Monday, 22 March 2010

Flower Arranging - Creating A Floral Display From Your Own Garden!


Creating a floral design for yourself, or a friend, from your own garden is always a fabulous way to bring the garden indoors!
Here are some tips I've learned along the way. And even if you're into saving some of your flowers and drying them to make wreaths, pot pourri, and especially making fresh arrangements, then I hope these tidbits and advice are of some help!
Don't cut the flowers from your garden during the hottest part of the day. It's best to do this in the morning, after the dew has evaporated. This is especially important if you’re cutting herbs to hang and dry. The heat of the day can wilt the flowers, and sometimes, depending on what variety you choose, they may not be easily revived.
I know, I know... Some people like to use scissors to cut the stems, but think of what that does. It pinches and squishes the sides of the stem together. The flower then cannot take up the water that it requires, which means they won't last as long as they might have otherwise. Cutting on an angle with a good sharp knife is always best. I honestly cringe when I see someone demonstrating this on a TV show, and they’re using scissors!
Have a pail of tepid water right there as you are cutting the stems. This way, especially if you’re outside, the flowers can be placed directly in the water. The reasoning behind this is because air pockets can form in the stem if they’re out of water for too long. Air pockets will block that all important water from rising up the stem and reaching up the flower, which means yet again, that they won’t last as long as they should.
You'll hear all kinds of ways to keep the water clean, (adding saltpetre is my favourite! I've also heard aspirin, a rusty nail, copper penny, well, you name it...!) But in reality, the only true thing that's going to help is by changing the water daily, and of course, re cutting the stems. All this folklore is nothing more than a placebo, really! Amusing as well, but not really beneficial or even practical.
Don't forget about those greens! They always compliment your flowers. It’s like a grand painting without a frame if they aren’t added. If you have some ferns growing nearby, they’re always a nice addition, and Hosta leaves look amazing too, if they aren’t too huge and overwhelm the flowers! They also last very well in water.
As for your container, I always use thin transparent tape, placed in grid fashion on the top, which is an easy way to prop up the flowers in what looks like a professional job! This is called the "mechanics" behind your floral design, and the clear tape can be easily disguised with greens, and even by tucking some moss around the edges which provides a very natural look! I like to tuck in some branches last as they are nice for adding height to any arrangement, even if there’s only a few added. Curly willow, dogwood, forsythia, and others, are always perfect for just that.
Think of creating your own arrangement for that next dinner party! A little floral treasure as a hostess gift for dinners with friends is always a nice touch and certainly appreciated alongside that bottle of wine!

My thanks and gratitude (as always!), to Van Nes Flowers Inc. in Toronto for providing me with such a gorgeous display for this post! Please click the link above, or the photo, to visit their wonderful shop online!
Have fun, and Happy Gardening!


Curbstone Valley Farm said...

How interesting, did you see Noelle's post today, from her Ramblings in a Desert Garden blog? She too was showing a beautiful bouquet of flowers made from flowers in the garden. So glad adding Saltpetre (or any other silly thing to the water) has no benefit! I will switch from using scissors to a knife though...thanks for the tip!

KarenSloan-WallFlowerStudio said...

Oh, that's great! Thanks for letting me know!
I haven't been online since posting here this morning, so have yet to see her blog. Looking forward to seeing which flowers she's used! Betting it's just beautiful!

Unfortunately, I don't have a thing flowering in my garden yet, (daffs & crocus poking up, but that's about it!). Happily my friend (and former boss), Richard, allowed me to use one of his photos!

Noelle said...

What a beautiful bouquet! I love all of your tips and will be sure to use them next time I create a bouquet :-)

KarenSloan-WallFlowerStudio said...

Noelle, thank you! You're so lucky to have such gorgeous flowers growing in your garden, and to be able to choose from at this time of year! I just loved the arrangement you created. The artist in me particularly loved colour choice. Stunning!