Something about moving to our little lake cabin in the forest spurred my creativity. I was always creative and the desert would provide creative thoughts and ideas but not in the same way that being surrounded by nature has for me. I imagine that if I had lived in the desert, surrounded by only the desert, I would have been just as creative. Who knows! Maybe it's the lake... living on water... that makes me more creative. Either way, ever since I've lived here, I've been more filled with creative thoughts and ideas than I have since I was a child.
One of my creative outlets since moving here has been to create foraged arrangements. I go out into the yard or for a short walk through the forest and pick a few branches, flowers, and/or seed pods and bring them home to create an arrangement. I hadn't ever thought to do this where we used to live. I believe it's because we were surrounded by homes and pavement, not plants and nature. I often wonder what type of arrangements I could have made while living in the desert if I had been inspired to do so. I bet there are some lovely things to find on a walk to put together in a pretty container or vase.
When I began foraging, I looked all over the internet for "how-to" videos. I found lots of sustainable foraging practices, which was fabulous, but I couldn't find any videos that taught me how to create the arrangements. I finally landed on a Youtube channel called Botanorama (LOVE the name because it reminded me of Bananorama, the band). The gal was so relatable and knew everything about botany and plants. She had a simple practice for creating the arrangements that has stuck with me ever since – fan, spike, lollipop. If you can remember these three elements, you can make gorgeous arrangements too!
First, you want a "fan" as your sort of backdrop to the arrangement. A bit of foliage that fans out or something you can collect to make a fan. Examples that I've found around here are fern leaves and Douglas Fir pine branches. Next, you want to find a "spike" to add to your arrangement. The spike will be something that sort of sticks straight up and "spikes" through the arrangement. Things I've found to use as spikes include long spiky leaves, crocosmias, and twisty twigs. Last, you'll want a "lollipop". This is the star of the arrangement and should stand out against everything else. Examples include flowers on a stem without leaves (or very few leaves), a dandelion once it has puffed out to seed, or a piece of fruit on a branch – really anything that has a bit of contrast in color or texture from the arrangement but isn't big and fanning out nor spiking through the arrangement. You can start with one of each to make a small arrangement in a small vase or pick three, four, five, etc. and make a larger arrangement in a large vase or container. Fan-Spike-Lollipop!
I was making these every few weeks when we moved in and I've gotten out of the habit unless we are having company over. I would love to get back into the habit of making these and sharing them with you. Maybe they'll inspire you to go for a walk where you live, find some pretty bits of nature and bring them home to make your own arrangements!
Here are a couple of arrangements I made when friends visited from California. The first one was for the dining room table and the second, smaller one, was for the headboard in the guest bedroom (where they were staying). The hydrangeas are from the cabin next door, and the fern leaves and crocosmias are from our yard. My fern leaves are the "fan"... crocosmias are the spikes... and hydrangea flowers are the lollipops. Your lollipops don't always have to be so large, I was just fortunate enough to have these at the time. With more experience, I would have removed more of the leaves inside of the vase from the hydrangea flowers but this was an arrangement that I made early on. The large arrangement has four of each - fan, spike, lollipop - and the smaller one has two of each. Don't be afraid to do tons of each or just one of each. Play with it and make it your own!
Will you try making foraged arrangements?
I'd love to see them if you do, let me know in the comments, or post a picture of your foraged pretties in my Facebook Group!
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