Spray Carnations. Are you fed up with the same old flowers in the same old vase? Every time I post about carnations on Facebook I get a huge swell in comments. They are a real opinion divider. Some love their cheap, cheerful and long-lasting qualities. Others read this as being tacky and tasteless.
In an effort to elevate this much-maligned flower I’ve been thinking outside the box – so to speak - of ways to style and present this most humble of flower in a stylish way.
Cue flowers arranged on the outside of your vase.
On the outside of your vase?
Well it’s a talking point isn’t it?
Two things to think about
There are two things you need to bear in mind if you decide to have a go at arranging your flowers this way:
- You need to choose flowers with woody, or at least robust stems – the reason for this will become apparent below – this project works really well with spray carnations, carnations and roses as well. Avoid all soft-stemmed flowers like gerbera and tulips as they will be damaged really easily
- Your flowers will need water to survive – so place you finished arrangement in a saucer of water and keep it topped up regularly.
For this project you’ll need
- For this project you’ll need a straight side vase. I recycled a peanut butter jar – its bigger than a jam jar. This was a suggestion made by Becky at Pinks Charming in the Facebook group to support my #FlowerStart classes. Becky writes a lovely blog, so do check her out.
- Two heavy duty elastic bands
- Some decorative twine, wool or ribbon – your choice
- Flowers – I’m using spray carnations because I had them to hand.
What you need to do?
First of all I started by giving my flowers a good drink. If you don’t know what to do you find all the info you need over in this blog post.
The next thing is decide how tall you want your arrangement to be. Are you thinking tall and sleek, or short and petite? One thing to bear in mind is the taller your flower display, is the more unstable it might become – and you don’t want any breakages along the way.
I’d suggest starting low and next time work up in size.
Cut one stem of your flowers to length. I went for 6-8cm taller than the height of my jar. Once you’re happy with the size, use this stem as your template and trim your whole bunch to the same length.
If you’re not sure - or find it easier - check out this recording of my Facebook Live and I’ll talk you through the project.
In hindsight I wished I’d thinned out my bushy spray carnations. Which is exactly what I did for the images accompanying this post. Pinching out the side shoots gave my finished arrangement a much sleeker look and left an area of open space in the centre of my flowers. A bit like a halo, or Polo mint.
Next you’ll need to wrap your elastic bands around your jar. I positioned one to the top and the other to the bottom of my jar. Then, thread your stems under these bands to hold them in place.
The idea is to have your flower heads level – hovering above the rim of your jar. Don‘t worry about any uneven stems at this stage. You can trim those later.
When you’ve worked through your flowers you may need to space them out evenly if you’ve ended up with a heavy coverage of stems on one side of your jar and a big gap on the other. Make any adjustments you want to the height of your ring of flower heads, and then trim off your stems so they sit level with the bottom of your jar.
Take your twine and wrap it securely around your stems and tie it off. Tied your twine firmly, but not so tight that it snaps your flower stems. Snip off your elastic bands. Your arrangement is now finished – don’t forget to place your jar in a saucer of water so your flowers can drink.
If you decide to give this project a go I’d love to see how you get one – tweet me a photo with the hashtag #FlowerStartWorld and I’ll come and say hello.
Until next time, happy flowers!
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