Monday, July 6, 2015

Of toad lilies and sea oats

Spend a few hours with a talented floral designer and you get all sorts of ideas. This was one of five designs done by Crescentia Motzi of Downingtown, aka "Cres," who's studied with some of the European masters and some of our local stars at Longwood Gardens. (She's teaching workshops there now herself.)

Of toad lilies and sea oats

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Spend a few hours with a talented floral designer and you get all sorts of ideas. This was one of five designs done by Crescentia Motzi of Downingtown, aka "Cres," who's studied with some of the European masters and some of our local stars at Longwood Gardens. (She's teaching workshops there now herself.)

The Inquirer asked Cres to come up with three holiday designs, including one that incorporates the colors of two unlikely holidays - Hanukkah and Thanksgiving - that fall on the same day this year. (It's historic!) I'll share what she created in another post, but first, this design, which wasn't one of the three. It just happened to be on the window sill of her dining room when I visited.

I loved the earthy quality of this one, and the randomness of its elements. Cres used a small log with interesting bark, sea oats, toad lilies, 'Blue Muffin' viburnum, Japanese hakone grass, thyme, 'Toffee Twist' sedge grass, and miniature lady ferns.

It's a naturalistic design that uses "whatever's left in the garden," Cres says. "People can look at it and say, 'I can do that!' The idea isn't to show people something they cannot do. I'm a teacher."

We can do this! It may not look like Cres' but it will be worthy of the window sill in anyone's home. After all, Cres says, "It's for your own enjoyment." 

Story coming on Nov. 1 in Home & Design. I'll bet you can't wait.

Inquirer Staff Writer
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About this blog
Ginny Smith, a Philadelphia native, joined the Inquirer at 1985. After stints as both reporter and editor in the city and suburbs, she’s been happily writing – and learning - about gardening full time since 2006. She’s won two silver medals of achievement from the national Garden Writers Association and in 2011, Bartram’s Garden honored her with its Green Exemplar award for her stories about “the region’s deeply rooted horticultural history, cultural attractions and bountiful gardens.” She plays in her own – mostly - bountiful garden in East Falls. Reach Virginia A. at vsmith@phillynews.com .

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
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