I have talked in previous blogs about being thrifty, green and having a ‘Make do and Mend’ Philosophy; I am a ‘Greenie’ at heart I guess you could say how appropriate for a florist. I am always interested in looking at new ways of working and using unusual containers for my flowers and applying these techniques to an event like a wedding. Not that there is anything wrong with the traditional instruments like the normal glass vase, or Oasis within a plastic container because I use them on a regular basis and will continue to do so. Occasionally it is nice to experiment and the results achieved can sometimes be very spectacular and surprising; also at very little cost to the maker.
By using recycled containers like tin cans or glass bottles filled with garden flowers and a pretty ribbon, you can create a shabby chic type arrangement for an event. You can use tins and bottles in different sizes to create dimension, or leave some tins with a tea light inside and light up when the sun goes down. It is amazing how a display like this can brighten up a table at hardly any cost and you can spend the money instead on fine wine, or little gifts for your guests.
To avoid using Oasis, try making a grid for the flowers to sit within instead; this can be done with flower arranging green tape or a mixture of tape and garden/kebab sticks placed at the lip of your container. Chicken wire placed inside the container can also create a good structure for holding up arrangements.
Another good way of avoiding Oasis is to place cut flower heads directly into some water within a shallow bowl with floating candles; add some pebbles or glass nuggets to the water for even further interest. Gerberas and orchids are the perfect flowers for this, but it is definitely possible to experiment with other flowers. You can also curve ‘Calla Lilies’ inside a Goldfish style glass bowl with some florist grass. This makes an amazing contemporary arrangement and can be done with very little water; although I have seen this done without water and you can do this if you are not concerned about the flowers lasting.
Contemporary looks are very popular and quite often this style will use non-traditional flower arranging methods and will incorporate wires and more modern looking flowers. Thick Wires can be shaped into hearts, providing a frame like structure for flowers to be attached onto with wire; it is also possible to weave beads and sisal onto this body. Wire structures can be constructed on a miniature basis and placed on a stick and either inserted into a hand-tie or container type arrangement, these mini structures also fit nicely within a piece of flower Jewellery – a wrist corsage. It is also possible to construct on a larger scale and then use within a non-traditional topiary tree (placed on a piece of industrial pipe) and planted into an industrial type pot and weighted with sand/concrete.
For a vintage Victorian look try collecting floral tea cups from car boot sales, or charity shops, items like this look great with miniature flowers placed loosely within for a shabby chic style. For a wedding it is possible to cheaply collect enough mixed teacups and saucer for all guests as a different style take-home gift, you can then serve after dinner tea/coffees in these cups as well. If doing this you catering venue will need to rinse the cups and remove the flowers, or you can just float rose petals and water in each cup instead. Vintage candelabras will complete the look and it is possible to wire trailing ivy and flowers around the structure of the piece, the flowers can even be inspired from bridal bouquet. You can buy or hire candelabras like this from a florist, but it is also possible to find them cheaply at auctions, car-boot sales or even charity shops if you don’t mind mixing and matching items together. Very little flowers are needed for this vintage look because the items used provide a key focal point for the display, so you flower bill will be substantially less than a pure floral type arrangement.
Happy flower arranging!