A Contemporary design
I have been doing a series of Workshops in Syston, see the What’s On section and this is one of the designs that proved popular with students.
It is a way of using a smaller amount of plant material whether it be shop bought or from the garden.
You will need a simple plant pot or plant pot cover, preferably in a neutral colour, but you can match it to your flowers. I filled the pot with soaked foam and then formed a framework from stripped twigs. Willow is easy to use but most shrubs or trees are suitable. You will need approximately six but add more if you wish. These are inserted at the edge of the foam all around the pot and can be equidistant or placed more randomly as in the picture.
When you are pleased with your shape gather the tops together and secure with wire. This can be covered with ribbon, chord or as in this case ‘raffia’. My design is secured in two places.
The chosen material can now be inserted at differing levels within the frame you have created. Keep it fairly low so that the space comes into play. A few leaves help create a pleasing effect and any foam left showing can be covered with moss or sisal. Try to keep the material within the container and not flowing over the side.
In my design I have used a selection of flowers from the garden with the addition of a couple of choice roses from the florist shop. Much of the material consists of flower arrangers favourites. I have included Goldheart Ivy, Golden Flowering Currant, Bronze fennel, and a plant that intrigued the members of the workshop, ‘Ballota pseudodictamus’ with its whirls of green bracts and woolly stems. The flowers themselves are insignificant but once the leaves and flowers are removed we are left with this unusual form which also dries and can be preserved by glycerining, more about this later. Hosta leaves have also been used to give a stronger shape and inserted low down to help cover the foam.
You do not need to have a splendid garden to do flower arranging, mine is quite small, but it is helpful to be able to grow foliage in particular to add to shop bought material. I grow about fifteen varieties of Hosta all in pots and they have thrived in this years wet weather, I do not seem to have many snails and slugs but the Summer is coming to an end and I am happily using my garden material in flower arrangements before it dies off. Becoming a member of a flower or garden club is a good way to obtain some of these more unusual plants. Roundhill is both a flower and garden club and we regularly have interesting plants on our sales table and encourage members to bring in plants and cuttings from their gardens to exchange. After many years of being a flower club member I often find something new and exciting on the plant stall.
Happy Flower arranging.