Hand-tied bou­quet

Im­press friends and fam­ily! Cre­ate your own hand-tied bou­quets us­ing the sim­ple but ef­fec­tive spi­ral tech­nique.

NZ Gardener - 365 Days of Flowers - - Floral Design -

No din­ner party, fes­tiv­ity or large gath­er­ing is com­plete with­out flow­ers! Cre­ate your own tied posy to give to friends or din­ner hosts. Flow­ers and fo­liage are ar­ranged spi­rally and the stems trimmed to one length. If bal­anced per­fectly, the bou­quet should stand up­right on its own, on a ta­ble or flat sur­face. The beauty of this ar­range­ment is that it ar­rives at its des­ti­na­tion per­fectly de­signed with no fur­ther ar­rang­ing needed by the re­cip­i­ent.

SIM­PLE BOU­QUET

1. Choose a se­lec­tion of flow­ers. Re­move fo­liage from the lower stems. 2. Be­gin by group­ing a few stems in in your left hand, hold­ing them with your thumb and fore­fin­ger. Start with three flow­ers of the same va­ri­ety. Then, turn­ing the bou­quet as you go, add more stems (dif­fer­ent flow­ers), in­sert­ing them at an an­gle, where your thumb rests, so that the stems at the bot­tom do not meet up – they splay out. This pro­vides a domed ef­fect to your bou­quet. 3. Con­tinue adding flow­ers and fo­liage on an an­gle, ei­ther to the out­side of the bou­quet, or within it to cre­ate a bal­anced ef­fect. 4. When full, tie the stems to­gether with string, then cut the stem ends to the same length.

EX­OTIC STEMS

Use fo­liage and ex­otic stems in bou­quets as fillers or as a fo­cal point. Here, sil­ver-leafed tilland­sias are mixed with green fo­liage and the globe-shaped seed­heads of Scabiosa stel­lata. The lat­ter is easy to grow, pro­duc­ing soft blue flow­ers and funky, ev­er­last­ing seed­heads, which look ter­rific in ar­range­ments.

PRE­SEN­TA­TION

For a beau­ti­ful fin­ish, tie a silky rib­bon to your hand-tied bou­quet. Once your de­sign is com­plete and the stems tied with string (see in­struc­tions, left), sim­ply cover the se­cured bind­ing point with a rib­bon that matches the flow­ers.

FO­LIAGE FILLERS

Adding fo­liage to ar­range­ments doesn't just fill it out – it cre­ates shape, tex­ture and pro­por­tion as well as height, if nec­es­sary. Fo­liage can also be used for colour when in­clud­ing stems like red-leafed cot­i­nus, ev­er­green mag­no­lia with their vel­vety-bronze un­der­sides, and sil­ver-leafed dusty miller (senecio). Eucalyptus leaves, seen here in both round and nar­row forms, have a pleas­ant aroma, as do the leaves of scented gera­ni­ums. Al­chemilla mol­lis is an ex­cel­lent filler, too, with its lime-green fo­liage, as is the red-leafed and red-stemmed Pho­tinia 'Red Robin', which is of­ten used as a hedg­ing plant.

MIXED BOU­QUET

With its enor­mous dome-shaped form and ab­sence of leaves, this stun­ning bou­quet draws the eye to its fab­u­lous riot of colour. The spi­ralled tech­nique is used here (see pre­vi­ous page for in­struc­tions). The bot­tom of the stems may need gen­tle squeez­ing in or­der to be in­serted into the vase, but the bou­quet needs no fur­ther ar­rang­ing. The pat­terned vase com­ple­ments this mixed bou­quet per­fectly. Flow­ers in­clude roses, car­na­tions, ra­nun­cu­lus, freesias and ger­beras.

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