The internet has made it possible to explore and buy flowers from all over the world!
In the 1970’s, fresh cut flowers were introduced in grocery stores of the United States. Some selections offered in the grocery stores include roses, carnations, pompoms, lilies, and Baby’s Breath. These are offered because of the availability, longevity, and price options. Also available are bouquets of mixed flowers.
Many know that flowers are available in most grocery stores, but don’t forget to check out your local florist. Many florists offer single stem purchases. Several of these flower choices are usual but look for selections that are different. Some florists pride themselves on offering the unexpected in flower selections. Selections may include tropical, dried, cacti, or exotic. Any one of these varieties would be wonderful in an arrangement or single in a vase.
Different containers are needed for low centerpieces!
Not all floral designs are in vases. Table centerpieces usually are low on the table so guests can see over the arrangement. I use floral foam to provide stability and nourish the blooms
Here are examples of containers I use for these situations. One example shown is the small white bowl. This bowl can be glass or plastic and in varying colors. I use this type of container at Christmas for small centerpieces. The bowl completes the design element but can be upgraded by placing the centerpiece in a more decorative container.
The other example is to use a plastic liner. These liners are sturdy and can be used with decorative containers or baskets. A liner in a basket is shown in the above picture. Find a liner that sits flatly in the container. Try not to have too much space between the liner and the container, or be too snug. Be careful not to destroy the liner if it needs to be removed. Cut a piece of floral foam to fit the liner.
Soak the foam until saturated. This may take overnight, depending on the type of foam used. After soaking the foam, place it in the liner and secure the liner with pieces of waterproof floral tape. Place the liner in the container or basket. If the liner is lower than the rim of the container, place a piece of styrofoam in the bottom of the container and place the liner on top.
Designing an arrangement begins with the vase!
In this picture, I selected four examples of vases. Starting from the left is a budvase, a fluted bubble bowl, a large rose vase, and a straight budvase.
Many people do not realize the information a designer needs to make a simple choice. What is the occasion? What is the design? How stable do the flowers need to be? How big a vessel is needed to hold the amount of water needed for the arrangement?
A budvase is used for blooms with long stems. These usually are roses or carnations. The sample on the left with the ballooned base is most often used with multiple stems. This budvase holds no more than three stems. The straight budvase on the right is usually used with single blooms. The water of the vase assists in keeping the arrangement stable.
A rose vase is a tall, large vase the usually holds one dozen roses. The vase is tall and holds a vast amount of water to feed the roses. I take waterproof tape and make a crisscross on the top of the vase. This keeps the roses from shifting in the arrangement. The shape of the vase contributes to showing each bloom of the arrangement.
This example of the bubble bowl is fluted. Many bubble bowls have a clean edge. This creates a truer bubble shape. These vases are perfect for tulips. Many times, the stems are less rigid. The vase allows the stems to lay lower on the vase.
In my opinion, these are the most popular styles used by many professionals. These vases are found most often on the shelves of the shop.
A toolbox should contain fastening materials such as tapes and twine!
In my toolbox, I carry a roll of floral wrap tape, and waterproof floral tape in green and clear. I also include a roll of green florist twine. These are the most useful fasteners for me. This is how I use them.
Waterproof tape is used to hold the floral foam to the design container. I also use it to make a crisscross on the top of a vase, such as roses, to hold the stems in place. I keep green and clear in my toolbox. Some clear decorative vases look more elegant when the tape is invisible.
Floral wrap tape is essential for fresh flowers. (The light green tape in this picture.) It is used in many facets of floral design. This tape is a thin strip of crepe paper lightly encased in wax. To start this tape, hold the end between the index finger and thumb. Pull the tape over the item are you are securing. As the tape passes through the finger the friction created activates the wax to secure it to itself. This tape can be used to create blooms from flower petals. These can be used in corsages, boutonnieres, and bouquets used in weddings. Others uses of floral wrap tape include covering florist wire. Covering the wire has many uses. It conceals the wire, keeps the wire from cutting the pieces that are being connected, and hold parts together, such as a bow.
Florist twine has been used for decades, maybe even centuries! This twine is also covered with wax. This allows the twine to be used with water. This twine is used to create the Arm Bouquets you see in beauty events. The greenery is tied to the stems of the blooms and the stems are arranged to create the bouquets. This twine is very strong! It will tie arrangements to permanent fixtures. Be careful, like a wire, this twine can cut and it very painful!