Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Styling The Seasons - May

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Rhododendrons, or 'rhodies' are a very common ornamental plant here in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. The first flower buds begin to appear in late April and throughout the month of May this diverse species of shrubs, bushes and trees is bursting with colorful floral displays in what seems like every nook and cranny of town. It seems appropriate then, to bring some of this glorious color indoors. 

I enjoy a brisk walk around the neighborhood, and if it involves looking for wild and stray flowers, then I'm out the door in a flash, seeing what I can find. The town I live in, due to its temperate climate, yields an abundance of seasonally cultivated trees and flowers year round, and you can pretty much rely on something always being in blossom here.

During a recent outing, I was able to gather an interesting selection of colorful blooms, shown above displayed in the dining area of our kitchen. While I'm no expert on the kinds and types of rhododendrons, I do enjoy putting a display such as this together, and the fun part is looking through my collection of vintage and new vases and planters and choosing just the right containers for the flowers.

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I placed a single stem of bright pink bell-shaped rhodies into a Pearl Gray Fiestaware bud vase, above. And below is a vintage rectangular planter that was well suited for several short stemmed rhododendrons.

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Vintage ceramic birds made in Japan usually always accompany my seasonal flower displays. Displaying decorative birds indoors reminds me how much we enjoy welcoming real birds into our backyard, and providing food, shelter and water for them.

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The tall stylized bird statuette on the left is a Norcrest brand, crafted in Japan. It's painted a pearlescent antique white, which provides a lustrous shine, and the overall patinated surface lends a bit of a shabby chic sensibility. The delicate ceramic cherry blossom flowers at the base of the bird are still perfectly intact. I've never seen an all yellow crested bird in real life, such as the ceramic on the right, but perhaps there is one living somewhere in the world. I don't know much about this bird; its only marking is the word 'Japan' impressed into the backside of the base. It's interesting how the paint has worn over time, and I'm very fond of its current 'Wabi-Sabi' appearance.

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A couple more seasonal blooms, this time in a Stahl California planter which features an unusual looking scratched surface. I had to use a 'frog' on the bottom of this planter to secure the pink stems. A frog is a piece of metal with sharp spikes, onto which flower stems are forced, to hold them securely in place. It is a common tool used in flower arranging, perhaps most popularly used in Ikebana, or Japanese flower arranging.

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I created the paper map banner last summer from a piece of 12x12 Webster's Pages scrapbook paper. It's part of the Nest collection designed by Brandi O'Neill. I've used it in a few of my Styling The Seasons posts and still enjoying using it.

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With the arrival of the month of May came longer, sunny, and blustery days, along with allergies, Mother's Day and a reminder that the school year is nearly over. What better way then, to celebrate life's moments both big and small, than with colorful blooms, characteristic of the spring season?

Styling The Seasons is a monthly online styling challenge: Katy Orme at Apartment Apothecary and Charlotte at Lotts and lots co-host a gathering place for anyone who wishes to style a surface in their home, and share it on their blog and/or social media. Just use the hashtag #stylingtheseasons on Instagram and tag Katy and Charlotte.

Thanks for reading!


  1. What a funny coincidence, I wrote a blogpost about the rhododendrons in our neighbourhood this week.
    I love your styling, the flowers, the birds. Where do you find them (the birds)? Do they sell a lot of Japanes ceramics in the USA?
    Have a good weekend.

  2. I love hearing the stories about your treasures in your posts, June. And those Rhododendrons are perfect! x


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