Banquet Piece, Pieter Claez

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Big Yellow Zucchini Goes on a Voyage

The Challenge: use local summer produce to create a floral design.

At our second Slow Flower meeting this summer, in a charming old Hayward backyard, we met our challenge with green baby California Concord grapes, giant rainbow carrots, and a huge yellow squash.

My choice was the big yellow zucchini squash.

The concept:
Sail away on the giant golden zucchini
with leaf sails and flower passengers.
If you don't know the Slow Flower Movement and are presently confused because you don't know any other kind of flower, read about it here on Debra Prinzing's website. It's all about using locally grown materials.

My design concept was a vegetable boat with zucchini, aspidistra, and zinnias. It is rare for me to only use three items, so that was an additional challenge.

The fate of the other two zucchinis
was zucchini bread and masala zucchini
The Slow Flower Movement is local. My local materials:

Zucchini: This zucchini is very local, about three blocks from my house grown by a neighbor. My neighbors went on an Alaskan cruise and I watched their plants. Their three zucchinis got larger and larger and were endangering the next generation zucchinis. So I finally harvested the three big boy zucchinis. I selected the one with a nice upward turn.
Aspidistra: The cast-iron plant was inherited from my mom who had it for years and years. Now it is sitting on my porch and is truly cast-iron. The leaves were a bit burnt on the tips, but I cut those off as part of the design.
Zinnias: Two were from my own garden. I only had the two, so I got another one from Target's garden center for $1.66. Originally I had planned to go to Ramirez Farm to pick one, but this way, I will get additional blooms. I'll go to the farm next time.

As inspiration, I found pictures of morimono ikebana and other floral/fruit/veggie design styles.

Here is the final floral design:

A zinnia couple is sailing away
with their captain at the head.
Note that Toby, the cat,
inserted himself
as the center of attention.
Currently his attention is
turned toward some birds.
From the top you can see
that the aspidistra leaves have been cut
to show some interesting negative spaces.
The background
is a dry California needle grass.
The captain (white and red zinnia)
was from Target for $1.66
and is now growing in my yard.
The passengers (the other two)
were started from seed,
my first zinnias that I've grown.

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