Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Rebecca Cole at Art in Bloom

Part of the Art in Bloom pilgrimage, at least for me, is getting to see some fabulous designers that I would never get to see otherwise. This year we got tickets to see Rebecca Cole, Manhattan landscape, floral, and event designer.

Rebecca set her demonstration up differently from most of the ones I've been to - in addition to her assistant (I've forgotten his name, sorry!) she pulled people from the audience to help make her designs. They were really in the spotlight, and I felt a little badly for them, as Rebecca stopped from time to time to critique their work. I'm sure they were doing the best they could without knowing where they were supposed to end up!

After getting the audience to vote on what container they'd like to see used...

Rebecca began a piece by using colorful orange peppers as the base of her mechanics instead of floral foam. This seems to be one of her signature looks.

Rebecca spent some time talking about roses while she prepped them for her arrangement. She explained how roses come in different quality grades from say, 1 to 10 (with 10 being the best), with florists buying 7 - 10, grocery stores getting 4 - 7, and those ones at the lower end not being sold by anyone concerned about reputation.

She also put a big emphasis on putting your flowers in cold water for longevity. I have to say that goes against everything I've read currently. Flower food dissolves better in warm water and warm water is less oxygenated so is more readily absorbed. To each his own there.

Rebecca, Zah (from the audience), and Rebecca's assistant (whose name I'm sure begins with the letter F!) all working on their own projects.

Here Rebecca gives Zah some guidance on how to finish the arrangement she started with the peppers.

Here is the finished arrangement.

Another very cool piece that took two volunteers and Rebecca's assistant to complete was this hanging wall of foliage and flowers.

It was created on mono filament hung between two poles. The leaves and flowers were inserted into water tubes, and then attached to the fishing line with hardware store zip ties. All the cool European designers use these for crazy constructions. This was the piece and technique that most impressed us.

Everyone wanted to see techniques for arranging in the ever popular glass cube. Rebecca used lots and lots of green kangaroo paws as her base by interlocking the stems.

Those kangaroo paws are almost invisible now after the addition of anemones, peonies, and ranunculus!

The completed hanging garden! Pothos and anthurium leaves with calendulas and ornothagalum dubium.

Ms. Cole puts together a large tablescape as her finale. She loves how a dinner table looks with tall arrangements on it, but thinks after the the big wow and cocktails are over, you should move them to a sideboard so no one's view is obstructed.

The finished result! Modern earth - dogwood, frittilaria, roses, green apples, and sunflowers that have been de-petaled.

Fingers flew to finish up one last thing!


Angela Kusek-Schubert said...

Love the hanging garden wall! That is so cool!
I must say that I also enjoy the de-petaled sunflowers but I also like the look of spray roses after their flowers have been cut off for corsages ;)

Sprout said...

A zillion years ago we went to a design show where they pulled all the petals off of roses and used the calyx, anthers, etc. as a flower. Kind of a green star shape, sort of pretty, but didn't seem the visual value of a rose.

But still, it gave you a new way of looking at things, which is why we go to shows, right?!


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