Every year there’s a meeting devoted to flower arranging, and these are always popular. Despite the vile weather this time (thick, thick fog), many members gathered to hear and learn from our expert tutor, Dorothy. There was a box of interesting foliage – which she had gathered from one of the local gardens – waiting to tantalise us.
The foliage had been soaking, outdoors in buckets, for three days.
Dorothy covered many basic tips – when using candles, make sure the wicks are always straight to avoid disaster when lit and don’t forget to leave the area immediately around the candle free of anything that might catch; always wrap a mossed wreath ring in plastic to keep it moist – and demonstrated some beautiful arrangements which were raffled at the end of the evening. This, not unnaturally, caused something of a late run on raffle tickets.
It is fascinating watching how a display starts out
with the sensitive use of props. And then it builds,
using some of that beautiful foliage – eucalyptus is particularly useful here for its grey-green colour (and the undersides are also spectacular, so Dorothy sometimes uses the twigs the other way up). And the display continues to grow and change:
Dorothy then went on to add flowers, and gave us many more useful pieces of advice:
- Take most of the leaves off roses because they take up too much water and the flowers suffer, and also remove the thorns
- Always cut stems at an angle; they take up more water and are also easier to insert in oasis that way.
- Condition the stems of long roses in hot water; for shorter roses, just use tap water and always, always recut them. The water should be deep but not right up to the heads.
- For demonstations and transport to things like shows, always tape the oasis:
A few more tips:
- Cut leaves off, don’t pull them
- When you cut a stem that might show, use a spare leaf and rub it over the cut – the green from the leaf will camouflage the raw white of the cut.
- If you want to use gold, silver or copper spray – do it outside!
Finally, and on a really seasonal note, baubles are interesting additions to seasonal displays. Dorothy mounts them on wooden skewers which are hidden by the foliage – and are completely invisible:
Thank you, Dorothy!
With apologies for the colour quality of the photographs – something about the green and the lighting in the hall didn’t work brilliantly.