entertainingflowersFood & Drinkoutdoorsarah ryhanenweeders digest

weeder’s digest: frogs & snakes

by Grace Bonney

[studio choo is taking today off, so i’m thrilled to welcome back for another weeder’s digest post!]

Todays floral post is all about reptiles. Specifically frogs and snakes.

Fritillaria meleagris (also known as a Snake Head Flower) is a little spring bulbous flower that arrives in March. It is a petite and fragile beauty – we can’t get enough of them around here. So it was no surprise that Amy brought home a gorgeous bunch of these little snakes from the market this morning.

Today I’d like to use the Fritillaria to demonstrate how to use a flower frog. I’ve got a nice little collection of flower frogs going thanks to my friend Chris (who incidentally sells vintage frogs at the Brooklyn Flea on weekends – find his booth just through the main entrance to the left).

Let me break it down fast – flower foam commonly called Oasis is bad news. It’s made from petroleum and will never break down in a landfill. Flower frogs have always been a great alternative to foam. Plus they offer dual usage: you can prop little notes or business cards in them.

I set out to make two examples this afternoon. For the first I chose a 6″ wide stone urn. I set a 3″ frog down in the bottom and filled it with water.

CLICK HERE for the rest of Sarah’s post and her how-tos for working with floral frogs after the jump!

As with any flower arrangement, you want to start with the woody, most structural stems first. In this case, I used Cornelian Cherry branches (a cousin of Dogwood). After cutting them down, I forced them down onto the tines of the frog. This gives me a general structure off which to build the rest of the arrangement. Next goes in two pieces of lilac and some unopened forsythia from my mother’s yard (have you brought in some of your forsythia yet? It’s blooming now in the ti-state area). Each stem gets embedded into the tines, allowing the branch/stem to stand upright and supported. I follow these with stems of queen anne’s lace, ranunculus, and the beloved fritillaria. By the time I’m placing the smaller flowers, I’m not always reaching down to the frog. The web of branches formed by the cornelian cherry, forsythia and lilac provide a nice network of stems below the water line to maneuver the more fragile blooms.

For a smaller, simpler arrangement I grabbed a copper cup and a 1.5″ frog. I cut and wedged the stems of 7 fritillaria in the frog and then dropped the whole thing down into the water. Without a frog the stems would splay horizontally in a clumsy fashion.

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