By Vina Medenilla
Proper arrangement and combination of foliage and flowers create a fresh, vibrant look that enhances the ambiance of a setting.
In the previous article, Cris De Leon, a florist from JADD Flowershop and an instructor in Laguna State Polytechnic University (LSPU) Los Baños, gave a brief background on the principles and types of floral arrangements during the Calabarzon leg of AgriTalk 2020 titled “Dainty and Artsy: A Webinar Series on Plant Arts.”
In practicing this technique, flowers and leaves are not just placed in a vessel. There are other things to consider apart from selecting and sticking the flowers together in one arrangement including tools, materials, and proper care for the flowers, which will be covered in this article.
Roles of foliage
The leaves serve as the outline of your arrangement. As per the florist, foliage must be the first thing to be settled in the vase or pot before arranging the flowers. The leaves become the frame for your flowers that will also serve as a guide in terms of placement. De Leon says that this makes the flowers look natural, too.
Flowers for the arrangement
Although there are different selections of flowers, there are types that are commonly used and seen in flower arrangements. Aside from the roses that are widely popular in the country, the long stems of Malaysian mums make them versatile for many flower arrangements as well. Another plant variety that is excellent for this is anthurium because they can last for five to ten days longer than other flowers.
Filling the gaps
To fill the gaps and to thicken the arrangement, there are so-called fillers. “One common error is stuffing too much fillers in one arrangement that makes it dense,” says De Leon. He explains that fillers are only used to fill the negative spaces in between leaves and flowers. One of the prevalent fillers includes the aster plant, which has dainty, white flowers that compliments many flower species. “It is not overpowering even if you put them at a large number in an arrangement, it won’t overpower the main flowers,” De Leon expounds.
Flower arrangement tools and materials
Other than leaves and flowers, there are other things that one will need in organizing flowers. First is containers like baskets where floral arrangements are placed. “One of the popular containers are baskets, these are convenient to carry because they have handles.” Other containers are bamboo frames and clay pots. Next are knives, thorn strippers, plant shears, and scissors as cutting materials. Floral foam and tape are also used to stick and to give water for the flowers.
Care of flower arrangements
When arranging flowers, the first step is to remove the dead leaves to slow the decomposition of stems. This must be done before sticking them into floral foam. After the flower arrangement has been set, the florist says to avoid exposing flowers to the sun so they won’t wither easily. Lastly, to keep the flowers fresh, spray water so they will still look fresh and healthy.
Due to the lesser recreational activities at home, there has been an increasing fascination with plants, De Leon added. This another form of art can also allow people to express themselves and paves the way to spark joy to many individuals, especially during a tough season.
In the continuation of this article, De Leon shared the process of arranging flowers and foliage.