We’ve been blown away by our Anniversary floral crates. So much so that we’ve asked our friend Claire the florist to put together a step by step guide to show you how easy they are to make and is something you can do at home.
Step 1: Once you’ve brought your flowers home, fill some buckets or containers with cool water and flower food. Flower food really does make a difference, sachets can be bought from your local florist or the little packets that are attached to the supermarket bouquets are ideal too. Your flowers will have been trying to take in water during the journey home and this is how air locks occur – resulting in wilted flowers. Each stem needs to be re-cut and placed into water. Cut approximately 1-2 cm off the bottom of each stem and cut on a 45° angle. This removes any dehydrated stem and allows a larger surface area in which the flower can take in water. Additionally, cutting the stem on such an angle will allow the flower to enter the foam cleanly with a point, making a smaller hole in the foam, so it won’t wobble around. Allow your flowers to drink for a few hours at least beforehand as they will need time to rehydrate.
Step 2: Once you’re ready to start, allow the floristry foam to soak in water before making it secure in the crate. The crates are deep so I lifted the flower foam on a box and covered the base with a strong plastic liner. There are four blocks of flower foam taped inside a shallow dish. The dish is handy so that when the flowers are watered, the excess doesn’t run onto the table top and keeps the foam surrounded with water so the flowers stay fresher for longer. The foam is secured with floristry tape. This is a strong waterproof tape that holds everything in place. If you are stuck, and only have sticky tape to hand, it could be used as quick fix but it will perish overtime. You may be wondering why I didn’t fill the whole crate with foam. I only used a small amount as once the flowers are arranged in the crate, it is really quite heavy and becomes difficult to transport. If the crate was arranged with flowers in situ, you could make it much larger.
Step 3: Foliage is added first of all. This helps to give the arrangement shape and allows you to set how big the arrangement is going to be. Using a variety of different foliage gives your display texture and interest. You could also use any interesting foliage you have in the garden, just cut a few stems and pop it in vase a few days beforehand. If the foliage wilts, it won’t last in floral foam. Generally, the stronger and sturdier the leaf (eg laurel, eucalyptus, ferns), the chances are it will be a foliage you can use.
Step 4: Next start to add your focal flowers and taller blooms. For this display I used these lovely pink oriental lilies as they are so striking and complimented the red roses I wanted to use. As the lily heads start to open, they are perfect for a focal flower. This is where the eye is drawn first as you look at the display. Normally, you would use one of the larger headed blooms to be placed in the middle. When adding stems, imagine that they are all originating from the centre of the foam, beneath the focal flower. Keep this in mind when adding the stems and each time they will flow and look like they are placed naturally. Although at this the point the display does look a little bare, we won’t fill in with lot of foliage just yet. We want to make sure that the flower stems have enough space in the foam and we can add a little more foliage later on to cover the foam. Ideally, no foam should be showing when the display is finished.
Step 5: As this arrangement was for a Ruby Wedding Anniversary gift, I wanted to include lots of red rose – 40 in fact! I started to add the roses, making sure that each stem was pointing towards the core centre of the arrangement. Make sure that you add flowers to the sides of the arrangements too. If all the flowers are placed at the front it will look flat, it won’t appear to be balanced and there is a real danger that it will actually topple over!
Step 6: I was making a traditional arrangement so kept the roses neat and evenly spaced throughout the display. I added a little September Flower to soften the look and also helped to cover the remaining floral foam. As useful as it is, it’s not pretty so we don’t want to see any foam once the display is complete. Forty roses were used overall to celebrate a 40th Ruby Wedding Anniversary.
Remember to keep watering your flowers. Something this size may need watering a couple of times a day.