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San Diego Floral Association
From The Archives of California Garden

See past editorial content: Growing Grounds | Favorite Tool | Friend or Foe | Floral Stories | Roots | Archives

 

Winter 1955
In Appreciation of the Fall Flower Arrangement Show

September/October 2010, Volume 101 No. 5
© SAN DIEGO FLORAL ASSOCIATION
This story may not be published in any form or copied onto another website without written permission from
San Diego Floral Association.


Hydrangeas

Photo: Rachel Cobb

 

Can autumn floral arrangements created more than 50 years ago lend inspiration to contemporary designers?
Read on for flower combinations and design ideas of the past. – Nancy Carol Carter

 

Winter 1955
In Appreciation of the Fall Flower Arrangement Show


By Beatrice Irwin

 

[In] the airy Floral Building at Balboa Park, the Floral Association held its annual Fall Flower Arrangement Show. . . . Several tables laid out with fine linens and ceramics gave the scene an hospitable touch that was welcoming. Among theses, one, labeled “1920,” was notable for a display of lavender and gold “mums” combined with a Royal Worcester tea-service, in the same tones, reminding one of the elegant social functions of that leisured era. Contrasting this arrangement of formal sophistication, was the table, “Driftwood,” striking in its contemporary simplicity, bold color scheme, and flowing rhythms of grey driftwood punctuated by glowing begonias and beeswax candles.

More conventional arrangements brought dahlias and hydrangeas into prominence, notable chiefly for their size and grandiose coloring. In agreeable contrast to these were a number of desert compositions, featuring dried leaves, grasses and berries, and a Balinese arrangement, composed of a pyramid of green pineapple guavas, wreathed with Natal plums and the scarlet blooms of the terrestrial orchid. This was an outstanding contribution to the group.

Among the more strictly floral offerings, one paused long before a dramatic treatment of beautiful banana blossoms combined with dried coconut palm buds. Not far off, white driftwood supporting pink azaleas against a background of a silver tray, suggested luxury. Another striking item was a wooden figure of Saint Francis standing on a glowing redwood base and accompanied by a bouquet of choicest golden tea roses, symbolic of wisdom. This ethical touch sounded an individual note. Nor were several other rose offerings to be ignored, for the sheer beauty of blossoms.

Advancing with reluctance to the exit of this show, one was arrested by a flaming cascade of shaded rose tuberous begonia blooms pouring forth from a cornucopia, formed of tiny white chrysanthemums, onto a bed of palest green net. The complex and exotic appeal of this arrangement, combined with the perfections of its flowers, was a final souvenir to be treasured.

As one emerged onto the balcony entrance of the building gay with gold and purple potted “mums,” grown in Balboa Park, one congratulated both the Park and the members of the San Diego Floral Association.


© SAN DIEGO FLORAL ASSOCIATION and © Nancy Carol Carter.
This story may not be published in any form or copied onto another website without written permission from
San Diego Floral Association.


Mission: To promote the knowledge and appreciation of horticulture and floriculture in the San Diego region.







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