Oh Yeah, Right…Flower School

I have really not been keeping on a very good sched. for class recaps. But I don’t feel too bad because the slots were being filled by nature-full inspiration stations, which are probably more interesting to my readers* than me sticking a flower in a vase anyway. That being said….here are some flowers in vases:

TOP ROW: Beginners Week 4
In which we took leather fern, pink roses, purple wax flower, fluffy white hydrangeas & pink lilies and made a “traditional low centerpiece.” This is done by first attaching the Oasis foam to a plastic “pie plate” with floral tape. I just want to pause for a minute to say that there is nothing more satisfying than slicing through Oasis foam with a knife. It gives me shivers. Once your foam is attached, you submerge it (pie plate and all) in water until thoroughly soaked.

Then with the leather fern, you start camouflaging the foam, starting at table-grazing level, making sure not to waste any little frond (since in “the business” you’re charging for all materials x4). Then come the roses, first in that old North, South, East, West and Straight-up formation, then slid into the foam elsewhere at varying degrees to fill the space. After having done this a couple times, I’ve found to not use the “elbow-to-fist” measurement for the rose length. Instead, having the roses a little shorter leaves less room to be filled, and results in a more compact looking little bundle of goodness.

After the roses came the 3 hydrangea, placed near the top, then the lilies (handled last since they’re the most delicate), with a small cluster at the top and the others place sporatically. With lilies, you must always remove the little pollen anthers, or they will stain everything! Finally – the wax flower is used as filler for any empty spaces. When stabbing anything into floral foam, get it right the first time or you’ll be left with gaping holes that won’t hold anything.

MIDDLE ROW: Intermediate Week 1
Corsages and Boutonnieres. Prom? Gross. Gross and crippling. I was all claw-hand by the end of this excercise. I’ll explain. First you trim the roses and/or orchids(!) to just a li’l stem, slide a 9″ length of floral wire through the ovule located beneath the petals and at the top of the stem (which, according to this drawing, is where the ovaries are. Oof.). The wire is then bent in half on either side of the stem, and floral stem wrap (pretty much the equivalent of sticky green bandage tape) is expertly twirled down the length of the stem/wire to mask it all. Sound easy? It’s not – that’s where claw-hand happened. I also got my shirt caught in it. Don’t ask how.

After doing 3 of those, you do the whole stem wrap process again, this time to attach/mask the wristlet. Oh, but don’t forget to add flair (aka a wee leaf of Italian Ruscus) to each flower, or you’ll have to unwrap and do it again…like me! Then snip the wire-wrapped ends and tie an elaborate four faced bow (watch this lady do it – actually one of the easiest parts of this whole mess) to finish it off.

The boutonnieres were less labor intensive – just the initial stem wrap over wire and then use a stick to curly cue up the wire-wrapped end like a pig’s tail. You would package this up with a special pin for attaching it. Apparently you should also include this pin with the corsage in case the lady wants to wear it on her dress, or Frida Kahlo-esque suit, whatev. Intense, huh?

BOTTOM ROW: Decorating my desk at work
So every week we get to take home our flowers, either in the arrangement or loose. I was extra excited that we got orchids, so I brought them into work, along with a vase, some stones and a little berry twig thing Felicia had given me. And this is what I made! I cannot stress enough how pumped I am for that Japanese floral seminar. Definitely more my speed.

And finally, Intermediate Week 2 ended up just being a review of what we had learned so far, which I at first thought was lame, but once I started fumbling around realized how useful a mid-program review was. Duh.

Now we’re all caught up. At least until class this week!

*I can act like I have “readers,” because apparently – I DO! I’ve been getting up to 50+ hits on some days, and I have no idea who these people are (besides la familia), since every time I talk about my blog, my friends go “You have a blog?” Great job!


2 thoughts on “Oh Yeah, Right…Flower School

  1. Hi,
    I would like to know, after finishing making a floral wreath, how do i attach the ribbon on the edges or sides of the wreath ?


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