Bouquet of the Week: White After Labor Day
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 floral design. This week, Garden Collage Staff Writer Nora Rose Mueller puts together a bouquet in defiance of the old “no white after Labor Day” maxim.
Not wearing white after Labor Day is one of those strange, old-fashioned adages that seems as though it was lifted straight from a chapter by Emily Post. In theory, it sort of makes sense: white is a “summer” color (whoever made up the rule must not have had snow) and by the time Labor Day rolls around, you’re supposed to have packed away your summer gear and have unequivocally embraced the fall season. Historically, the rule seems to originate in the South, where it was used to separate the very rich from everyone else; today it exists as an outdated carryover, evoking a staid rigidity of older generations. Few observe the fashion aphorism of not wearing white after Labor Day– in fact, I would venture that there are more books and think pieces admonishing the rule than there are people adhering to it.
With Fashion Week currently dominating NYC, it seemed appropriate to construct a fashion-themed bouquet. I’ve never been tremendously interested in fashion– I tend to wear whatever I think looks good and has some cool factor, which explains my predilection to black clothing– but I can always get behind the idea of bucking tradition (even if that choice has become the more fashionable one of late).
To construct my White After Labor Day Bouquet, I chose a variety of bright white flowers: stock flower, wax flower, Queen Anne’s Lace, and lisianthus. But I also decided to mix in plenty of green, to honor the end of summer’s wild glory. (Labor Day, the appearance of pumpkin spice lattes, and any other seasonal indicators be damned. I’ll accept Fall only when I’m ready– and even then that’s usually only when I have to.) To soften the bright whites, I incorporated a green variety of thistle, the very emo sounding Love-Lies-Bleeding, and the intriguing, if not a little grotesque, balloon plant milkweed.