You all know that I’m a flower fanatic so creating a fall floral arrangement could hardly be considered “work” ;-) The trickiest part of this task was keeping it simple enough so that the arrangement could easily be replicated by a novice. Since most of our reps in this program at work have little experience arranging florals, I needed to break this one down step by step so they could easily recreate it for their own party. Flower arranging is really intimidating to a lot of people, but it’s really so much easier than most imagine until they see it broken down. The trickiest part for me is learning the textures and strength of the stems/stalks so that you know just how much pressure you can use while arranging and finagling your flowers into your floral foam. But once you’ve done a few, it’s really easy to get the hang of it. I whipped up this beauty that would easily cost over $150 at a flower shop with less than $50 in under 30 minutes. Since we were using the arrangement for our Pink Party, we wanted to keep with the theme, but also make it seasonal. Outside of Breast Cancer Awareness, October is not a month that would traditionally make you think of pink, but with the addition of some orange and deep purple florals in combination with pink buds and fresh maple clippings, our arrangement was both perfectly pink while warm and seasonally appropriate for a cozy, fall wine tasting.
Florals (see my list and tips below)
Oasis Floral Foam
Tip: Almost every big city has a flower district where you will get the best deals on bulk florals. A few quick google searches will lead you to yours. If you live in a small town with no direct access to a flower mart, do some research on what you’re looking for and call your local florist to place you an order. Also, use whatever florals you have around you. Have a tree changing colors in your yard? Persimmons, Oranges or Artichokes? Clip a few small branches or stalks and add them to your arrangement to cut down on cost and to keep your arrangement seasonal, textural and beautiful.
1. Pick your vessel. Remember that big arrangements do not necessarily call for a big vase. When you are using floral foam, you can position stems in from every direction and maximize the amount of space you have. The arrangement we created is a medium/large size and we used a small vessel – a brass julip cup.
2. Using a knife, cut your floral foam to fit snuggly inside. I like to press the foam to the vessel to get an outline of where to cut excess foam away. You want to make sure that your foam does NOT move once it’s inside the vessel so start big and cut more away if needed.
3. Fill your vessel with water. Your foam will soak up a TON of water so make sure that you continue to let it soak in for a few minutes before you get to work and add water as your foam absorbs every drop in sight.
4. ARRANGE! There is no “right” way to arrange flowers, but I always start with my biggest floral or what will ultimately define how large the arrangement will be. Since this arrangement was going to be large, loose, imperfect and “wildflower-esque” I started with the leaves and greenery to define how tall and wide I wanted the arrangement to be. I positioned the left greens a little higher and the right greens a little lower to give it that imperfect and “freshly picked” feel.
5. Next, I added some celosia to give the arrangement some color and height.
6. Now that the back of the arrangement is filled in, it’s time to start adding some of the “wow” flowers or your showstoppers of the arrangement ;-) Dahlias come into season in the late sumer/fall, are so beautiful and make such a big statement. I added a few “dinner plate” dahlias in orange and then started filling in with smaller florals: plum colored dahlias and pink ranunculus.
Tip: you can always clip your florals shorter, but you can never make them longer. To keep the arrangement fun, casual and wild, leave some stems on the longer side. Don’t be afraid to group multiple of the same flower together either. That helps add dimension and keeps the arrangement from looking too uniform and perfect.
7. Once you’ve used all of the “wow” flowers you can fit, add in some extra green clippings to break things up a bit. I added some leaves as well as some extra celosia to pull things together and to make the arrangement look finished and picture perfect :-)
8. You did it! Get ready for lots of compliments!
PS: Don’t let any gorgeous florals go to waste. We filled a pitcher with extra flowers and greens and utilized some on the backdrop behind our wine display too.