Selection and preparation of plant material for arrangements

Selection and preparation of plant material for arrangements

Choosing Flowers and Foliage

  • Review your design plan before selecting plants, ensuring you choose varieties that align with your intended style, colour scheme, and arrangement size.
  • Select flowers with different shapes and sizes to create visual interest within the arrangement.
  • Opt for flowers and foliage at different stages of bloom. This will extend the life of the arrangement as blooms open sequentially.
  • Don’t overlook the importance of greenery. Foliage can add texture, fill gaps, and provide a contrasting backdrop for the flowers.
  • Wherever possible, choose seasonal blooms as these will be fresher, more affordable and more sustainable.

Conditioning Plant Material

  • Fresh is best: flowers should be cut freshly and conditioned immediately.
  • Remove all leaves beneath the water line as they can rot and create harmful bacteria for flowers.
  • Trim the stem ends diagonally with a sharp knife rather than scissors, as this will allow for better water absorption.
  • Hydrate the flowers completely before arranging - they should be left in a cool place, ideally for several hours or overnight, to fully drink up water and firm up.

Preparing the Arrangement

  • Use a suitable container for your arrangement. The size, shape, and colour should be appropriate to your design and the setting where the arrangement is to be displayed.
  • Before arranging, add floral preservative to the water to prolong the life of the flowers and foliage.
  • Use florist foam for most arrangements as it holds flowers in place and provides water. Soak it thoroughly before using.
  • Consider the desired height and width of your arrangement. As a rule, the arrangement’s total height should be 1.5 to 2 times the height of the container.
  • Start by creating a greenery base. This gives structure to your arrangement and helps to hide the florist foam.
  • Place flowers starting with the largest blooms first, moving towards the smallest ones, evenly distributing colours and shapes throughout the arrangement.

Remember, creating floral arrangements should be a creative and enjoyable process. Practice makes perfect, so don’t be discouraged if your initial attempts do not go as planned, just continue learning and trying new styles and techniques.