Salix discolor [Pussy Willow]

As January rushes past with a blur of wind and rain, and the occasional leftover dead leaf, a few hints of life greet us, reminding us the sun hasn’t really forsaken us, and that flowers are soon to be upon us. I am a Winter lover: naked trees, bright green grass, though slightly downtrodden, and cloud filtered daylight actually bring me joy and a sense satisfaction… there is a subtly complex beauty in the network of tree branches the way they are visible in Winter that I can stare at for hours. I so enjoy them that I do not spend Winter depressed and pining for flowers.

I love how nature is ever changing, moving and producing beauty, however wild or stark.

That being said, some of my favorite flowers, if you can call them that, appear in this late Winter season: pussy willows!

I love pussy willows! Beautiful silhouettes, perfect muted Winter palette, and delicious texture – I only wish they bloomed a bit longer. But at the same time, one of the great things about pussy willows is how well they keep dried. Utterly versatile – they stand-alone beautifully, but also complement and add variety to arrangements.

Here Martha has created a clever garden-like arrangement for an office. I love how much character they possess… the soft grey buds add a touch of femininity and interest to what might normally be a more stark arrangement.

I also am digging the idea of a pussy willow wreath – I’ve never tried it, but it looks fantastically simple, and fabulously wintery. 

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