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flower arranging

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays, I fall prey to the hearts, flowers and chocolate theme of the day.

It’s not too late to sign up for my Free Tutorial on How to Arrange a Dozen Roses in a Vase. Your sweetie will be so surprised to hear you arranged the flowers and not a florist…plus, you will save a ton of money. The cost of roses, especially RED roses, goes way up during the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day. You will pay a lot of money for red roses from most florists.

Just enter your email address in the box on the top right side of this website, where it says, “Sign Up for our Free Tutorial” and start designing your dozen roses in a vase!

If you like this tutorial, sign up for a trial version of the https://www.flowerarranging101.tv site where you will find several other Valentine’s Day floral centerpieces. You watch a video of me showing you how to create the same floral design. I make it super easy for you.

Orchid Arrangement for Valentine's Day

Orchid Arrangement for Valentine’s Day

Have a great day!

Is it Spring yet?

 Pink Tulip

If you are like me, you just can’t wait for spring to come with all the bursts of color that it brings. So the next best thing to Spring is to brighten up your house with flowers! And one flower in particular always seems to signify Spring to everybody and that is the Tulip. While they are most abundant in Spring, white, pink and red tulips are pretty much available all year long now. If there is another color you want, just check with your wholesaler or florist. There’s a pretty good chance they can get it for you. They may be coming in from other countries, but there is a steady supply of them all year long.

Believe it or not, tulips are part of the lily family. Close relatives include lilies, lily of the valley, Gloriosa lilies, hyacinths, grape hyacynths and star of Bethlehem. Tulips are classified into 15 divisions, but the most popular as cut flowers are single, double (peony flowered), parrot (ruffled and multicolored), lily flowered (pointed petals) and fringed (serrated petal edges).

Tulips are an interesting flower in that, they continue to grow even after they’ve been cut from the plant. Tulips bend and reach for light as they continue to grow. It is not uncommon for a tulip to grow up to an inch a day! And if you are looking to add a splash of spring to your table or hutch, tulips make great centerpieces. Here at Flower Arranging 101 I have several wonderful videos using Tulips.

White Tulips

Flower Arranging-Floral Design-Flower Sculptures-Flower Arranging Classes

I just returned from Las Vegas where I conducted my first Extreme Floral Design Workshop. It was a BLAST and everyone left feeling like they had elevated their skills tremendously. I taught how to make Floral Chandeliers, Floral Wall Art, Floating Floral Designs and Floral Sculptures. The sculpture that we did was a Scottie dog made with three different types of chrysanthemums.

These are very time consuming to make…when I have done them alone they have taken 5-6 hours to make. Because of the class size and time allowed I had teams of 4 work on each Scottie Dog Floral Sculpture. Each team was given 1 1/2 hours to complete their floral sculpture. I gave each team a head start by providing the form already shaped for them. This can take an incredible amount of time to form and shape the design.

Here are some of the student Scottie dog floral sculptures…each one was different.

One of the student floral sculpture designs.

One of the student floral sculpture designs.

Another student Floral Sculpture- Scottie Dog

Another student Floral Sculpture- Scottie Dog

Another Floral Sculpture Scottie Dog done by the students

Another Floral Sculpture Scottie Dog done by the students

Another Student Floral Sculpture - Scottie Dog

Another Student Floral Sculpture – Scottie Dog

Student floral sculpture-Scottie Dog

Student floral sculpture-Scottie Dog

These are a lot of fun to make and even more fun to display. People generally go crazy when they see one of these floral sculptures and this particular one was life sized!

I also made one in my hotel room on Monday, January 20, 2014 in hopes of delivering it to Ellen DeGeneres. I drove to Burbank from Las Vegas with my mom to try and get stand by tickets for her show on Monday only to find out they didn’t have ANY stand by tickets for Monday because it was a holiday. I found out where to deliver the dog, Receiving at Lot 10. Here is a photo of me leaving the pooch with Edgar at Receiving who promised me it would get to Ellen by 3:30 PM that day. Haven’t heard anything though, so I don’t know whether she actually received it or not….too bad, because these sell for $600-700.00 each.

Angie Zimmerman delivering a Scottie Dog for Ellen  DeGeneres 1/20/14.

Angie Zimmerman delivering a Scottie Dog to Ellen DeGeneres 1/20/14.

Safety Tips for Decorating With Live Greenery

Nothing smells better than fresh evergreens at Christmas time. The heady scents of pine is one of the most recognized scent of the season. But unlike decorating with fresh flowers, there are some precautions that you should always keep in mind when decorating with live evergreens.

First and foremost, keep an eye on the moisture level of your evergreens. The best way to check this is to bend the needles. If they are flexible and do not break when you bend them, then your evergreen foliage still has a good moisture level. Evergreens can dry quickly. Brown or shedding needles is one of the first signs that your greenery needs to be changed out or removed all together to prevent a fire hazard. So other tips to keep in mind are to not put fresh greenery need space heaters or heater vents. You should also avoid placing them in sunny windows.

This also is true for greenery that you might use outdoors. Fresh wreaths can be susceptible to over drying and a possible fire hazard if they are on a glass door in direct sunlight for most of the day.

Flower Arranging Tips – Floral Foam

Hi There,

Did you know that Floral Foam comes in different varieties?  Many different varieties including Standard, Instant, Springtime, All Purpose, Extra Firm and Designer.  These are fresh floral foam varieties and each variety has a different density.  The Springtime is the softest and is meant for soft stemmed (Spring) flowers such as tulips and daffodils.  The Standard or All Purpose is a medium density and made to accomodate most flower choices.  The Extra Firm and Designer foam is the heaviest density and is meant to hold heavy branches such as Manzanita or Curly Willow.  Most foam comes in blocks, called bricks and are about the same size as a brick.  The Designer Floral Foam is super BIG, 6″ x 9″ x 12.75″.  I use the designer foam a lot.  It can be cut down to smaller sizes, but if you are using a lot of flower stems or really heavy stems, this is the only way to go.  I use this floral foam whenever I am making LARGE floral pieces.

Bricks of styrofoam can also be purchased for use with silk flowers.  They are usually the same size as regular floral foam bricks 3″ x 4″ x 8″ and can also be cut down if needed.

Flower Arranging Tips – Frogs

Cymbidium Orchid Stem in Cylinder Vase

A small frog was used to hold the cymbidium orchid in place

Hi There,

You may or may not know about flower arranging frogs.  They have been around for a LONG TIME.  Over the years they have changed a bit.  Typically what you can buy now is a heavy round base with lots of nails sticking up.  The frog goes on the bottom of your vase or container and you stick the flower stem ends into the nails.  The nails hold the flowers in place, exactly where you want them to go.  A very old fashioned frog, you may be able to find at garage sales, is a glass round base with holes in it.  It works similar to the nail frogs, except you put each flower stem into one of the holes in the glass frog.  Martha Stewart has dedicated pages in her magazine to frogs and the different varieties and how to use them.  If you are using a frog, you don’t have to use floral foam.  So it is a way to get your flowers to do what you want them to do without using floral foam.  They work the best in a clear glass vase where you want to see the flower stems.  The frogs come in different sizes and are always weighted.  This is so they stay at the bottom of the vase or container.

If you are trying to put flowers in a vase under water, it is imperative that you use a frog or the flowers will float to the top of the water!

Think Outside of the Box

Hi There,

So, when you are thinking about flower arranging, there is absolutely no good reason not to think about unusual containers for holding flowers.  I mean things like shoes, boxes, jewelry boxes, jars, drinking glasses of all shapes and sizes including margarita glasses, martini glasses, wine glasses and specialty shaped glasses.  Just remember if choosing a container like a shoe, you’ll have to use a liner or something else to hold the floral foam and water….you wouldn’t put floral foam or water right into a shoe….did I need to say that???

Flower Arranging Tips – Things that Make Your Life Easier

Hi There,

In previous posts I’ve talked about floral foam and frogs.  Other “mechanics” that will make your life easier include things like floral tape, liners and pins.

Foral tape is used to hold floral foam in a container.  It can also be used to hold flower stems together, as with a bridal bouquet.  You can use floral tape to make a grid on the top of your vases, which allows you to position your flower stems where you want them to be and keeps them there.

Liners often come with a basket or similar type container.  You can also buy liners in different sizes to fit different containers and you can make your own liners using a heavy gauge plastic.  Either way, you would use a liner in a container that would not normally hold water.  The use of the liner allows you to make a floral arrangment in a container that won’t leak.  I use liners in baskets, terra cotta pots, galvanized buckets and unusual containers like boxes and shoes.

There are two different kinds of floral pins that come to mind.  The first is called a “greening pin” and is used to hold things in place in a floral arrangement.  An example would be the use of greening pins to hold moss in place.  The other type of pin is a boutonniere or corsage pin and they are used to hold a boutonniere or corsage in place while being worn on someone’s clothing.

Flower Arranging Tips – Changing the Water

Hi There,

I’m often asked how often someone should change the water in a vase arrangement.  The answer is every day!  At a minimum, change the water every other day.  If you really want to make sure your flowers last, give them a fresh cut at the same time you change the water.

If you have a floral arrangement in floral foam, you don’t change the water, instead you add water.  Depending upon the temperature conditions where you are, you may need to add water every day.  The goal is to keep the floral foam saturated because that is what is delivering the water source to the flower.

Flowers need water like we need air!

Flower Arranging Tips – Process Your Flowers

Hi There,

This is a step you should never overlook, and I’ll bet most of you do overlook this step!  When you get flowers, either from your yard, the grocery store, etc., make sure to process them.  At a minimum, give them a fresh cut, remove any foliage that will fall below the water line and put them into water with flower preservative.  If at all possible, dip them in a hydrating solution after the fresh cut and before putting them into water iwth preservative.  My favorite hydrating liquid is called “Quick Dip” and it is made by Floralife.  In an absolute ideal world, you would then put your flowers in a refrigerator overnight….I know, this is a step you will probably never do.  I caution you though, if you are attempting to do a big floral job, like for a wedding, this is a step that should not be bypassed.

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