Bloom Carousel Challenge: Cheerful flowers using a Depression Glass Vase

You’ll remember from my first post last week that I told you about my Bloom Carousel 2016 Challenge where I will be creating flower arrangements using unusual vases, rose bowls and other vintage bits and bobs. You can find out more about the challenge and the ‘rules of the game’ in my earlier post Here

So at last….ta da…. the Challenge is underway. Bet you’re gripped to your seats, huh? This week, I am using a pale pink Depression glass fan style vase which has its own removable flower frog – no need for floral foam here! This blushing beauty has survived intact since the 30s – you can see that it is very characteristic of the time.

Depression glass was made mainly in the US and Canada at the time of the Great Depression and was cheap to buy or even given away free in the days before ubiquitous BOGOF offers. Pieces were made by pressing crushed glass to mould the shape, and as a result, items can be quite low quality containing air bubbles or compression marks. They’re pretty though and there’s plenty to be found here in the UK aswell. I can remember there being a whole service of teacups at the church where I went to Brownies in the 80s. I have some other Depression glass pieces (some are really quite bizarre!!) that I’ll be using later on in the Challenge.

In terms of flowers, it’s January, it’s raining, and so I have had to resort to buying in rather than using anything from the garden. However, the great news is that at last it’s tulip season – HURRAH!! Ok, they’re definitely abit earlier than I remember them being as a child (kinda like those year round strawberries!) but I for one am pleased that they’re here to cheer up the long winter nights. So I’ve used white and burgundy tulips, and I’ve added to that some stems of alstroemeria (Peruvian lilies) in complimentary shades. I also tried some some spare hot pink roses, although I’m in two minds as to whether these add much.

Whilst I really like this vase, creating this arrangement wasn’t without its challenges. If you look closely at the frog, you’ll see that the space available to actually insert the flower stems is limited and so I found it quite difficult to get them in towards the end. Also, because the base is very narrow but the top is very wide, you can end up with the flowers looking ‘loose’ (gappy?) because you can’t fit enough fillers in. Nevertheless, in the spirit of the Challenge, I battled on with the awkward frog and fortunately, the alstroemerias did a great job of filling the space. I think I’ll have another go later in the year with this vase, using something which has more volume in the blooms. Voluptuous hydrangeas or even cow parsley would be great for this (roll on summer…sigh!)

The photos show the arrangement with and without the roses. Now that this is sat on my coffee table, I actually removed the roses as I preferred it without. I think they would have worked if they had been white roses, or better still, some big blousy peonies. What do you think? Leave a comment at the end of the blog – I’d love to hear your opinion.

Another interesting thing about this display is quite how much the tulips have grown since I assembled it. When I first created this a couple of days ago, the tulips were much less developed and they sat almost flush alongside the alstroemerias. I knew they’d grow abit, but hadn’t expected them to grow quite so much! Nevertheless, I really like the natural style of this as the tulips have just done their own thing.

So that’s me. Challenge number 1 complete. I’m off for one of these now.

Mmmm. Where’s the biscuits?

Next time: Challenge 2 – stunning rose bowls.

2 thoughts on “Bloom Carousel Challenge: Cheerful flowers using a Depression Glass Vase

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