ACADEMY FOR LIFELONG LEARNING (ALL) Lone Star College CyFair – March 6, 2013 Peggy Meeker, Instructor Basic Floral Arrangement InstructionsWhether youre a gardener or just enjoy having fresh flowers around, learning a bit aboutflower arranging can help you make truly beautiful flower arrangements that will amaze yourfriends and family!The 3 Main Types of Flowers: There are 3 main types offlowers in any arrangement:1. Line Flowers -- 2. Mass Flowers -- 3. Filler FlowersLine Flowers, also sometimes called Focal Flowers, are tall and add height and width to yourarrangement. Most will have buds or flowers growing up a center stalk. Some examples offlowers that work well as line flowers include Delphiniums, Snapdragons, Bells of Ireland,Gladiolus, and Liatris. You can also use branches like willows and others as line flowers.Mass Flowers, or Intermediate Flowers, are what give your flower arrangement its mass(makes sense!) and these are the flowers you should begin your arrangement with. They areusually the focal point of the bouquet and as far as colors go, will incorporate the main colorsof the arrangement. Some flowers commonly used as mass flowers in flower arrangementsinclude Roses, Carnations, Tulips, Iris, Lilies, etc.FIller Flowers are just this, flowers that fill in the spaces left by the Line and Mass flowers.They are often stems with a lot of little flowers, like Babys Breath, and Heather, or greeneryand foliage that are used to round out your flower arrangement.Create a simple but beautiful flower arrangement in a basket/container. Design amonochromatic arrangement featuring lots of different shades of the same color, or use allwarm or all cool colors. Select three to five types of mass flowers. These flowers generallyhave a single medium to large flower per stem. Choose one main type of flower to feature inyour arrangement, and use more stems of this type than the others. Additionally, select one ortwo types of greenery stems and one type of filler flower.Things you will need: 1. Floral foam, the type that absorbs water, such as Oasis brand. 2. Sink or bucket of tepid water 3. Floral basket with plastic liner 4. Clippers/scissors to cut the stems
Instructions: 1. Mix a packet of floral preservative into the water before cutting the flowers. 2. Soak the foam for about 15 minutes for a small piece and overnight for several bricks in a sink or bucket filled with tepid water while you prepare the flowers. 3. Hold the stems of the flowers and greenery under the water and give each a diagonal cut. Aim to make the total height of the arrangement between two and tree times as tall as the height of the container. Clean any leaves off the bottom several inches of each stem. 4. Drain the excess water from the floral foam. Do not compress any part of the foam; just let the extra water drip off. Cut the foam with the knife so that it fits the container and sits up taller than the container rim. Secure it to the bottom of the container with a loop or two of floral tape. Stick small pieces of greenery all around the foam to cover the rim of the container. 5. Select an odd number of stems of the main type of flower you have chosen for your arrangement. Sink them about an inch or two into the floral foam. Rotate the basket as you evenly distribute these main stems, striving for a mounded or domed shape, with the flowers in the center of the basket standing a little higher than those on the sides. 6. Add the other mass flowers, taking care to spread them evenly throughout the arrangement. Keep building a mounded shape, and use an odd number of each flower. Spread the colors evenly through the arrangement; leave room around any closed buds so they will have space to open. 7. Place stems of greenery and filler flowers evenly throughout the whole arrangement. Do not overpower the main flowers with too much filler.Securing Your Flowers in Your Container - Floral Foam vs. Flower FrogsWhen youre creating flower arrangements, sometimes its nice to be ableto secure the flowers the way you want them, as opposed to letting themjust float in the vase. To achieve this, some people like to arrange theirflowers using Floral Foam, while others prefer to use Flower Frogs. Some flower arrangers doprefer flower frogs over floral foam as they dont cause the stems of the flowers to breakwhen inserting them into the flower arrangement, and they allow the flowers to more readilyabsorb water. Floral foam comes in many shapes, hearts, crosses, circles, rings and thestandard bricks.
Strive for Balance in Your ArrangementOnce youve thought about how youll incorporate the different types offlowers, picked your colors, and selected the flowers youll use, youll wantto begin arranging your flowers. As you work, one of your main goals is tomaintain balance to your flower arrangement.Basically, what is meant by this is that you should try your best to use the colors and shapes ofyour flowers in your arrangement so that no one flower, color, shape, etc. takes over thebouquet.This doesnt refer to balance in number though; its more about balance in appearance. Forexample, dark colors appear "heavier" to the eye and take more focus than lighter colors, andthe same is true for large vs. small flowers.As a result, youll likely require lighter and smaller flowers (depending on your flowerselection) to achieve a balanced looking arrangement as opposed to the darker andlarger/taller flowers.Tips for Making Your Flower Arrangements Last as Long as PossibleIts always a shame when a lovely flower arrangement starts to look, well, not so lovelyanymore. Here are some tips you can use to make the flowers in your arrangements andbouquets last as long as possible.Keep Your Flower Arrangements Cool - This includes both keeping your flower arrangementsin a cool location as well as keeping the water theyre in cool.Make sure to place your arrangements out of direct sunlight (I know they look pretty there,but they wont last as long), as well as away from large lights, heating units, fireplaces, etc.With regards to the water, change it often, and use the coldest water possible. Also, if youmust put your flowers in that sunny window (or another warmer location) slips a few ice cubesinto the water every so often to keep things cooler.Pick or Buy Your Flowers When they’re Young - If you can, try to select flowers that arentfully open yet. This will allow you to watch them open, and, more importantly, make them lastlonger. Read the dates on the flower packages.Feed Your Flowers - Florists give you flower food with your flowers for a reason, it helps themlast longer! The nutrients in the flower food help flowers take up more water, provide themwith necessary nutrients, and help kill bacteria that may form in the water.
Re-Cut the Stems - If its possible, re-cut the stems of your flowers once you get them home,preferably under cool water. Make sure though to use a very sharp knife or clippers, notscissors. You want to use something that will cut the stems but not crush them as this willdecrease their ability to take up water and thereby decrease their lifespan.When you re-cut the bottoms of your flowers, try to cut about 1 - 2 in. off the bottom andmake the cut at a sharp angle.Eliminate Plant Material in the Water - Use your sharp knife or clippers to also remove anyleaves, stems, and flowers, etc. that will be under the water in the vase/container. Leavingthese on will help promote bacteria growth, which, as we now know, will shorten the life ofthe flower arrangement.Be Gentle - Whatever youre doing with your flowers, be gentle. Dont drop the flowers intothe vase or container as when they hit the bottom this can bruise their stems. Gently set theminto the arrangement. Arrange them delicately for the same reason. Plus, you dont want toaccidently break any of the stems.