Flower School: Beginning of Advanced

Ok here we go now!

TOP ROW: Advanced Week 1 – Tall Centerpieces
According to Le George, this was supposedly the hardest arrangement we’re going to do, but I actually found it easier than last week’s wreath centerpiece. Just more proof of how backwards I am! Ok, so for this arrangement, we started with the same basic method as the traditional centerpiece, only this time you cut the foam in half, stack it in the pie plate, then push chicken wire into the foam on three sides (then tape it and soak). The chicken wire is used because this is a circular arrangement, meant to be viewed from below, so the flowers have to be arranged at 360º, and still be secure.

We used pink roses, pink carnations, Belladonna (Delphinium), white Snapdragons (aka Antirrhinum coulterianum), “Nikko” Blue Hydrangea, and our old “filler” friends, purple wax flower and pitusporum. This arrangement thrives on symmetry, and the best way to acheive that is to place each kind of flower at different levels (lower, mid, upper, and top) but spaced so that they are never directly above or below another of the same kind. This is done differently for each flower depending on how many you have. For example, I had 24 roses (easy to space mathematically) but only 4 Snapdragons and 10 Delphiniums. So it can get a little challenging. After placing all the major flowers (with the Hydrangea last, cut to be lower than the rest), the waxflower and pitusporum fill the leftover holes.

In a more finished state, this centerpiece would be on top of very tall vase filled with water for weight and random flowers for looks. But in this case, we were working on top of black water buckets so as not to break the lower level flowers. Fancy!

SECOND ROW: Advanced Week 2 – Wreath Centerpieces, take 2
Ugh – did I not say I disliked doing these? Sometimes I think M. George has us repeat projects so he doesn’t have to think of something new for us to do. Ah well, at least our flowers he mixed it up a little with the flowers. This week I used hot orange roses, sunflowers, green mums, brown oak leaves and orange Day Lilies (aka Hemerocallis Fulva). I really love orange Day Lilies and Hydrangea, because they remind me of the flower gardens at my parents’ old house. They’ve started new gardens at the Lake House, which include lilies, but no enormous Hydrangea bushes yet. Again, I found the correct placing of flowers in the wreath centerpiece strangely difficult. The end result is still good, but I need to acheive that second nature of placement that I can summon in other arrangements.

These photos were taken by my teacher since my camera was behaving weirdly, so there’s a BONUS photo of me hard at work in class – such skill!

2 BOTTOM ROWS: Home arrangements
With the extra flowers, I made an arrangement for home and work. I used a few extra Day Lilies and green mums, as well as unused white Hydrangea, Green Spider Mums, red hypericum berries, and Red Rover Mums. I even gave a free flower arranging lesson at work to one of my coworkers who had received some purple orchids.

So only 2 classes left until I’m officially certified! In the meantime, I get a week off for Thanksgiving, and a weekend long Japanese Flower seminar. Stay tuned!

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