Gloria Pacosa can arrange just about anything, dinner parties, events, wedding flowers, pie baking, but when we got together the other day to shoot a TV show for Falls Cable in Shelburne Falls, I wanted her to arrange flowers. She had begun gathering material before I arrived.
She had raided the flower garden for these dark scabiosa, the last of the sweet peas and gomphrena, as well as zinnias, sunflowers and . She said just get a lot of flowers and foliage so you can be inspired and have lots of options. I noted that a flower arrangement takes more flowers – and foliage – than you ever expect.
Gloria uses more than flowers in her arrangments, and arranges her gardens to supply other interesting plants, like this droopy millet, a grain. We had to work fast, because the TV show ( which will be broadcast the first time on October 1) is only 28 minutes long. It took us about 38 minutes to tape Gloria putting together three arrangements – while I kibbitz.
First, she did a green arrangemnt. I don’t think it has any blooms at all. That plant that looks like an evergreen is actually a variety of oregano. She also used floppy mint stems, nigella seed pods and gentian. The stems are all held by a piece of chicken wire taht has been balled up and stuck in the container. I think this is really elegant.
We picked the last of the blue/purple sweet peas and by gum, I wanted them used. This arrangement started with soaked Oasis put in the container, then covered with dampened moss that she pulled from her lawn (my lawn is mossy too) and then the real work began. In addition to the sweet peas, Gloria used bush clover (Lespedeza, a shrub), caryopteris blue flowers, smokebush red foliage, chrysanthemum foliage and culinary sage. I probably have not listed every single thing she used in any of these arrangements.
This was the biggest arrangement with pink and pinkish flowers. Gloria used the red Love-lies-bleeding (an amaranth) for this, but she also had a lime green variety that we didn’t use in any of these arrangements. There are also pink asters and gomphrena, another amaranth. Off the to vegetable garden for tomatillo plants with the tomatillos in thier papery cases and with a few yellow flowers. She also used some green Envy zinnias and made a ruff or ‘apron’ around the edges of the vase out of plume poppy foliage. Wow!