Jorge spied the flat, circular glass object with several holes in it and wondered what it was and what purpose it served. Because it was sitting on my desk, he deduced that it was an antique pen and pencil holder. I told him, “No, many people think this is something for pencils, but it’s not. This was designed to hold flowers.”
Since he had arrived on the day I usually reserve for Floral Friday projects, I said he could watch me use the handy gadget.
I already selected two containers for today’s offering. I placed the glass item inside of a gleeming silver compote dish. I told Jorge that these glass items are called “frogs”. Those made of glass are the most common ones around. I brought out another frog. I used a blob of floral clay to secure the marble frog to the inside of a Frankoma cornucopia planter vase.
He asked why they’re called “frogs”. I said that the etymology is unclear. I had been told that the first forms of these things were made in the late 1500s. They came in many shapes such as, small statuettes of ladies, mushrooms, and even frogs. The story claims that the term, frog, servived, because it is easy to say and remember. You can choose to believe that tale or be skeptical about it, like me. I just like to use frogs in some of my projects.
Frogs come in many forms. Some look like people or animals, others are tall, most are flat. They can be manufactured as geometric designs like rings, discs, cubes, pyramids, or globes. Some have holes and others have several pins. All of them are meant to hold flowers.
Some people refer to frogs as flower bricks, floral blocks, flower holders, or flower arrangers. Regardless of their names, they enable people to quickly assemble attractive floral arrangements at home.
You can buy basic frogs in hobby shops or at floral supply companies. If you want vintage frogs, like mine, they can be purchased cheaply at antiques shops. Sometimes I stumble upon them at thrift stores. My favorite frog is a small disk of “vaseline” glass, that I found at a Goodwill store.
I finished the simple arrangement of mini-poinsettias and daisies for the silver dish in just a few minutes. Jorge said he was impressed. For the Frankoma vase, the heavier marble frog anchored a more unruly collection of flowers and greenery.
The Blue Jay of Happiness notes that old frogs, of various forms, are popular among antiques collectors.