Take A Mixed Bunch.

At this time of year flowers are few in the garden, and mixed bunches from the florist or supermarket are an economic buy.

This tall, slender container needs very few flowers, so I only used about half of the flowers in the bunch that I purchased. A few pieces of plant material from the garden completed the design.

I wedged a piece of soaked foam in the top of the pot leaving about three inches to protrude above the rim. This container is stable but it is often a good idea to fill a tall container with sand or pebbles, or even old foam (still wet) to give it weight.

The flowers are all Chrysanthemums (very long lasting) but in a variety of colours and textures. The pot is smooth and shiny so the rough texture of the chrysanthemum petals were a good contrast. I cut the stems short and grouped the colours, but left two or three flowers on longer stems to break the line.

Movement was added with some lengths of Ivy. I have about six varieties of Ivy growing on the old garden shed and I sometimes think it is that which is holding it together, but it is a useful plant for the flower arranger and of course an evergreen and therefore available all year round.

I took all the leaves off some of the stems and left a few on the remainder. One end of the stem was pushed into the foam and then curled round to the back of the design and tucked in again. To the right I emphasised the line by repeating it with a few longer stemmed flowers. The daisy type Chrysanthemums ‘hold the eye’ so I was sure to place them towards the centre of the main design.

In class my students have been experimenting with the use of  decorative spheres. These are made from foam and can be covered in all sorts of material, fresh or dried and used to compliment designs. The one in the photo was covered in green sisal and bound with copper wire to compliment the Kermit Chrysanthemums and the metallic colour on the container. I then pushed some of the flower heads into the wet sphere securing them with pins.

The design lasted ten days and then I reluctantly disposed of the flowers keeping the sphere for another time.

Gayle Shell