Gaillardia vs Craspedia

What happens when Craspedia (billy balls) isn’t available? Or perhaps your client likes the idea of a fun texture like craspedia, but the yellow is a bit too bright. Maybe you are concerned about the amount of pollen on the craspedia and allergies?
Laurie of Fleurie Flowers has a solution! She does a bit of work on the gaillardia flower & Voila, a faux Craspedia!

gaillardia flowers

gaillardia flowers

gaillardia flowers

gaillardia flowers

Fleurie Flowers, Reedley, California

Fleurie Flowers, Reedley, California - Wedding Flowers

Pretty clever, right? I like how it ads a softer touch than the craspedia would have to the bouquets.

Thank you, Laurie!

Fleurie Flowers
Reedley, California

Floral Design 101 :: A Tulip How-To

Awhile back I was freelancing at Flora Nova in Seattle and we were discussing how to stop tulips from growing in bridal work. I’m sure most of you have experienced this phenomenon, right, of the Tulip growing out of your arrangements? Ok, so it isn’t really a phenomenon. Tulips are phototropic – meaning they grow and move in response to searching for light. Of course, this is partially what I find intriguing about the tulip, a floral design changes daily as the tulip moves and grows. Yet, this is not necessarily something I want to happen when including tulips in my bridal/bridesmaids’ bouquets. Christiane of Flora Nova showed me a trick she had been taught, to slice the stem right below the bloom to slow the growth of the tulip. I was skeptical, does it really work? Plus, you all know I like a good test/challenge — so here goes! I picked up 20 stems of extremely fresh & tight tulips from the wholesaler and tried out this technique.
See what happens —

Flirty Fleurs - yellow tulips in sleeves

Two bunches of tulips fresh from the wholesaler. I will mix the two bunches and divide them evenly for the test.

Flirty Fleurs - Yellow Tulips

Tulips all stripped of bottom foliage and cleaned with fresh clips on stems.

Flirty Fleurs, How to stunt the growth of tulips

How do you stunt the growth? Simply cut under the bloom with a sharp knife. Be sure to not go all the way thru the stem! I sliced about 1/3 of the way into the stem.

Flirty Fleurs - How to stunt the growth of tulips

Another angle, you can see I slightly push down and slice below the bloom – this slows the growth of the tulip.

Flirty Fleurs - Yellow tulips in blue jars

Freshly processed tulips are place in clear water (no flower food)

Flirty Fleurs - yellow tulips how-to care for tulips

Day 3 – Cutting the stems does work! You can see the 4 tulips on the right side are smaller than the 3 on the left.

Flirty Fleurs, Tulip Treatment

Tulips on Day 6, You can see the bottom 4 are smaller than the top 3. The bottom 4 are the tulips which were cut.

Flirty Fleurs - Tulip How-To Test

Day 6 – Top 3 have not been cut, bottom 4 are cut.

Isn’t that something? From what I can see with all the tulips it looks to be best to slice the tulip when it gets to the stage where you want to slow the growth. A few of the really green, tight tulips that I sliced are not growing and opening – the good side of that is that I’ll have tulips to enjoy for at least two weeks at home!

Measuring Aisle Petals

I decided to get a second use out of all those peach roses we used for the Peach Rose Color Study and do a study on how many roses it takes to line the aisle. I measured out a 12 feet long space and made the width 10 inches. I used to say the lining of the aisle would be 6″ wide on each side, but when I actually pulled out my measuring stick I realized it is closer to 8-10″ wide!

The Aisle Measurement - 12 Feet Long by 10 Inches Wide

The Aisle Measurement – 12 Feet Long by 10 Inches Wide

measuring aisle petals

1 Rose Per Foot

measuring aisle petals

2 Roses Per Foot

measuring aisle petals

3 Roses Per Foot

measuring aisle petals

4 Roses Per Foot

measuring aisle petals

5 Roses Per Foot

measuring aisle petals

6 Roses Per Foot

measuring aisle petals

7 Roses Per Foot

measuring aisle petals

8 Roses Per Foot

measuring aisle petals

100 Roses spread over 24 inch wide by 12 foot long space.

Lessons Learned:

  • It takes at least 3 roses per foot to make an impact on the aisle (this is for lining the aisle, and not scattered down the center)
  • Looks better to layer the colors instead of doing all one color as it adds depth

  • How To :: Wire a Tulip

    how to wire a tulip

    Have you ever tried to wire a tulip? Doesn’t work too well, does it? Well, Holly Chapple taught me a new trick! Start with your tulip of choice…

    how to wire a tulip

    Cut the tulip at the desired length, leave enough stem to work with..

    how to wire a tulip

    Typically what happens when you try to wire a tulip is that it’ll rip through the stem or snap the stem. The solution is to tape the stem first!

    how to wire a tulip

    Next take the wire through the tulip, the base layer of tape will hold the wire in place

    how to wire a tulip

    The wire is securely in place ontop of the tape

    how to wire a tulip

    Tape over the wire and finish the tulip off

    Hints & Tricks of Floral Design

    Recently I sent out a twitter request & email to our mailing list, asking for input on seven different questions. Thank you to everyone who sent in their replies!!

    Here’s Question #4:
    Share with us and the Flirty Fleurs readers a special hint or trick you use at your shop…

    Best way to remove stickers from vases? Goo gone! It’s the miracle adhesive remover.
    Gerry & Rebecca, Petal’s Edge Floral Design, Washington DC & Alexandria, Virginia

    ……….

    Clean Oasis floral glue spills with…. Oasis floral glue. Dip a wooden skewer in the glue and wait for it to become tacky then dab and roll away the glue spills with the tacky skewer. Works on tools, fabric, plant material and even your skin.
    Christine de Beer, My Creative Workbook/ Floral Lifestyle Design, Vancouver, Canada

    ……….

    Fast Orange Hand Cleaner – even removes sap after working with holiday greens!
    Melissa, Primrose Floral & Event Design, Massachusetts

    ……….

    I’m always fighting oriental lilies and all that pollen. It goes everywhere. One of our freelancers thought us to use pipe cleaners to clean the pollen off. Amazingly enough brushing the petals with pipe cleaners gets rid of all the pollen dust.
    Alexandra, Exquisite Designs, Chicago, Illinois

    ……….

    Crowning Glory takes pollen stains off lilies and other flowers. Spray it on after you remove the anthers. The yellow stains drip right off. Plus it keeps the lily fresh. Nothing else I’ve tried works.
    Kate, Lilies and Lavender, Pennsylvania

    ……….

    One of the best setups I’ve seen for designing wristlet corsages, Francoise’s husband created a corsage bar out of PVC Pipe and base board. Francoise can line up the wristlet bases, glue in flowers and leave them on the bar to dry.
    Francoise Weeks, Oregon
    corsage bar

    corsage bar

    corsage bar

    Sunflowers; Care and Handling

    Stages of a Cut Sunflower*
    Stage 1) Cut at this stage in the field to decrease petal damage. This is the first stage of the Sunflower, which we call “Tight.”
    - When received at this cut stage the most important action is to re-cut the Sunflower and put the flower in a vase/bucket that has at least 5 inches of fresh water.
    - Takes approx. 2-3 days to go from Stage 1 to Stage 2.

    Stage 2) This is the second stage of the Sunflower cut which we refer to as the “Opening Stage.” Be prepared to have stems within the bunch open inconsistently (as seen here).
    - When received at this cut stage the most important action is to make sure the vase/bucket has fresh water (must be changed every 2 days) and is maintained at a consistent temperature (between 55º – 70º F).
    - Takes approx. 2-3 days to go from Stage 2 to Stage 3.
    Stage 3) Ideal Stage for Sunflowers as they should have a more uniform cup-stage appearance. This third stage is known as the “Blooming Stage.”
    - Make sure water has been replaced from initial uptake (Stage 2) and re-cut to accelerate opening stage.
    - Takes approx. 5-7 days to go from Stage 3 to Stage 4.
    Stage 4) This is the fourth and final stage of the Sunflower and is subsequently named the “Open Stage.” Once it reaches the full blown state, petals will begin to fall off.
    - When Sunflowers reach this stage, they should be kept in low to moderate temperature (55º – 70º F), so they last longer and age less quickly.
    - Takes approx. 2-3 days before petals start falling off.
    * From Dos Gringos’ Website

    Wholesale and Retail Flower Handling* from Kansas State Florists Association
    Sunflower, Helianthus annuus
    Processing Care
    • Unpack flowers from shipping box as soon as possible.
    • Unwrap flower bunches.
    • Remove any foliage that will be under water.
    • Recut flower stems under water 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 inch. Use warm water, 100 to 105°F,
    preferably acidified to pH 3.5.
    • Hydrate flowers in warm water, 100 to 105°F, preferably acidified to
    pH 3.5 for 30 to 60 minutes or until flowers, leaves and stems are turgid.
    • After hydrating, place flowers in floral preservative and then in cold
    storage—32 to 36°F and 80 to 90 percent relative humidity.
    Display Care
    Check flowers daily, refresh preservative, discard diseased and damaged
    flowers, and recut stems.
    Other Comments
    Water stress problems are common and are made more obvious by the
    flower head weight. To ensure flowers are properly hydrated, use a
    hydrating agent, cut under water or use warm water.
    Vaselife
    6 to 12 days.

    How to design a Ribbon Wrist Corsage by Angie Strange of Posh Floral Designs

    Wrist corsages are one of the most popular options for personal flowers for weddings.
    Many times I would start designing them and think that they looked like flowers a high
    school boy would give his date for homecoming. I decided I would try something new
    and design the wrist corsage on a ribbon and not on an elastic band thus my ribbon wrist
    corsage was born. So here’s a step by step instructional on how I make my basic ribbon
    wrist corsage.

    Step One: Supply List
    -Floral Shears
    -Floral Wire Cutters
    -Ribbon Scissors
    -Wire
    -Floral Tap
    -Glue Gun with extra Glue sticks
    -1 ½” Satin Ribbon (enough for the wristlet and a bow)
    -Flowers (we used three spray roses)
    -Any extra items (We used gilded Gardenia Leaves)
    supplies needed to make a wrist corsage

    Step Two: Wire all your flower pieces and floral tape them
    How to wire flowers for a corsage
    how to wire a corsage

    Step Three: Design your floral wrist corsage and tape all floral pieces together to create
    your beautiful floral wrist corsage
    how to construct the corsage

    Step Four: Cut a foot long piece of Satin Ribbon and some more for a bow
    ribbon bow for a wristlet corsage

    Step Five: Secure the ribbon to the designed floral corsage with hot glue by putting a
    small strip of hot glue on the taped stems. Don’t glue the stems on the bottom but at the
    top. Gluing at the top side will allow you to place the ribbon over the stems and then
    making it look nice so that you cannot see the stemmed exposed.
    how to glue together a wrist corsage

    Step Six: Glue your favorite style bow at the top.
    tie the bow on a wristlet corsage

    Step Seven: Finish Product.
    wristlet corsage on display

    Thank you, Angie, for this wonderful step-by-step guide on how to create a wristlet corsage! We truly appreciate you sharing your technique with Flirty Fleurs readers.

    Contact information:
    Angie Strange
    Posh Floral
    Dallas, Texas
    http://poshfloral.com/

    Floral Design 101 :: How to create a flower girl wand

    How to make a flower girl wand:
    First I start with a bouquet holder which I soak thoroughly in water. I then glue the bouquet holder inside a bamboo stake. The bamboo is hollow which is perfect for inserting the bouquet holder and can easily be cut to the length you desire.

    Next I use the Design Master Tack 2000 and spray it evenly over the bamboo, I do this at the top and do do it in sections as I work. Next I start wrapping the ribbon tightly around the bamboo:

    The tight ribbon wrap has been completed around the bamboo. Design Master Tack 2000 dries quickly which is wonderful when working on these projects:

    Next I position the flower girl wand in a vase to hold it in place while I’m designing the flowers. I start with some “placement flowers” and work on the shape I desire:

    Keep filling in the flowers until there are no holes in the flower girl wand design:

    Next, select some ribbon streamers and tie this onto the top of the wand where the bouquet holder rests on the bamboo. Tie these ribbon streamers on very tightly and they will hid any last showing mechanics. I do recommend spraying Crowning Glory on the finished floral design and letting it dry completely before placing in your floral cooler:

    In addition to the Crowning Glory I used Design Master Tack 2000 and Oasis Floral Adhesive Glue for this project:

    Floral Design 101 :: Prepping Containers

    Pin Cushions, Kenzans, Floral Frogs:
    Pros:
    -Floral frogs work in an assortment of containers; tall, narrow and shallow dishes
    -Fresh water to the flowers
    -Creates a natural and loose arrangement
    -They can be re-used
    -Non-toxic

    Cons:
    -Personally, I don’t always find them easy to design in
    -They can be expensive per piece
    -Not always easy to find in bulk on short notice

    They come in a variety of sizes:

    Simply place the flower frog in the vase, some vases may need some of that floral goop (can’t think of the name??)

    Each flower is given breathing room and can fall naturally from the design:

    Chicken Wire:
    Pros:
    -This is my new favorite for creating a grid, it’s very quick!
    -Inexpensive to buy a roll of chicken wire, cheaper than floral frogs at least
    -Incredibly easy to prep vases with chicken wire
    -Holds flowers securely in place for transport
    -Creates a loose styled arrangement
    -Flowers can drink fresh water

    Cons:
    -Doesn’t work in clear vases, need a container that camouflages

    Containers lined up and being prepped:

    You can see how nicely the chicken wire holds each flower in its place and spreads them out a bit:

    Ranunculus taking shape, each has some breathing room.

    You can see how nicely the roses are spaced as are the ranunculus and peonies. I did not use any chicken wire in the baby’s breath vase:

    This part of the arrangement was created with an Oasis 6″ Sphere, chicken wire would not work in the slender vase and I wanted to create a very rounded arrangement of peonies:

    Tape Grid:
    Pros:
    -Best way to grid a clear glass container, no mechanics show
    -Works on a variety of odd-shaped vessels
    -Doesn’t hurt the containers
    -Inexpensive
    -You can decide how tight or loose of a grid you’d like to have
    -Transports great, flowers rarely shake loose out of this grid
    -Fresh Water to the flowers

    Cons:
    -More time consuming to prep than chicken wire or pin frog

    Works great on a shallow dish:

    Prepping lots of cube vases:

    Arrangements quickly take shape with this type of grid:

    The final arrangement, stems showing in vase:

    Floral Foam:
    Pros:
    -Works in a variety of shapes, including these very shallow lomey trays
    -Holds flowers securely in place for transport
    -Necessary in a lot of large scale designs

    Cons:
    -Bad for the environment, it doesn’t decompose
    -Bad for us to inhale the dust that comes off the dry bricks
    -Time consuming because they have to be glued into containers
    -Costly between the floral foam and glue prices
    -Flowers can get ‘clogged’ up and not drink in the water
    -Many flowers do not like it at all, including stock and hydrangea

    Prepping 95 lomey dishes with floral foam:

    Glue pan with pellets melting:

    The finished design, a little bit of foam goes a long way in creating a good sized centerpiece:

    Curly Willow Grid:
    Pros:
    -Great for achieving a natural designed arrangement
    -Quick to prep containers

    Cons:
    -Takes some practice to get used to designing into the curly willow and creating tension to keep flower stems in place
    -Can be time consuming
    -The rustic look isn’t for all clients
    -Promotes bacteria growth in the water