Simple Flower Arranging: Foraged Spring Wreath

I am so excited to share a new series of posts on Frolic! today about simple and natural flower arranging. All the posts will share tips for flower arranging using all natural techniques devoid of wire or foam or traditional floristry tools. Today’s project: a foraged spring wreath.

I was inspired by the meadows in Portugal full of apple blossoms and grasses and lovely soft materials right now. I made this wreath by braiding together vines, grasses, and any medium weight stems I could find, just like you would hair! You could also attach it on to a wreath base like this for more support. Add twine to support, where necessary but once you get the base going, start weaving materials in. Add lightweight, delicate flowers last. Sprtiz with water and store in the fridge in a plastic bag until ready to use! You could add more delicate flowers the morning of your event.

Thank you to Fifty Flowers for making this series possible!

Wisteria Dreams

wisteria sintra

The wisteria is blooming a month earlier than normal. Winding and dancing its way around fences, stonewalls, and abandoned villas and thickening the air with fragrance in the fairytale town of Sintra, forty minutes north of Lisbon. While I am normally quick to lose patience with masses of tourists, it outshines their presence and makes any visit to Sintra worthwhile. I’d come to see just the flowers, no need for a castle visit, as long as I can take in all the flowery goodness here! Stay away from the center, and you won’t have to fight the crowds. Wander down side streets and through tree-lined lanes, exploring old houses and forgotten estates. The unruly masses of wisteria abound at every corner, whether entangling themselves with pastel pink Cecil Brunner roses, or taking on an old house with masses of unkept geranium and pittosporum, for the most heady perfume imaginable! Having never lived in such a sunny place before, I’ve never known such fragrant air, or such an early explosion of spring flora. To have roses, and lilacs, and wisteria all at once is like some sort of heaven to me. In a year so full of turmoil on both a grand and small scale, these reminders of beauty are such tonics for the spirit!

Continue reading

20 Spring Projects to Add Beauty to the Everyday

We’re all in need of beauty now more than ever. I am always surprised how much taking the time to add something simple and beautiful to my life can lift my mood. Whether it’s tossing some fresh flowers on to a meal, working on a sewing project, or composing a bouquet of flowers for a gift. Enjoy these ideas to add a bit of beauty to your Spring 2017!

Continue reading

Graca Flower Seller

I am interested in flower sellers of all kinds from the trendy flower shop in the posh part of town, to the grower at the morning market, to an elderly woman selling on the street. This week I met Maria, a florist for 48 years! She has a colorful flower booth in the center of Graca, a residential neighborhood up high on a hill above Alfama in Lisbon. The center of all the activity is the Largo Graca where older folks gather on benches and young parents pick up kids from school. Under large green trees, Maria sits with her friends, and sells flowers. She was kind enough to let me take her photo and to put up with my broken Portuguese.  I brought home one of her lovely ivy geraniums for my city garden. She instructed me on the proper way to carry it (holding the top of the sleeve in a handful).

Continue reading

An Afternoon by the Sea

The train ride from Lisboa to Cascais offers a constant sea view and it’s fun to just hop off at will to discover the villages and cities along the coast. Spending an afternoon at Paco de Arcos was a lovely way to usher in spring. Whenever you are looking for healing energy, the sea will bring it to you. I spent some time on the shore looking through the little fisherman boats and traps, putting my feet in the sand, and letting the sun beat on my back. When the wind sped up, I grabbed my Tulsi shawl, which doubles as a beach towel/picnic blanket. Get your own Tulsi shawl (hand-printed in India) here with 20% off with code “frolic20” (free shipping within the US). Wildflowers are in abundance at the moment, and there’s nothing so sweet as flowers growing seaside.

Continue reading