Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Orchid Chief

Sequenced Botanicals, a floral arrangement of orchids, larkspur, delphinium and pussy willow, by Stacey H. Ballard, Floral Confetti. Part of the Inspired Flora exhibit at Abington Art Center.
As a freshman on my first day of college, I met Stacey, my resident advisor (RA), and was amazed to find her dorm room filled with bunches of beautiful, carefully dried roses hanging upside down in fragrant bundles.

Many of them were a lavender variety, which I'd never seen before. She said definitively that lavender roses smelled far better than the red kind most people ordered.

Her parents owned a flower store and creativity must have been concentrated in her DNA - you could tell by the way she decorated her dorm room with richly colored fabrics and artwork.

For years afterward, any time I ordered a floral arrangement involving roses, I'd ask for lavender ones.

Although Stacey has ventured out into other realms of business, my former RA has kept up floral design on the side. And today, a mutual friend had invited me to a show featuring her floral interpretation of a piece of artwork.

This time, orchids - which are among my favorite flowers - figured in prominently.

Stacey's arrangement was just spectacular! The yellow orchids along the bottom of moss were still vibrant yellow in person. The little orange orchid blossoms floated throughout the arrangement by way of copper wire that allowed them to dangle between the willow branches.

It was just a stunning interpretation of the painting Little Wing, by Michael Gallagher.

After touring the show, several of us friends detoured to a coffeehouse for snacks and catching up.

It was definitely a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon, reconnecting with people from the old days and viewing creativity at work.

*If you're into orchids, I suggest you check out Parkside Orchids, which ships anywhere and packs the plants in such a way that they will arrive looking spectacular, once you remove all the cotton batting and bubble wrap.


Stephanie said...

yes our Stacey is amazing!

Spandrel Studios said...

Hi, Stephanie!

Yes, she certainly is! Thanks again for letting me know that Stacey was in the show.

fishwithoutbicycle said...

That's beautiful work, very inventive.

Spandrel Studios said...

Hi, Fish. Agreed - it's amazing, what this woman can do with flowers!

Kitty said...

There are real orchid buffs out there and their patience and care is quite amazing.

One of my ex-friend's roommates was an orchid buff who babied her flowers. A real hobby of love!

Spandrel Studios said...

Hi, Kitty.

Yes, tending to orchids can be a time-consuming hobby if you do it right. But there are so many varieties in shape, color and temperament - they're lovely!

Even though I haven't been able to keep them alive for years on end, I figure they last much longer than a bouquet of flowers, so it's still worth having an orchid or two around.