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1. Place sunflowers randomly in the container, letting them fall naturally. You may want to save two or three sunflowers to fill gaps as you complete the arrangement. Next, place a few eremeres in the container to create a maximum height for the arrangement. Place hypericum in clumps throughout container.
2. Add yarrow, keeping the blooms low in the arrangement. Add euphorbia.
3. Place calendula throughout, keeping them lower in the arrangement (make sure the stems reach the water and that the water level remains high). Include calendula unopened buds as well to help keep the bouquet loose and natural.
4. Stand back and observe your arrangement from all sides. Fill gaps with larger flowers, such as sunflowers or eremeres for additional height. Pull hypericum back up in the arrangement if the other flowers pushed them down.
5. When the arrangement is complete, gather the entire bouquet in your hands and lift it out of the container an inch or so, then let it gently fall back down. This gets rid of loose petals and airs out the arrangement.
6. For a final touch that ties the arrangement to a tablescape (especially if placed near food), place branched fruit (such as lemons or oranges) along the base of the container.
Tip: If you can't find branched fruit, fake it this way: Stick branches (choose some with leaves that resemble lemon leaves) into three or four lemons. Add height by placing a small rock or overturned pot under the lemon nearest the base of the arrangment.
The delicate varieties and soft colors of the flowers used here create a sophisticated but relaxed arrangement. The bouquet, as shown here, is bursting from its basket, but can be equally impressive at one-half or even one-third its size.Materials:
2 sheets of foil from store-bought potted plants (can also be purchased in rolls at craft or floral-supply stores) basket rectangular piece of oasis, cut to fill basket and extend one or two inches above the topFlowers:
7 peonies 5 delphinium 6 striped roses 5 scabisoa 3 bunches Queen Anne's lace 6-8 veronica
1. Create a watertight seal in the basket: Place one sheet of foil lengthwise across the top of basket, then place the second sheet crosswise on top of first. Press foil down into basket and fold down sides into the inside of the basket. Saturate oasis with water, then place in center of basket, making sure oasis sticks out of the basket a few inches (this ensures good height in the arrangement).
2. Place three to four peonies randomly in oasis, tucking a few near the rim and at the top. Tip: To avoid a pyramid shape, don't place flowers directly in top-center of oasis. Always place the first flowers off-center.
3. Add delphinium: Keep the stems longer than the peonies' to create another level in arrangement; scatter delphinium throughout arrangement. Tip: Don't throw out any unopened buds--you can use these in the arrangement to add more color and a natural appearance. Next, add in three clusters of striped roses--grouping colorful blooms like these together has more impact than scattering individual flowers throughout.
Tip: As the container fills out, cut stems shorter so they fit snugly in oasis. Also, don't be afraid to rearrange flowers to fill gaps.
4. Place scabisoa in clumps in oasis, again using unopened buds. Add remaining peonies and Queen Anne's lace.
5. Arrange veronicas in pairs so they fall away from each other; place them in oasis, making sure they sit low in the arrangement. Repeat with two or three more pairs.
1. Create framework
2. Add contrast, punch
3. Fill in spaces
Filler flowers (white, lavender and pink with small, tightly-packed blooms no larger than 1/2 inch and petals of different shapes; about 4 small bunches of each color)Preparing the container:
To keep the stems in place, we used oasis, a dense, firm foam that holds water. A rectangular piece about the size of a cobblestone can be purchased from a gardening store for about a dollar.
Cut the oasis with a knife to a size that will fill the inside of the container.
When using a porous container, line the inside with plastic to prevent water from leaking out or evaporating. We used a large, heavy-gauge plastic garbage bag. Make the lining 8 layers thick by folding the bag two times and placing in container. Fit the oasis inside. (See picture at right.)
Using scissors, cut the edges of the garbage bag so that it is level with the top of the container and cannot be seen from the side.
Soak the oasis with water.Treatment of stems:
It is recommended that most stems be cut on a diagonal with a knife, preferably under water, just prior to being placed. The idea is to allow the least amount of contact with the air so as not to dry out or cauterize the ends.
In general, flowers on branches, such as lilacs, need to be split or frayed before being placed. This can be done by tapping a hammer on the end of the branch until it splits, and working the hammer up the branch until about 3 inches of the stem is frayed. (See picture at right.)Placing and Arranging Flowers:
1. Create a framework
2. Balance the arrangement
3. Add fillers
Create the perfect centerpiece for a special gathering or celebration by using a fruit or vegetable as your vase. We show you how with a casaba melon, but you can also try a variety of squash. This type of arrangement looks great when several are set along a table.Materials:
casaba melon (or any semi-solid fruit or vegetable)
small, sharp knife
2 clear plastic cups, one inside the other to double strength
spoonFlowers used in this arrangement:
Ranunculuses (large handful)
Sweet peas (large handful)Preparing the container: