r
Andreana Bitsis

Bouquet of the Week: Modernizing Tradition

As part of our recurring Bouquet of the Week series, Garden Collage continues to present a weekly inspirational bouquet that incorporates intriguing new elements into the traditional practice of flower arranging. This week, Garden Collage Editor-in-Chief Molly Beauchemin styles a chic Christmas bouquet that offers a modern twist on tradition. 

***

My earliest memory of Christmas poinsettias had something to do with the fact that my cats weren’t allowed to eat them. “We can’t have poinsettias in the house,” I recall my mother telling me somberly, “because they will poison Jasper and Muffy”.

Something that I distinctly remember thinking even as a 9-year-old was “Good: no poinsettias.” Because even as a child whose design sensibilities were not yet fully formed, there was one thing I knew for certain: poinsettias were ugly. And I didn’t want them in my house– not at Christmas or any other time. Something about the ombre red and poison ivy-like petals made me think of something toxic and sinister; I’d also seen way too many of them depicted in tacky Christmas sweaters.

botw-modernizing-tradition-cropped_garden-collage_andreana-bitsis-3

Andreana Bitsis

Still, throughout my childhood and into my young adulthood, I managed to experience my (un)fair share of poinsettias, despite my desire to avoid them. My grandmothers adorned their kitchen tables with this ubiquitous Christmas staple; neighbors put them out on their doorsteps when the weather was unseasonably warm.

I saw poinsettias in dentists’ offices and on my grade school teachers’ desks. To this day, I find the flower unattractive and– frankly– a little boring, so this week I styled GC’s “Bouquet of the Week” to honor the features and traditions of this classic Christmas bloom, modernizing the plant’s textures and colors with flowers that are unique and non-denominational.

botw-modernizing-tradition_garden-collage_andreana-bitsis-5

Andreana Bitsis

For this week’s bouquet, I paired dark green Colocasia (also known as “elephant ears”, which will make sense if you look closely at the pictures above) with large white daisies and some delightfully-furry Green Trick Dianthus. I wanted this bouquet to mimic the broad leaves and low-maintenance quality of poinsettias (this bouquet will last over a week if you change the water every day) while honoring a Yule Tide color palette that typically includes dark evergreen hues, metallic gold and silver, white, and red. Fearing I’d come too close to approximating the colors of a cheesy Christmas sweater, I opted to leave out the red and gathered all of my white and green flowers in a lovely gold Pulpo vase from the Garden Collage Shop. The results are both modern and timeless– and significantly less poisonous to cats.

Related Articles