Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Independence Day has been celebrated since 1776, which commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.
The colors for July 4th are no mystery. How you choose to use those tones for your Fourth of July designs is up to you to decide.
The red, white, and blue may appear in various forms. It may be in star-spangled containers, colorful ribbons, flags, bows, and other accessories, or in the flowers that we choose.
Letís start with containers. You could choose a solid red or blue vase. Or if you prefer select a multicolored red, white and blue container with patriotic motifs. These should be available at various craft stores.
If you prefer, you could take an ordinary flowerpot and wrap it in patriotic paper of some sort. In that case, any color of flower will do, because your container is so expressive. Ordinary mixed bouquets are very suitable.
The patriotic colors can also be provided by accessories, such as flags, striped ribbons, streamers, and garlands.
Flowers can also provide the red, white, and blue color. Finding white blooms are no problem, for there are many kinds. Red blooms are also in abundance. However, for the blue blossoms we may have to look slightly harder. Blue delphiniums are an obvious choice if they are available. Others that should be in season include blue thistle (Eryngium), cornflower, gentian, hydrangea, iris, love-in-a-mist, monkshood, scabious, statice, and veronica.
For red flowers, you can choose from alstroemeria, anthurium, asters,
calla, carnations, celosia, dahlia, gerbera, gladiolus, hypericum, kangaroo
paws, lily, rose, and snapdragon. Other good red-toned choices include dyed sunflowers, hibiscus pods, ornamental pepperberries, and other red berries.
Red is a strong color, and can overwhelm a design. So, you donít need as many red stems as you do white or blue ones.
There is no shortage of suitable white flowers for July 4th designs. Ones that are usually in season at that time include agapanthus, alstroemeria, aster, astilbe, calla, campanula, carnations, dahlias, gardenia, gerbera, gladiolus, hydrangea, iris, larkspur, lilies, mums, phlox, roses, scabious, snapdragons, and statice.
White and red roses are available, but since these are more expensive you may want to substitute inexpensive ones, such as carnations.
There are other ways these colors can be incorporated into designs. Start with a clear vase. Then, add separate layers of red, white, and blue polished glass pieces. For this sort of design, I suggest white flowers to complement the colored glass.
Another way to get your message across is to arrange red, white, and blue flowers in the shape of a flag or in stripes. Begin with a shallow container, and fill it with a piece of damp Oasis foam. The final step is to insert the flowers in the pattern you have chosen. For this design, all the stems would need to be the same length.
For a centerpiece, you could use a round wreath form, and create separate circles of the red, white and blue flowers. Add a miniature flag or some striped red/white/blue ribbon.
There are other ways you could use flowers to get your Fourth of July message across. For example, you could decorate a cake with red, blue, and white flowers. For this, I would prefer organic ones that are actually edible. These should be available at local farmersí markets. I usually like to use a large sheet cake decorated with white frosting. Instead of blue and red blooms, try using similarly colored fruits, such as blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries.
You could use the same approach with parfait glasses. Alternate layers of white pudding, ice cream or yogurt with red and blue fruits.
Whether your July 4th designs are used for entertaining or for decorating the home, itís a great way of showing your patriotic colors.