Flower of the Month – Calla Lily

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My first memories of Calla Lilies are linked to an old movie starring Katherine Hepburn, and I can recall my sisters and I repeating her words, in our fake accents, thinking we sounded just like her. “The Calla Lilies are in bloom again…such a strange flower, suitable to any occasion,” she said. She was and still is not wrong. In honor of Hepburn and my sisters, I’ve picked Calla Lilies as our second flower of the month!

My most recent memory is the surprise of finding a blooming Calla Lily in my garden this past summer. There, hiding under shrubs, was the lovely light pink lily I had planted years ago, after receiving it as a gift. I had given up hope of ever seeing it bloom again, since years had gone by and only the green leaves ever came back. BUT, some confluence of elements conspired this past summer and there it was in its regal form! My garden continues to surprise me 🙂

So let’s talk about the flower and how to use it. Calla’s or Arum Lily are not really lilies. They are however, a perennial that are grown from bulbs, and as mentioned above are able to grow and come back in your garden year after year. Usually, you’ll see their blooms pop in late spring.

In the past five years, these gorgeous blooms have become pretty ubiquitous in weddings–and it’s not hard to see why. They create a modern, sleek, clean line when used in arrangements. But calla’s don’t have to be saved for weddings! They come in a wide range of colors, and complement almost any style of arrangement. Here is what I did with them:

I was lucky to find some beautifully colored calla’s at Trader Joe’s, and even luckier to add to the bounty with complimentary colored Ranunculus and amazing orange parrot tulips. All looked to be in good condition, and not fully blooming yet, so I knew the unveiling as the blooms opened could be something seriously special.

I used this simple blue glass vase; it’s a favorite of mine when working with flowers that have height.

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I arranged in a non-arrange way. You’re probably going, huh? All I mean is it kind of looks like I just plunked them in the vase, but I spent a lot of time making sure that each stem had some air around it to open and show off a little (thank you, Ikebana lessons).

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Since I was working with two kinds of flowers that are known for continuing to grow after you buy them, I thought it might be cool to take some time lapse photo’s to show the difference in the arrangement over a number of days.

Day 1:

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Day 2:

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Day 3:

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Day 4:

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I can’t really pick a favorite day, I think they are all kind of different and pretty. The elegant curves of the calla’s speak to why they are so desired as a wedding flower, and I have to admit, those parrot tulips are pretty beautiful… so much so they maayyyy just make it into the flower of the month runoff election 😉

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The red ranunculus were solid support players, but interestingly enough the red did not hold up nearly as long or as well as the white ones I wrote about last month. This does not change my love of them, but isn’t it strange that they were so different?

For those of you with talent beyond flowers, I can’t think of a more beautiful flower to paint than a bunch of amazing parrot tulips…perhaps something to occupy your time as we wait for Spring? Thankfully, according to the groundhog, that wait may not be as long as we dreaded!

jbryanFlower of the Month – Calla Lily