Flower Arranging by Gayle Shell

Long before December arrives I am beginning to think of new ideas for Christmas. When I was teaching full time I had reluctantly, to start planning my classes in September when the Christmas supplies came into the wholesalers. Sometimes browsing through what was on offer that season, Flower arranging and Floristry have changing fashions just like everything else, would spark off an idea or something in a magazine would fire my imagination but many times I have returned to ideas and given them a revamp. This Autumn in my workshops we have been using a plastic cube shaped container in as many ways as possible, a good flower arranger tries to make containers versatile, and so when thinking of Christmas I saw the cube shape as a parcel.

As you see in the photo I covered the container in Christmas paper and added ribbons to make it look as if it is tied up. The container is waterproof so it would be suitable for a fresh design nearer Christmas using wet foam. Evergreens are traditional and with the fresh material, baubles, cones and ribbon are appropriate additions and in a last minute arrangement fresh Roses or Carnations can be added.

For my design the wrapped container was filled to just above the top with Drifoam and I have arranged artificial Christmas roses, Orchids, artificial barries and glittered plastic leaves. Small glass balls in red and silver gave contrasting texture and shape. When sorting through some bags of Christmas materials from previous years I found the large artificial Rose Hips. These like the glass baubles were mounted on wires; that makes them easy to arrange in the foam.

Finally I made a bow from the same ribbon that I had ‘tied’ the parcel with and mounted it onto a wire to add to the design so that the whole thing was tied up ready for Christmas. Of course if you do not have such a container you can simply cover a suitable box in the same way or buy a lidded gift box and fill it with foam. If you want to arrange fresh material in it insert a suitable waterproof container before adding wet foam and your materials. It is a good idea to do your artificial arrangements early before the Christmas rush and they can be stored in a plastic bag until you need them. When the design is in the bag fill it with air and seal it till required. This is a good way to store your designs after Christmas top prevent them from getting crushed.

I do this with my designs as I finish them and then when all the teaching is over and I am ready to decorate my own home I can produce them from their wrappings with a flourish. To be truthful many of the designs are claimed before that by visiting family and friends so they are given away as real Christmas Presents.

Enjoy your flower arranging and a Very Happy Christmas. Gayle.