Since it's Labor Day in the U.S. I thought I would look at the work of putting a flower arrangement together and write about the tools I use to do that. I'm guessing many of you have the same weapons in your arsenal, but perhaps you'll find a new idea or product here.
In addition to vases, I also have a selection of attractive containers to use when I just want to disguise a plastic pot. Wondering about those bits of white paper towels that you can see? I always put something between containers so I don't chip the edges when I stack them up and rudely shove them into this fully stuffed cupboard. (This cupboard is in the basement and still boasts its 1960s paint colors).
A few pieces from my massive stash of containers. These are all ceramic. One was made by my best friend from college, one came from my favorite antique shop before it closed, one belonged to my grandmother but most are by Midwestern potter friends.
For cutting flowers in the garden or while arranging them indoors, nothing beats Japanese Koshiji pruners. The pair I use in the garden have pink plastic wrapped around the handle so I can find them again when I set them down. The small clippers are by Fiskars. I have a number of Japanese flower holders (Kenzans), including this shaped one in the center of the tray.
There's a spiral flower holder that can also hold a candle in the center that was made in Manitowoc, Wisconsin in the 1950s. It's in its original box which is slowly falling apart. That odd green shape on the left is meant to hold a candle in an arrangement when you are using floral foam. It's upside down here; the sharp point gets stuck in the foam and the fat cup holds the candle.
I have a jar of smooth pebbles that I got at a nursery as well as two small boxes of black Mihama pebbles from Japan. I use them to hold stems in place in a vase or just scatter them across a table around a vase. There's a roll of fine green wire which I have rarely used as well as a box of tubes with rubber caps with a slit in them. They sometimes come on flowers that are delivered and I save them anytime I came across them. I use them to hide a flower in a quirky location where I can't fit a vase. I have dried moss and birds' eggs — anything that might come in handy to create an effect. But if you've been following my Monday vases, you may have noticed that I don't take advantage of all these nice tools and objects nearly as much as I might!