Every year we have one meeting which is devoted to flower arranging, and it’s always very popular – indeed, the flower arranging classes at the shows are some of the most hotly contested ones. (Big summer show coming up, remember…)
We are very lucky in that Dorothy Round is now living in the village, and has indeed joined the club’s committee. She’s a hugely talented, highly experienced flower arranger, having done flowers for members of the the royal family as well as Lichfield Cathedral – and now for us.
This is the start of her seaside-inspired arrangement, using the colours of the coast around here – greys, blues and pinks. She demonstrated several, including hand-tying bouquets, and along the way we gained lots of useful tips, starting right at the beginning:
- Sink your oasis in a bucket of water, don’t wet it by putting it under a running tap.
- Think of a shape and do an outline first.
- Don’t forget the back of your arrangement – it needs to look good too
(Some eryngium – sea holly – going in here.)
- Always cut stems at an angle; it makes them easier to insert into the oasis, and they take up more water that way.
- Bash the last inch or so of hard stems and put them straight into deep water.
- Pop the ends of new growth into boiling water and count to 20.
- And recut the stems just before you put them into the arrangement.
- Don’t forget to wash the leaves!
- Take the thorns off roses – they increase the need for water, as well as being uncomfortable.
- If your flowers are flagging, wrap the heads in dry newspaper, recut the stems and repeat the boiling water tip above – especially good for roses and tulips.
- It’s good to have pale colours and blues on the outside; they get lost in the middle.
- Don’t forget to step back from your arrangement to see how it looks from further off.
- Is your arrangement done? Go away, talk to someone, have a cup of tea and then go back. Is it still OK?
Dorothy’s most certainly was!