The Basics – Equipment and items required for flower arranging
For my first blog it seemed fitting to cover the basics by looking at the kit required for flower arranging, including some of the sundry items you may want to purchase.
The first thing of importance in your kit is a good set of secateurs, but you can also use a knife for softer stems and you can even use a glass/file cutter and even a hammer if you wanted. To keep organised buy a decent tool box to keep everything together; it is amazing how many little bits and pieces you will somehow collect together once you begin flower arranging!
The next task is to look at the mechanics the arrangements you want to produce, leading onto the types of other equipment required. Starting with the funny green stuff called Oasis, which acts like a sponge and keeps your flowers alive. Oasis is also the best medium for arranging fresh plant material and it comes in many shapes and sizes (cones, blocks, balls, cylinders, coloured oasis) and most come with matching (in size) plastic containers/dish. You can also buy dried Oasis (which you do not soak in water before using…) for artificial and dried flowers.
Secure you Oasis in place with Oasis tape also referred to as Anchor tape; useful for keep your arrangement together. Another method for doing this is with Oasis fix, a sticky gummy mouldable material which you place underneath your Oasis to hold it within the container. It may also be useful to purchase a glue gun if you think you may be performing lots of intricate work requiring extra strength, but florist glue (in a tube) is also effective.
Another useful basic item for your tool box is a selection of wires for arranging leaves into unusual shapes, for arranging Roses/Orchids into corsages/flower jewellery and also wires to create strength in softer stemmed flowers. It is useful to have a stiffer selection of wires for strength for heavier items and also softer more manageable wires for intricate work like flower jewellery or garlands. Coloured wires can also be used decoratively and formed into spiral shapes and then inserted into arrangements; it is amazing how effective this can actually look.
Once you get into flower arranging you will find yourself collecting ribbons from presents and string from packaging, these are all useful for holding your arrangement together and even for creating a pretty bow on a hand-tie bunch of flowers. Ribbons and string are very useful and can add an extra pizzazz if in a contrasting colour or texture to your flowers/foliage. I especially like natural raffia for adding a shabby chic look to your arrangements!
Next we will look at containers, which are difficult to cover in so little words, the possibilities are endless here. You can arrange in special shaped Oasis containers, baskets, gift bags filled with an Aqua Pac and water, glass vases, saucers, but even in recycled household items like tin cans, bottles and even fruits like watermelons and even Pumpkins (great for Halloween!) You can cut your Oasis to fit and just use your imagination for the rest.
Other items you buy if you want to build on your kit are mainly decorative items like fake diamonds, flower glitter and flower glue for adding sparkle and also coloured florist spray for adding colour to petals and leaves. You can even buy special water dye which will colour your flowers after they have fed on the dyed water; great for creating bright blue roses from experience, which look amazing!
It will take time to build up your kit therefore we wouldn’t suggest buying it all at once. Take your time, buy as you need and reuse where possible, it is astonishing what you can gradually gather up over time. Pixi Flowers can offer mini starter kits or florist equipment, (just email for details) but for now we hope you enjoyed reading our first blog.