Saturday, September 25, 2010


When you plan and plant your flower beds, the best beds utilize the three basic flower shapes.  Your arrangements should also have a variety of these three shapes:  elongated or spiked, round, and filler.  Elongated, or spiked, flowers give a feeling of movement, and they help to develop the structure of the arrangement.  I put these in first when arranging; they give the arrangement its line.  They include lupine, bells-of-Ireland, larkspur, snapdragon, stock, salvia, tall  bearded iris, gladiola, delphinium, and monkshood.  Round flowers will naturally become the focal point of your arrangement.  They join the lines, stopping your eye and getting your attention.  They include dahlia, geranium, rose, gerbera, marigold, zinnia, scabiosa, daisy, sunflower, peony, and poppy. Filler, or transition, material softens the arrangement, gives it fullness, and brings the arrangement together, equalizing the arrangement.  These are the feathery, or airy flowers or leaves, such as baby's breath, cosmos,Jacob's ladder, fern leaves, spider flower, bachelor's-button, and bush delphinium.  Flowers should be picked just as the buds are opening, either early in the morning, before the sun is up, or late in the evening.  These are times when the moisture and sugar content are high in the blooms.  Cut the stems at an angle with sharp scissors and plunge them immediately in warm water while your arrange.  When you arrange, re cut the stems under water.  Be sure you remove all foliage that would be under water to keep  your water clean and give the bloom the longest vase life as possible.  (If you have time, "harden off" the flowers by placing in a cool, dark area for several hours or overnight before arranging).  And, of course, if you want the longest vase live, don't place in full sun or in the draft of an air conditioner.  You can also add a floral preservative to the water.  One of the things that causes the flowers to wilt quickly is the bacteria that builds up in the water.  So changing the water every day helps with this a lot.  The preservative inhibits the build up of this bacteria, prolonging the life of your arrangement.  I enjoy arranging, and the more I do, the better I become.  I always study arrangments from the florist when I'm out and about, and experiment when I can with different color combinations and sizes and shapes of flowers.  If you've got blooms in the yard, a nice arrangement is always a beautiful addition to any room.  Happy arranging!
Susanne Holland Spicker Mother, Grandmother, Homemaker, Gardener, Teacher, Photographer

Passion is defined as the love of, or the object(s) of affection and emotion. I am passionate about family, friends, flowers, food, photography and fabulous music! This blog is dedicated to those loves.

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