Saturday, November 5, 2011

Shortcuts to Spring Bouquets

Take advantage of the season's blooms right now. British floral designer Gayle Drummond shares her tricks and tips to create stunning (and simple) arrangements plucked directly from the garden.

Making a Posy

To make a posy (a classic English hand-tied bouquet), Gayle uses long-stemmed flowers such as snapdragons, roses, tulips, and lisianthus. Eucalyptus and viburnum add various shades of green. The clear glass container showcases the posy’s distinctive spiraled stems.

Step 1: Starting about 8 to 10 inches from the top of the flowers, remove all foliage from the stems. Carefully strip off any thorns with a sharp paring knife.

Clustering the Blooms

Step 2: Hold a cluster of several flowers in your left hand, at the midpoint of the stems. Gradually add other blooms, three stems at a time. Place each addition of flowers on the right and angle the stems to the left, gradually forming a spiral. As you add the rest of the flowers, give the bouquet frequent clockwise quarter turns.

Step 3: At the center of the spiral, tightly wrap the stems with florist tape.

Cut the Stems

Step 4: Along the bottom, cut stems straight across.

Swirl and Submerge

Step 5: Set the posy in a glass vase filled with water and flower preservative; cut and remove tape. Change the water every two or three days.

Tips From Gayle

• Use a plentiful amount of blossoms and greenery, and combine plant materials with different colors, textures, and shapes. Use fern fronds, ivy, moss, and eucalyptus to frame the flowers and to fill out arrangements.

• Look for blooms with unbruised leaves and buds that are just starting to open. Recut all stems, and stand them in a mixture of cool water and flower preservatives until it’s time to arrange them.

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