Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Winter is a dark period. The short days and long nights seem oppressive at times. During this season, we need floral design more than ever. Despite its downsides, this season offers some interesting floral materials.
Add some seasonal touches of color by using some of the different kinds of fruits that are available at that time. For the most part, supermarkets will have many suitable ones.
Needless to say, you’ll want perfect blemish-free fruits with good color. Let’s start with some of the citrus. Citrus is at its peak during the winter months. There are so many kinds in the stores.
So far as limes are concerned, there are really two kinds with the main difference being in size. Key limes tend to be smaller in size. What both of them have in common is a delightful color we rarely exploit in floral design.
Depending on where you live, you may see different kinds of lemons for sale. As with the limes, it doesn’t really matter. You are using them for their form and color.
Blood oranges are much more expensive than ordinary navels. Assuming you can find perfectly colored ones, they are well worth the price in terms of the unusual shade they provide. The blood red pulp will not be visible in designs. But the attractive, mahogany red skin is a nice touch.
Calamondins have a smooth, thin, orange colored rind. They are well worth looking for if stores in your area carry them. Among experts, there is some disagreement as to how this plant should be classified. Some say it belongs with the mandarin orange group, while others say it is a hybrid of the kumquat and a sour mandarin. In any case, these are noted for their vivid skin and longish, irregular shape.
Kumquats are often used for holiday decorations foliage and all. Though this plant isn’t a true citrus, it is a close relative. Generally, we just think of it as citrus. Native to Asia, kumquats are tiny, pure orange fruits.
Of all the citrus, the most unusual is surely the Buddha’s hand or finger citron. Normally, these will not be commercially available. Specialty shops sometimes carry them. Gardeners in warm climates can grow this as they would any other kind of citrus. The fruit starts out green and pretty much looks like any other citrus. As it ripens, it splits to form finger-like segments.
In the U.S., the fall months are the peak season for apples. But throughout the winter months we can find attractively colored ones readily available. These are very suitable for floral design, especially the heirloom Lady apple. This variety is often used in holiday decorations.
Regarding methods of displaying fruits, a minimalist approach works very well. Simply arrange these in layers in a tall glass container. Sometimes, water is added to the container.
One of the most common ways of displaying fruit is to create centerpieces. That isn’t always necessary. In this case, the minimalist effect can be achieved by decorating the table here and there with whole fruits, candles, and some sort of evgreen leaves, such as magnolia.