Step-by-Step Flower Design
Good afternoon, McLean. After telling you my blog would be appearing regularly in the McLean Patch on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month, I missed a couple of Tuesdays…Life happens. And then, last Tuesday was Valentine’s Day and I was wonderfully swamped with flower design commissions!
As a professional flower designer, and the owner/founder of Flowers by binaifer based in McLean, I want to give you step-by-step instructions for a European-style hand-tied bouquet ~ it takes a little practice (e-mail me for information on my private and small group flower design workshops), but it is very different from a typical bouquet.
Step-by-Step Hand-Tied Bouquet:
My inspiration was the spiral, hand-tied bouquet I created at The Judith Blacklock Flower School in Knightsbridge, London. The spiral bouquet is one of the classic European-style bouquets.
Hand-tied bouquets make wonderful hostess gifts!
You will need:
The color choice is up to you, but a brightly-colored hydrangea tends to show off the other flowers in the bouquet, and keeping the other flowers monochromatic tends to make them more showy. In this bouquet, I have used a lime-green hydrangea (natural, not dyed), and orange/peach flowers.
~ One large-headed hydrangea
~ 3 Gerbera daisies
~ 3 roses
~ 6 safflowers, 3 open and 3 partially-closed
~ 3 billy balls or crespedia
~ If unavailable, any other little flowers can be substituted for the safflowers or billy balls
~ Bear grass
~ String. Ribbon or raffia
1. Remove all the leaves/foliage, snip the stems of all your flowers, and put them in a holding vase or bucket.
2. Hold the large hydrangea in one hand.
3. Gently slide individual flowers through the hydrangea petals, one at a time. Allow the blooms to nestle amongst the hydrangea petals, but be careful not to tear the petals.
4. As you slide the flowers into the hydrangea, keep the stems almost perpendicular to the hydrangea stem. Gently rotate the hydrangea to ensure the individual flowers are prettily spaced throughout the hydrangea. Do not clump all the flowers on one side or in one section.
5. After all the flowers are placed, as you want them, hold the hydrangea and other stems (just below the hydrangea head) and tie with a string. Wrap the string around the stems a couple of times, and finish with a double knot. Tie the string tight enough to hold the flowers in place, but not so tight that you break the flower heads or stems.
6. Tie a pretty ribbon over the string. Make a knot, a pretty bow, and let the ribbon dangle the full length of the stems. Trim the edges of the ribbon @ a slant.
7. Trim the ends of the stems, so they are EXACTLY even. Place back in a vase until you are ready to take it to your hostess. When you arrive @ her house, trim the bottoms of the stems (or the flowers will not hydrate) and place in a vase.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to e-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org. A photo of this bouquet is on my web site: www.flowersby.com
My unique design aesthetic ~ elegant, contemporary, and minimalist ~ has been enhanced by training at the renowned Judith Blacklock Flower School in Knightsbridge, London. My flower designs have been influenced by the work of artists such as O’Keefe, Miro, and Calder. As an award-winning fine art photographer, I have an eye for line, form and presentation resulting in exquisite flower designs.
~ In July 2009, I was selected as one of twelve semi-finalists for the position of Chief Flower Designer at the White House!
~ In March 2010, I was honored to design THE centerpiece for Rabbi Amy Schwartzman's 20th Anniversary Champagne Dessert Reception at Temple Rodef Shalom in Falls Church.
~ Now, I design the flowers every week for the Friday night & Saturday morning services of this temple with a congregation of 1,500 families, a significant number of them from McLean! I incorporate lovely vases and flowers to make even a traditional triangular design exquisite and gorgeous.
~ In July 2010, I designed THE centerpiece for the Atrium of the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center. The centerpiece, incorporating English crystal vases and purple Vanda orchids, was the focal point of a private reception on the upper level of the Atrium.
~ My flower designs have been donated to silent auctions for Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Georgetown and the Great Falls Foundation of the Arts.
~ I have been commissioned to design intriguing flower sculptures for Thanksgiving, holiday, hostess, anniversary, and birthday gifts.
My work can be viewed at: www.flowersbyb.com
My hand-tied bouquets and flower designs are non-traditional: elegant, contemporary, and minimalist. I incorporate vases into my designs, resulting in flower sculptures. My technique included creating swirls and loops of curly willow, often on its side, to hold the flowers, I secure my designs with fine-gauge jewelry wire; fine, cellophane tape; and pebbles.
An eco-conscious artist, I use native, indigenous, or local meadow-grown flowers: blue-cloud larkspur, which looks like dancing purple butterflies. Or, I cut branches of dogwood, forsythia and pear from my own garden. When not possible, I select unusual flowers: red gloriosa lilies, purple Vanda orchids, yellow oncidium orchids, and copper cymbidium orchids. All of my flowers are grown in the U.S. (and, if not possible, Canada or Holland), and each stem is hand-selected to ensure a close-to-perfect flower.