Floristry is a time honoured skill that has been bringing beauty into homes since ancient Egypt. According to Wikipedia there is evidence for floral vase arrangements as early as 2500 BCE!
When people find out I am a florist their response is almost always positive. With many saying how much they would love to do that! We totally agree! Floristry is a wonderful occupation (although not as glamorous as people think, we do a lot of cleaning). Whilst not everyone gets to be a florist day to day, we feel that with some practice, everyone may learn a few of the skills we use. We would like to share with you how we go about making a hand-tied bouquet. In the hopes that you may always be surrounded and reminded of the beauty of nature.
There are a few ways to make a hand-tied bouquet but in this post we will focus on a round (ish) spiralled bouquet. This basically means ensuring that all of your stems rotate in the same direction as each other. This gives a neat and attractive finish. It ensures that even the stems look good in the vase!
It is helpful to keep in mind what vase you would like to display your flowers in before you begin. This helps you think about the proportions but don’t get too caught up on it. It is ok to challenge the rules sometimes and it depends on how formal you are trying to be.
It is also a good idea to collect your tools and clear a small work space. All you really need is your vase, water, some cutters, some twine and scissors.
What Flowers Do I Use!?
This is entirely up to you but there are a few things you may like to consider.
- Try to choose blooms where the stems are a similar length so that they all reach the water at around the same time. Of course a little variation is fine and you may like some blooms to sit up over the others.
- Consider the strength of the stems, particularly if they come from your garden as some will “flop” faster than others. This may effect your choice of placement.
- Do you want a mix of blooms or all the same type?
- Would you like a mix of colours or would you prefer to keep them within the same tonal range?
- How long do you need them to last?
- Are you making a big bouquet or a little one?
- Consider what style you would like to make. We won’t go into that in this post but consider if you want a looser style or a tighter one? Do you want to group your flowers in colour or type or would you like them evenly spread? Do you want one or two focal blooms to highlight or lots of similarly weighted blooms?
- What foliage/greenery if any would you like to use.
Let’s Get Started
- Clean the foliage from the bottom half of your stems, both flowers and greenery. You may need to clean a little more later but you don’t want to strip them bare at this stage. The idea is to make them easier to handle but also to keep the water as clean as possible. A lot of foliage decomposes quite quickly once submerged in water. The bacteria that may breed as a result will shorten the life of your flowers.
- In an ideal world if you have the space you can lay your flowers and greenery out side by side. Keeping like flowers together. This makes it easier to see what you are working with.
- Begin with one of your stronger stems that you would like towards the centre of the bouquet and hold in your less dominant hand. Then picking as you see fit add either another flower or some greenery, place it on top of the first stem. Do this for another few and make sure that your stems are all rotating (pointing) in the same direction.
- As you add more, you will need to turn the bouquet in your hand to ensure all sides are being considered. You may spiral anti-clockwise or in a clockwise direction, as long as all the stems go the same way. It takes a little bit to get used to but once you get going it is not so difficult.
- Stop and take a look at what the bouquet is actually looking like as you add more. Often blooms will slip from their place as you work and “gaps” will appear. Should this happen you may be able to “shuffle” them back or you may need to add another bloom into the space. This may be done by loosening your grip on the stems and feeding a bloom into the bouquet. Making sure to feed the stem in the same direction as the rest.
- Whilst you will need a firm grip on the bouquet, be careful not to grip the bouquet too tightly that you break any stems.
- As you rotate the bouquet you may want to think about the heights of each bloom. Some flowers continue to grow even once cut for example, Tulips. You may want various blooms to be at different levels or you may like to have them all around the same. Just consider that you will probably not be viewing your bouquet from directly overhead (unless you have a very short vase). A more natural graduation of flowers often looks better.
- If you have any particularly weak stems then place them toward the middle of the bouquet so that they can be supported by surrounding stems.
- As you get to the outside consider if you would like any greenery sitting slightly lower to hide some of the stems or if you are happy to leave the stems in view.
- Whilst a little bit of trial and error is normal try not over handle your flowers as they can get bruised and broken.
- Once you are done, firmly tie your bouquet with some twine to secure it.
- Fill your vase with water.
- Judge if you need to cut the stems shorter for your bouquet to sit well in the vase or if it is fine as it is. And place the flowers in the vase.
Don’t stress too much about it being perfect on your first attempt. Flowers are such a natural delight that their beauty will help cover any technical difficulties you had.
Sounds too much like hard work? Then order one of our hand-tied bouquets and we will do it all for you! :)