoms with lanterns in Roses and Lanterns: A Simple and Stunning Centerpiece and with plenty of white space over spray-painted wooden planks in An arrangement of Single Roses: Simple, Upcycled and Breathtaking.

Admittedly, roses have never been one of my favorite flowers.  They just seemed so….ordinary.  I have learned to embrace their beauty by admiring these blossoms for their variety of colors, soft petals and classic style.  I have discovered that by floating rose blossoms in different types of arrangements, it allows the viewer to see the majesty of each unique petal on each individual rose.

This is yet another simple wow arrangement that highlights the special qualities of the lovely rose.

This arrangement was created quite by accident.  I had just finished clearing up the dining room from our Purim seuda (festive meal).  For the seuda, I had set up individual square vases with floating roses alternating with individual vases with submerged orange berries and tulip petal swirls.  I placed all the vases that I had collected on my kitchen table and was contemplating what to do with the flowers.  When I looked down, I realized that I had inadvertently formed a beautiful, albeit haphazard collection of individual roses interspersed with submerged berries and tulip petals.

Here it is!

roses in a grid 1

 

An arrangement of Single Roses: Simple, Upcycled and Breathtaking

roses-in-sequence

Last week, I hosted Sheva Brochos (one of seven wedding after-parties, each with seven blessings) for the children of my dear friends, Andrea and Michael.  The chosson (groom) and kallah (bride), Davidi and Efrat, are a gorgeous and young couple.

The Sheva Brochos was hosted together with five other couples, all close friends of Andrea and Michael.  Since this Sheva Brochos was toward the end of the week of partying, we created a theme and menu that would be lighthearted, interesting and youthful.

We decided to host the Sheva Brochos as a Spanish fiesta and it was wonderful!

We set up a taco bar with pulled beef, pulled chicken,  chili, an assortment of taco shells and rice choices.  There were lots of toppings and salad choices for the vegetarian and diet-conscious guests, too.  Over the next weeks, I will share recipes, menu and table setting inspirations from this wonderful Sheva Brochos.

As a backdrop to the Sheva Brochos fiesta, I challenged myself to create centerpieces to reflect the youth and glamour of this couple and the fun inspired by the fiesta theme.

Since we had not allocated much of a budget for centerpieces, I created centerpieces that were inexpensive but sensational.  I set up long rectangular tables and round tables.  For each long table, its  centerpiece spanned four feet in length, six inches in width and amazingly, only required six flowers that I had upcycled from last week’s floral bouquet.  For each round table, its centerpiece spanned two feet in length, six inches in width and amazingly, only required three flowers that I had upcycled from last week’s floral bouquet.

For the floral arrangements, I selected the straightest two  inch by six inch by eight foot lumber beams from my local Home Depot.  Since I was using both long and round tables, I purchased two eight foot length beams and had the lumber cutter at Home Depot cut them.  I cut one beam into two four-foot beams and the other into one four-foot beam and two two-foot beams.

I now had three four-foot beams and two two-foot beams.  On an outside table, I sanded the wood with my hand sander, paying particular attention to the area that had been cut at Home Depot. The sanding took only a few moments per beam, but really smoothed the beams, removing all splinters and jagged edges.

I then sprayed the top and the sides of each beam with metallic gold spray paint and let it dry for several hours.

Finally, I lined up 6 clear 4″ square glass vases at equal intervals along the beam.  I placed a floral blossom in each vase with just an inch of clear water pearls

Voila!

roses-in-series-on-sequin-tablecloth

SUPPLIES

6 large open-blossoms
four foot section of 2″x6″ wood beam
metallic gold spray paint
6 clear 4″ square glass vases
clear water pearls (optional) or water

TOOLS

hand sander

INSTRUCTIONS

Sand rough edges of beam.

Spray paint the top and all sides of the beams in your favorite color.  I used metallic gold spray paint

wilted-roses

Cut  blossoms off of stem.

Set up glass vases at equal intervals along beam, aligning first and last vases with the edges of the beam.

Add one inch of water or  clear water pearls to each vase.

Carefully place each blossom in each vase.

roses-in-series-on-sequin-tablecloth
Please Note:  This post contains affiliate links from Amazon,
which means I earn a small commission if you click and make a purchase.

A Dozen Roses Stretched to Fill the Shabbos Table

Don brings home roses every Friday in honor of Shabbos.  The roses are always of wonderful quality and it  a surprise to discover what color roses will adorn our Shabbos table.  Most Fridays, we enjoy all twelve roses in one traditional arrangement.

This week, Don brought home peach color roses, one of my favorites.  Our home is decorated in earth tones and peach works well in our dining room.  The roses were large and robust and I decided to stretch the twelve roses into four different arrangements.

I lined up different vases and spread out the roses.

One arrangement took five roses.

roses in a row

One took a single rose.

rose in single bud vase

One arrangement took two roses and that left four roses.

roses in a pair

The last arrangement was a collection of glass bottles set up in a grid-like formation (Upcycled Glass Jar Floral Arrangement: Simply Stunning).  I placed the last four roses into these vases, adorning them with the ferns that accompanied the dozen roses.

roses in glass bottles

 

Here is how they all look together:

roses-four different ways

 

roses-a dozen in different ways

roses-3 different ways

Good Shabbos!

A Dozen Red Roses Split Up: Contemporary Arrangements

Don brings home roses most every Erev Shabbos (Shabbos eve).  I try to find different ways to arrange the roses every Friday so that the Shabbos table setup is unique.  As you know, most recently, I have begun to break the dozen roses up into several arrangements.  I love the flexibility of moving the arrangements into different rooms and setting them up differently for each part of Shabbos.

Before I arranged the roses, I took my pruning shears out to the backyard.  I snipped some Dusty Miller to use for my grid-like vase.  I snipped some branches off one of the magnolia trees to use in the largest arrangement.  I re-purposed some leaves from an older arrangement to use in the bud vase.  And so, I arranged the roses in three different vases…

For Friday night, I placed all three arrangements on the table.  For Shabbos lunch, I placed the largest arrangement on the Shabbos table and moved the other two arrangements into the kitchen.  And, so it goes…..

Here are the three arrangements, together and separately:trio of red roses

red roses in bud vase

red roses with dusty miller

roses in wavy vase

Roses and Lanterns: A Simple and Stunning Centerpiece

It all started with It’s all about the arrangement (psst….even with last week’s roses), my first blog post.  This original blog post was one of those ideas born out of an upcycling strategy and week-old roses.  The idea was to take last week’s open but slightly wilted roses and enjoy the blossoms in another arrangement, floating the wilting blossom heads to straighten them out and enjoy them in another way.

Don buys roses just about every Erev Shabbos (Sabbath eve) and I try to create original arrangements for the Shabbos table from these roses.   These roses  are sold right in front of our synagogue by a member of our community.  These roses have thick stems and  high quality blossoms and come in a variety of colors.  They really last a full week and with these upcycled arrangements, I can get at least one more week and sometimes two weeks of added enjoyment from each rose bouquet.

This week, I was setting the table for a weekday dinner and still had some lanterns on the kitchen table from a goodbye barbecue that we had hosted for one of Leah’s friends last week.   Sitting next to the lanterns, were the variegated roses from last Shabbos.  Most of the blossoms were still gorgeous,  but the stems were already starting to droop, making the flowers appear wilted.

wilting roses in silver vase

I cut the roses off their stems, cutting them right below each blossom.  I placed a single rose blossom in each of six square glass vases and bowls.  I interspersed the lanterns with the roses and stood back to admire the newest upcycled arrangement.

Here it is:

lanterns and variagated roses

 

 

A Trio of Magenta Flowers in Vintage Silver Vases

magenta flowers tri up close

My local supermarket had some beautiful magenta peonies for sale. I thought that the vintage quality of these fluffy peonies would look gorgeous in series with some other magenta flowers arranged in different types of silver vases.

magenta flowers in silver.jpg

I used the same inspiration that I described in Three’s a Crowd? A Trio of Floral Arrangements by arranging three types of flowers of the same color in separate vases. This time I used peonies, Alstroemeria and a gorgeous magenta filler. Here is what is looks like:

magenta flowers tri on table

 

 

A Simple Fluffy Arrangement of Peonies and Hyndrangea

For Shavuos, Davida’s friend, Chava, brought us a gorgeous new vase.  It is rectangular with a narrow opening, perfect for arranging so many different types of flowers.  It is unique in its narrow but long shape, and it is stunning with a floral motif designed into the glass.  Since Shavuos, I have tried so many types of floral arrangements in this vase and they all work.

But, this is my favorite, so far.

My niece, Michal, hosted an event at her home last night and she sent a bouquet of hydrangea and peonies from the event to us.  I rearranged these flowers using a large structural leaf that I already had.  I placed everything in Chava’s vase and I love the soft and delicate floral arrangement.

 

hydrangea and peony arrangement with orange background

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Three’s a Crowd? A Trio of Floral Arrangements

I love to arrange flowers of the same color and my favorite floral centerpieces are white.  Often, I can find beautiful flowers at my local supermarket that are sold as three bunches for a single price.  When that happens, I usually pick all white flowers and I arrange them as a trio of floral arrangements.

When time is short,  I find that it is easiest to create a series of arrangements using one color.  Each arrangement uses a different flower in that same color and it works best if the flowers are different heights and textures.

This arrangement uses soft and puffy hydrangeas, structural cala lilies and tender stems of bell-shaped flower to play off the softness of the hydrangeas and the architectural height of the cala liles.  To make things interesting, I used some steel grass from a previous arrangement to set off the clean look of the cala lilies.  I rounded off the corners of  a palm leaf to create a round backdrop for the bell-shaped floral stems.

There are many perks in creating three smaller arrangements, rather than one larger one.  They are simpler to arrange and can be set up in different configurations for each meal.  After dinner, I move these to the kitchen or anywhere else that needs a breath of floral freshness.

Try your own trios of floral arrangements.  I would be interested to hear about your favorite combinations.

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A Few Good Blossoms: Floating Arrangements

I began this SimpletoWow blog in January with an original post,   It’s all about the arrangement (psst….even with last week’s roses), on arranging last week’s open and just-wilting roses.  It was intended to showcase  simple and wow ways to use what you have in surprising and unexpected ways.

last week's roses in a square bowl

As the Jewish holiday of Shavuos approaches (see Countdown to Shavuos: Floral Inspirations and Dairy Recipes), I would like to add some other ways to make use of a few good blossoms.

last week's gerber daisies in a large rose bowl

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Upcycled Glass Jar Floral Arrangement: Simply Stunning

My friend Marilyn, and her family joined us for a meal over Pesach (Passover). Since we were in a small apartment in Jerusalem with our extended family, we did not have enough room to host everyone in the dining room. Instead, we set up tables and ate in the courtyard. Marilyn sent flowers before Yom Tov (holiday) in the perfect arrangement. It was a gorgeous grouping of narrow clear bottles lined up side by side in a metal caddy spilling over with white garden roses. The arrangement was narrow and long, just perfect for our narrow outdoor tables.

It created a stunning visual impact without taking away from the table space needed for setting and serving. The white roses lasted for several days, but the centerpiece containers were so easy to fill that I refilled them for the last few days of our stay in Jerusalem with an array of other flowers. Both arrangements were simply stunning.

Over Pesach, I commented so many times about the beauty and the practicality of this centerpiece. I was determined to recreate it with upcycled materials for use back in the States. And….here it is!

upcycled square arrangement-top view (more…)

Daffodils: Simply and Artfully Arranged

daffodil arrangement on counter-crop

 

Daffodils are in season and they are inexpensive and beautiful.  I like to buy bunches with blossoms that are mostly closed, so that they will last the longest.  I usually look for bunches that have only one or two blossoms showing and the rest are still tight buds.

My favorite arrangements are ones where the stems are as artfully arranged as the blossoms.  Because most of the daffodil blossoms on my bunches are still closed, this also makes the arrangement interesting, even when most of the blossoms have not yet opened. (more…)

Simple Forsythia Arrangement: Bringing the Outside Inside

Our forsythia hedges are blossoming.  Their yellow flowers are a burst of sunshine to announce the coming of spring.  The forsythia hedges are rather ordinary in the summer, but create gorgeous, showy yellow blossoms on bare branches in early spring.

forsythia branch

To decorate our Shabbos table last week, I snipped a few branches and arranged them in a simple silver vase.  They make the most gorgeous arrangement and make our home feel like springtime.

forsythia arrangement (more…)

Sunny Yellow Floral Arrangements

yellow arrangements 3

 

Cut daffodils are for sale and that signals that spring is near.

I was so excited to see the sunny daffodil blossoms.  I decided to create a grouping of yellow floral arrangements to welcome and complement the gorgeous daffodils.

Creating several smaller arrangements, rather than one large floral arrangement offers versatility. This allows me to spread the different floral arrangements throughout the house or to sequence them on the Shabbos table differently for each meal. (more…)

A Contemporary Tied Stem Tulip Arrangement

I get excited once I start to see tulips appear because it signals that spring is not far away.   Tulips come in such an extraordinary variety of colors and petal edges.  Amazingly, most tulip varieties are perfectly symmetrical.  Tulips are from the lily family and are beautiful when closed as buds and when fully open.

I bought a bouquet of tulips for Shabbos.    I took them home and laid them out on the counter before deciding how to arrange them.  Since they have such straight stems, I thought that I would arrange them so that both the stems and the blossoms are arranged in an interesting manner. (more…)

Birds of Paradise: A Simple and Stunning Arrangement

I have always had an affinity for Birds of Paradise flowers.  Their long angular stems paired with the orange and blue-tinted tropical blossom have made them a favorite of mine.  Last week, in my local supermarket floral section, I found birds of paradise packaged with tropical leaves.    Since I wanted to stick to the color family of the birds of paradise, I was delighted to find blue thistle.  The star-shaped blue thistle flowers are the perfect counterpoint for the birds of paradise, bringing out the subtle blue in the birds of paradise flower. (more…)

It’s all about the arrangement (psst….even with last week’s roses)

Tzippy Respler

IMG_1807IMG_1796IMG_1796IMG_1804_editedIMG_1794_editedIMG_1807

Several weeks ago, Jackie, my Friday housekeeper informed me that she would be on vacation for two consecutive Fridays.  Jackie usually discards last week’s roses and arranges the roses that my husband, Don, brings home.  She most often opts for a traditional arrangement in a silver vase.

simpletowow roses in antique silver vase

Friday arrived and Jackie was not there to toss the “old” roses and arrange the new ones. I was on my own!  Firstly, I assessed last week’s roses and decided that they were not so bad, after all.  In fact, the older roses had more interesting and mature blossoms than the new roses that were mere rose buds.

 

I cut off the stems right underneath the blossoms, took a square glass vase, filled it with water to the top and floated the blossoms in a grid-like pattern. I then took the new roses and arranged them in a tall vase and set the table with both vases. Voila!

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