Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Have you ever wondered how to arrange a bunch of flowers effectively in a vase, with no mechanics? This design is exactly that, with the flowers just arranged in water. There are a few things to take into consideration. Firstly, choose a container which tones with the colours of your flowers. Secondly, choose a container of the right height for your flowers, i.e. if you have fairly short stems, don't choose a tall container, and if you choose a short container, then cut your stems accordingly. The principle of two-thirds flowers to one-third container still applies here. Finally, choose a container with a wide enough neck to suit the number of stems you have. If you only have a few stems, then you're never going to be able to arrange your flowers properly - they are always going to splay out. For a few stems, choose a narrow-necked container. When arranging flowers just in water, begin with a few stems of foliage first, arranging them symmetrically around the vase. Add some stronger stems of flowers or foliage in the centre. Then you can add the rest of the flowers and foliage gradually, and they will be held in place by the stems of the first few flowers, making it easy to arrange them where you want them. You may need to make a few adjustments here and there for height or position as you go along, but this is quite easy to do. Keep turning the arrangement around so that you get the flowers arranged evenly, giving you correct visual and actual balance.
This is a traditional horizontal arrangement, made in a rectangular plastic shallow dish, with ¾ block of floral foam for the mechanics. This is a very versatile design which would be suitable for a table centrepiece, or a window ledge, or an arrangement for the top table at a wedding. Scaled up, it would be suitable for a design at the front of a stage, or as a double-ended funeral spray (as it's known in the floristry trade) or scaled up even more, a casket spray for a funeral. If it is made as a table centerpiece, it should be no more than 9" in height, as it's important for guests to be able to see each other across the table without having to peer through the foliage! I have defined the shape of the design with narrow Eucalyptus foliage, and added some Viburnum davidii and Hedera helix (Ivy) for a contrast of form. The flowers used are 10 stems deep pink Spray Carnations, 10 standard Carnations, pink with a darker pink edge, 2 stems green Spray Chrysanthemums for recession and an accent of colour, one large stem of pale pink Aster nova-belgie (Michaelmas Daisy), and 3 stems Stargazer Lilies for the focal flowers.
This is a traditional style posy table arrangement. It is made in a basic plastic dish, with one third of a block of floral foam for the mechanics. The shape was first defined with linear foliage, arranged in a circular shape, and slightly domed over the top of the design. Cotoneaster and variegated Lonicera nitida "Lemon Queen" was used here. Arachniodes adiantiformis (Leatherleaf Fern) has been used as a filler foliage. The flowers used were seven palest peach Roses for the focal flowers, with five stems of pale peach spray Carnations, and two stems of cream spray Chrysanthemums for recession. To finish the design, I have used a stem of Gypsophila 'Million Stars' as a filler and to add texture to the design.
It's important to check the shape of a posy arrangement frequently, to ensure that it is circular. I find the best way to do this is to place the arrangement on the floor and look directly over it. This will soon show you if any adjustments to the shape need to be made.
This design is in the European decorative style. This type of design can be round, oval, or triangular, and uses a lot of flowers. It has no obvious focal or dominant area, and the flowers all have equal importance. I have used a gold round bowl, with floral foam for the mechanics, and have chosen a round or posy shape. I began by establishing the shape with Eucalyptus and Fatsia japonica variegata. I then added the flowers, and these were yellow Roses, pink Lilium 'Stargazer', cerise pink spray Carnations, pink standard Carnations, purple Allium 'Purple Sensation', Tellima grandiflora, and Gypsophila 'Million Stars'.
This is a dainty little arrangement, made in a cup and saucer. When making such an arrangement, the size and colouring of the cup and saucer used must be taken into account, and small flowers which echo the colouring must be chosen. For this design, I have used a small piece of floral foam, which fits neatly into the cup, and is around 1" taller than the rim of the cup. I have chosen a posy-style design, which is suited to the shape of the cup and saucer. Small foliage was selected, and this was Buxus sempervirens (Box), Hedera helix (Ivy), and Tiarella 'Iron Butterfly', a lovely foliage which is a bright green, with a purple blotch in the centre. Flowers used were in pink colours, to match the pink design on the cup and saucer, and these were small Roses which were the focal flowers, with Tiarella 'Iron Butterfly' - a lovely flower in season in spring, with spikes of small starry palest pink flowers, Chamelaucium uncinatum (Waxflower), Gypsophila 'Million Stars', and green berries of Hypericum.