What "stuff" do you need for flower arranging?
So, you’ve decided to try your hand at flower arranging. You’ve got a garden with lots of bushy shrubs which you're going to pick. You’ve decided to buy supermarket flowers because they are affordable and easy to get hold of with your weekly shop. But what about all that other “stuff” flower arrangers use. What is it? And where can you get it?
If you’re arranging flowers in a vase all you’ll need is a water-tight container. But if you’ve decided to arrange your flowers in a smaller dish for ease you’ll need to use flower foam. I’ve written a handy blog post about using your flower foam correctly – which is worth a read.
First things first. Where can you buy your own block of flower foam? You could try your High Street florist, garden centre, or craft shop. Or to save you trawling the shops you could buy it online*. The options online are numerous. But to start out you might like to buy a small quantity (either a single block, or four blocks) , or if you’ve really caught the flower arranging bug – you can buy it by the box (20 bricks at a time).
When you buy your flower foam you’ll see it has cutting lines marked. Two of these divide the brick into three equal-sized pieces and smaller lines mark the centre point of the foam if you need slightly larger half-blocks to work with.
When you arrange with flower foam, you need to set it inside a water-tight container. You can use anything – a cereal bowl, a butter dish, an old margarine pot and so on. For ease flower arrangers use round plastic dishes, with a reserve inside that is designed to take a one-third piece of flower foam. So you know that your foam will fit. It won’t wobble around, or need lots of chamfering down to size. An added advantage is that these dishes come in dark green – so they ‘disappear’ against your greenery.
Although the purpose-designed flower dishes have small wedges inside to grip hold of your flower foam, I’d always advise taping your foam in place. This will give your arrangement added security in the event it gets roughly handled between being made and then set in its final resting place.
I use pot tape (or anchor tape to do this). It’s waterproof sticky tape. I favour the dark green tape as it blends in well with your flower foam and plastic dishes. It comes in two widths 6mm and 9mm and on long reels of 50m or shorter reels of 10m (wide tape only). If you’re just starting out I’d suggest buying a small reel of the wide tape – but if you’re arranging flowers all the time go for the large narrower reel. Using narrow tape takes up less space on the surface of your foam, so you can add in more flowers and greenery without hitting a wide strip of tape.
You’ll also need a pair of scissors. There’s no reason why you can’t use your kitchen scissors. After a while, though, you may find they’re not strong enough to cut through the woody stems of your flowers and you’ll need more robust snippers.
Once you’ve conditioned your flowers and greenery – you’re all set to get arranging. I’d love to see what flowers you’ve arranged this week. Tweet me a photo @flowerstart_
Until next time, happy flowers!
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