Bouquet of the Week Holiday Edition: Flowers for Kwanzaa

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. As part of the GC Holiday Calendar, Garden Collage styles bouquets in honor of Kwanzaa, Christmas, and Hanukkah. 

Kwanzaa is a tradition that celebrates faith and creativity, having been practiced in the United States and other nations in the Western African diaspora since 1966. Like Christmas and Hanukkah, Kwanzaa has a traditional suit of colors– historically: black, red, and green. (“Black for the people, red for their struggle, and green for the future and hope that comes from their struggle”, according to procedure.)

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This holiday season, we wanted to honor this beautiful global tradition with a floral design scheme involving the colors of Kwanzaa as interpreted through the lens of modern design.

We used red daisies, green hydrangea, and painted black mason jars as core elements. When selecting a vessel, we fell in love with the concept of using multiple jars to make several bouquets that could be spread out along a mantle, countertop, or desk (above shown).

Traditionally, seven candles are lit in the course of Kwanzaa– one black candle, three red and three green. These are the mishumaa saba (the seven candles). The honor this tradition, we chose our floral elements in the same proportions: equal parts red and green with a fundamental base of black. The results of our decision to incorporate tall Bells of Ireland (which allowed us to play with the height and texture of each individual arrangement) were felicitous– these arrangements look festival but also subtle. The next time you find yourself exploring new flowers, we encourage you to buy something out of your comfort zone (an element that is a completely different color or texture than the rest of the what you’ve selected). You might be surprised how they ultimately look when arranged together; even the unlikeliest arrangements will turn out great as long as you make them your own.


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