From Supermarket to Wow: A Modern Rose Arrangement

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Shopping for flowers the week after Valentine’s Day might not have been the best decision.  I set out to find a big bunch of tulips to fill the Alice Goldsmith ceramic pitcher I had coveted and which my own true love had surprised me with.  The tulips were picked over.  The roses too.  Then I spotted them~these dusty lavender and green roses that everyone else had left behind.  “Perfect for Halloween,” said one woman.  “Could I use them for funeral luncheon arrangements?” queried another.  “Weird,” pronounced another. I had never entertained so much conversation in front of supermarket flowers.  But those roses made my heart skip a beat.  They were modern in a charming old fashioned way with their faded coloration. They reminded me of roses ones sees in fashionable Paris florists’ ateliers.  Of course I brought 2 dozen home.

To break out of flower arranging ruts, think outside the usual vase and turn to pottery with clean lines, tea pots, pitchers or bowls.   I love the modern lines of the pitcher I would be using as a vase to contrast with the old fashioned beauty of the roses.   To fully appreciate the flower form, I cut the long stems down so the roses are at eye level.   This will allow me to create a denser bouquet.  After immersing the roses in a bucket of warm water for a half hour to hydrate them and help them open a bit, I began creating my bouquet.

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For this arrangement, I removed all the leaves off the stems and cut off some of the larger thorns which could get in the way of arranging.  I cut the long stems so the roses would sit about 3-4 inches above the height of the vase, using the vase rim to guide the cutting length.

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Massing the flowers without fillers is more dramatic and for this arrangement, I would be using only roses, packed densely in the vase.

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Aren’t these beauties gorgeous???

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This arrangement may be one of my all time favorites. I took a chance on these unusual roses and they have been enchanting me  all week.  They ended up in the reading area of my bedroom making my heart beat even faster than the new thriller, “The Widow” by Fiona Barton, I was reading!

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“There is nothing more difficult for a truly creative painter than to paint a rose, because before he can do so he has to first forget all the roses that were ever painted.”  Henri Matisse

24 thoughts on “From Supermarket to Wow: A Modern Rose Arrangement

  1. Gorgeous! You gave an uplifting present with this blog today… Smiles, Jacqueline On Feb 22, 2016 11:28 AM, “French Gardener Dishes” wrote:

    > Johanne Lamarche posted: ” Shopping for flowers the week after Valentine’s > Day might not have been the best decision. I set out to find a big bunch > of tulips to fill the Alice Goldsmith ceramic pitcher I had coveted and > which my own true love had surprised me with. The tulips” >

  2. Great tips on these beautiful roses Johanne. You’re right though, thinking outside the box really brings creativity and charm to the regular, boring arrangements don’t they? I myself would love a bunch of those by my bedside. Lovely!

    • Thank you Loretta! Aren’t the beauties stunning? I think they are called Alonzo roses but am not sure as I found them at Produce Junction unlabeled for a song. Have you gotten to Longwoods for the orchid show? Amazing.

      Sent from my iPhone

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      • No, but I did hear about the orchids this year. A group of us girlfriends had planned a trip, unfortunately it was on one of those snowy days and we canceled. I used to be a member, but let my membership expire. However, one of the gals has a plus one membership and I usually go on her pass. Can’t wait for spring!

  3. Bonjour Johanne si sont Belles ces roses… j aime bien le rose et vert pâle des pétales…belle arrangement … xo

    Sent from my iPad

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  4. I too went to buy flowers this year, the day after V-Day, to an independent floral shop. I told them I had been a florist and remembered well the day after. There was a fragrant rose called “Levan” that I loved that looked like the ones you bought and so artfully arranged. I didn’t fare nearly as well as you with my finds that day., but fresh flowers always lift the spirits.

    Just want to thank you for all the lovely meals I’ve made with your recipes.

    • Hi Bobbi! Oh how I am missing AZ this year and living vicariously through Dona’s magnificent pictures. I had no idea you were a florist! You could teach me a few tricks. I found these roses at Produce Junction, 25 for $8.95! Soooo gorgeous. Opening up like big old fashioned cabbage roses. I googled Levan but all I got is a performer by that name. I thought they might be Armando. But now that I have fallen in love with them, I’ll probably never find them again. It was very funny how everyone seemed to be commenting on these roses but passing them up totally! It means so much to me to know you have enjoyed making several recipes. I will look forward to cooking together once again, perhaps next winter!!

      Johanne Lamarche

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  5. What a way to end your blog with the nude and appropriate quote from Matisse. I am a fan of those particular roses and whenever I see them in the future, I will think of this posting. Thanks for the roses!

    Sent from my iPad

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    • Weren’t those roses perfect in front of that nude? Same shade as the skin! I have never seen these roses before so when you encounter them near home, let me know! Thanks for your comments Dona. Xo

      Johanne Lamarche

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  6. Beautiful Johanne, they look fabulous in front of that painting and I love the Matisse quote…I just got a commission for a large rose painting yesterday, and can’t wait to get started! This is inspiring!
    Jenna

    • Congratulations on the commission Jenna! I would love to see your final work. Glad I provided a bit of inspiration. I love that Matisse quote as well. I searched to find some of Matisse’s Rose paintings but came up short. Mostly bouquets. It really is to inspire us to look with fresh eyes and not a literal quote I guess. My nude is one of my most treasured possessions. Found it in an antique shop complete with its wormwood frame. I had to get it restored and researched its provenance. It is by a PA artist, Joseph Heller, who studies at PA Academy of Fine Arts. It is what I look at first and last thing I see everyday. The roses picked up the colors of the flesh perfectly. So nice to hear from you. XoJohanne

      Johanne Lamarche

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  7. I, too, am enchanted by the color of your roses. So beautifully vintage in color and tone and in that wonderful pitcher vase they are just amazingly beautiful. Both in front of that painting which is stunning is a wonderful real-life tableau! I have not read that book but just added it to my kindle list. I just love your stories and posts, both food and flowers and all!

    • Once you start that book you won’t be able to stop reading! I read it over 2 days and had to drop everything else I was doing. WSJ just reviewed it last Saturday but I am not sure where I had heard about it before. Compared it to Gone Girl. Glad you loved those roses too. They were so captivating. If my house was on fire, I would have to get that painting as I don’t think I could live without it! I just love it so much-a lucky find in an antique shop-by a Pennsylvania artist, Joseph Heller.

      Johanne Lamarche

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  8. Isn’t it funny they couldn’t see the beauty in these roses? I had a present given to me a few years ago with a gorgeous wired ribbon in just these faded, dusky colors…it’s so funny but I saved the ribbon in a box I keep my little treasured ribbons in for crafts or gifts. I don’t remember what the present was – but I’m still waiting for the perfect opportunity to use that ribbon…

    I love the romance of the painting…

    You have a special eye! 🙂

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