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Sometimes the most unusual ideas pop into my head, and this weekend I had the satisfaction of bringing one to life. My wish was simple: I wanted it to seem like the snow was falling into my hot tub. But snow is a rarity in the coastal redwood forest, so I substituted flowers for snowflakes with the creation of a large scale floral installation, and by large scale, I mean a 20′ blossoming tree canopy. My inner floral designer was very inspired, in fact, so inspired that I wanted to forget that my materials were a VERY HEAVY tree. I loved the challenge of reconciling my over the top vision with the realities of weight, balance and gravity. This was my first artistic floral installation, and the results are beyond my expectations. I’ll never think of flower arranging as just a vase on the table again.


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I’ve been wanting to remove a long and lanky hawthorne tree in my yard. I need a smidge more sun for my garden, and the tree offers no privacy and only blooms for one week out of the year. My husband Nat and I worked together to cut down the tree but keep the canopy intact. We then cantilevered the entire top over the chofu wood burning hot tub (as seen in MAKE Volume 18).
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I had a particular effect I was going for- I wanted to be surrounded by the flowers, with one or two branches dipping in the water. Once I determined how high the tree would have to sit, we cut a length of the tree’s trunk, pressed it into the hillside, and wired the canopy to it for stability.
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Then, hoping to create the feeling of a moving flurry of snow, I took some of the broken branches and suspended them along the path leading to the tub. When soaking in the moonlight, I really do feel surrounded by a blizzard of white petals that float in the sky. I no longer have to rely on my imagination to enjoy the effect of snow in the redwoods.