There are several flowers that lend themselves particularly well to floating on water rather than bunched on their stems in a vase. These flowers tend to hang downward from the stem, so that their cheery faces are obscured. Many species of hellebores, which are in bloom now, have nodding blossoms. This is why many of the newest hellebore cultivars have been bred with Helleborus x niger, a species with upturned flowers so that we can better appreciate the flowers. Hellebores look darling in floating arrangements, and I have featured them as such in previous posts.
Another flower well-suited for floating are camellias. The late winter, early spring camellias can often be hidden on the stem under their big, waxy leaves. And the blooms attach to the stem so tightly and at an angle that makes them challenging to arrange in traditional fashion.
Camellia flowers are flattened on the back, and when removed from the stem entirely, look great doing the backstroke. This way the flowers are center stage. Because they are heavy, they are best placed in a very shallow dish so that they don’t sink and become waterlogged. I have several vintage, footed dishes that are perfect for arranging camellias this way.
When floating face up, the true beauty of the camellia flower is revealed–the luminous sheen of the petals, the intensity of color, and in some types, irregular streaks of color. Camellias are common landscape plants in most parts of the country and grow with ease and little care. Due to this, we may take them for granted. Step out and pick a few flowers and float them in a bowl on your kitchen island–I guarantee you’ll find a new appreciation for camellias.
©Colleen Miko, 2015