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Creative Color Coordination

 

Creating personalized flower arrangements for your home is a wonderful way to express yourself and bring beauty into a room. But, creating the right combination of colors can be daunting. There are four basic color scheme definitions and knowing a little about each will definitely help you as you think out what colors will make create the perfect spotlight for the room you are planning to put your arrangement in. Of course, the first thing you should select are the types of flowers that you want which will dictate to some degree the colors that you chose. A color wheel is a great tool to have as you sit and plan out your wedding.

 

Related or monochromatic colors -This is one of the easiest schemes to create because it takes one color and uses various hues of that same color, such as pale pink, pink, red, dark red. You can prevent this scheme from looking bland by mixing up the types of flowers that you are using within the arrangement. This will help create diversity and great eye appeal as well as keeping with the related theme.

Complimentary Colors – These are colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel. Examples are yellow and violet or red and green. If you think about it, a lot of what we think of as traditional holiday colors are just complimentary colors on the color wheel. You can even take this a step further and use some eliments of the Monochromaic scheme and give a wide variety of visual appeal by using various hues of your complimentary colors.

Triadic Colors – This scheme is a little more difficult and consists of using three colors on the color wheel that appear in equal distance to each other. Or form the shape of a triangle as shown in the image. They don’t compliment each other and may be more difficult to work with. An example of triadic colors would be blue, yellow and red, or purple, orange and green.

Discordant Colors – This color scheme is one of the most difficult to put together and is best left to the professionals. It is made up of two sets of complementary colors. It takes great skill to put these together without ending up with a clash of color

Tools of the Trade

Each profession has it’s own special tools of the trade and floral design is no different. You have got to have the right tools to do the job or the most gorgeous arrangement designed will not work if prepared with the wrong items.

First and foremost, you must have the right cutting tool. Pruners and Stem cutters created specifically for florists, not your every day kitchen shears or worse regular household scissors should not be used. Pruners, stem cutters and floral knives were created to do one task, work with flower and foliage stems. They were designed to give exceptionally clean cuts through any kind of stem material, from the soft delicate stems of the daisy to the hard woody stems or Roses, these shears and cutters will give you the perfect cut every time. And they will not bend or bruise the stems creating the chance for bacteria to get in and ruin your arrangement.

The same holds true for removing heavy foliage or thorns. You do not want to just snap them off with your fingers or use a table knife. Both of these actions will damage the stem, possibly preventing it from drawing water up properly along with leaving bruises on the now exposed stem. For flowers like this, you should use a florist knife to remove any foliage or thorns. This will provide a clean cut that will not invite bacteria to enter or to cause unsightly bruises to form.

The Exotic Stargazer Lily

Would you believe the lovely and fragrant Stargazer Lily is actually related to the every day ordinary onion and garlic plants? It is indeed. This lovely hybrid gets its name from the fact that the flower look upwards. It was developed for and is grow specifically to be used as a cut flower.

The sturdy stem of the Stargazer Lily can grow up to 30 inches tall and is wind resistant. Each stem carries clusters of the big brilliantly hued crimson blossom with bright white tips. The Stargazer is one of the best selling lilies available and makes a stunning statement in any arrangement it is placed in. The striking blooms can measure anywhere from 12 to 16 inches and have 4-5 blossoms per stem.

In addition to adding a splash of exotic color wherever you use them, these oriental lilies are easy to care for and bloom for two weeks or more. I love using these to help create an exotic touch, especially in bouquets. The pink and white Stargazers symbolize prosperity. There is actually a pure white Stargazer although it is not as popular as the better known pink variety. The White Stargazer is considered a sign of purity. Combined together, these two varieties of Stargazer lilies can create an incredible bridal bouquet rich in color and meaning.

One note of caution: Stargazer lilies are toxic to cats, so please keep this in mind if you are planning to use them in arrangements if you have cats in your home or you are creating an arrangement for a friend that may have cats.

The Soothing and Fragrant Lavender

Did you know that Lavender is actually a member of the mint family? This lovely flowering herb is extremely popular. In addition to being known for it’s heavenly scent, the Lavender plant is also very lovely. There are over 36 varieties of Lavender that are available and they are generally broken down as English and Non-English varieties

Non English varieties of Lavender include Yellow lavender and the French Grey blooms along with the more traditional purple color. The blooms of these varieties are generally pineapple shaped. Traditional English Lavender varieties have much more delicate blossoms, tiny flowers on stems and tend to be in the light lavender to dark purple color families.

All lavender varieties are scented and are used in everything from soaps to oils and even in teas. Dried Lavender retains it scent and can be used in sachets as well as floral arrangements.

Scottish Beauty – Heather

One of the most recognizable flower symbols associated with Scotland is Heather. This lovely flowering evergreen is a great addition to any flower arrangement. The tiny flowers are generally available in purple, but also can range in color from white to pink and all the way to red.

Heather is basically a shrub that is made of up of stems covered with tiny leaves. The flower spikes range from 6 to 10 inches tall. Heather blooms starting in late July through November.

Heather is said bring good luck. And Queen Victoria is credited with the introduction of carrying white heather in wedding bouquets for good luck.

Lights, Camera, Action-Showcase Your Arrangements With These Great Lights

As many of you who have watched my videos know, from time to time I add something a little extra to the arrangements to really make them special. Using small lights sometimes known as Floralytes either with plain water or with water beads can create just an incredible one of a kind effect for any arrangement. Looking to add a flickering glow for a romantic dinner, a vivid light to show off a centerpiece or to have some fun with little flashing lights under your arrangements, these little lights will do the trick.

This type of lighting is submersible,so it is sealed and water tight. They add a wonderful dimension to arrangements. These lights are available in a variety of different colors and configurations. You can get some that have a candle light flicker, some that have a steady glow of light and even others that will flash off and on.

These lights operate using a very small battery so you need to plan carefully when you are putting your arrangements together because they will need to be turned on and inserted first before you add your water or water beads. Most of them only have a short battery life, although you can find some that go for nearly 48 hours.

So if you are interested in putting a little added spotlight on your arrangements, consider using these great little lights.

Tiny Treasures–Fabulous Centerpiece Ideas

Have you ever found yourself short of ideas when it comes to finding that perfect hostess gift? Anybody can bring a bottle of wine, or pick up some scented candles, but have you considered creating an adorable little centerpiece for your hostess?

Are you attending a lunch party with good friends? Consider creating a lovely little centerpiece in a recipe box. The picture to the left is a wonderful hostess gift I created using a recipe box and gorgeous fall flowers. The darling little arrangement makes the perfect thank you for having me gift and it’s so fun to create as well. And arrangements like this are perfect for so many occasions. A co-worker’s birthday, a thank you for a job well done, your secret santa, etc all are great candidates for one of these lovely little arrangements.

There are so many adorable things you can find at the craft store to create a flower arrangement in. From little copper pots to great glassware, you can find almost anything you can imagine that would work as a container. Even things that wouldn’t immediately come to mind, like the recipe box above can be used to create something unique. All it takes is a little water proof lining and some floral foam and you are ready to put together something very special. Does your hostess collect something that could also be used for making an arrangement…tea cups, mercury glass, etc? Tin boxes are fabulous for putting together dainty arrangements and if your hostess collects them that makes the gift all the more special. Consider checking out your local thrift stores as well for ideas. A great old sugar bowl flea market find would make a great vase for a kitchen hostess gift.

And if you are at a loss for ideas, just check out my videos. For just $4.95 each, I’ll take you step by step in creating something very special the next time you need a great gift idea.

Heliconia–The Parrot Flower

With the summer heat comes thoughts of tropical flower arrangements and tropical flowers. The Heliconia with its beautifully colored bracts makes a fabulous statement in any tropical floral arrangement you could create.

A relative of the banana family, the Heliconia is also known as parrot flowers or lobster claws because of the unique shape of the bracts. This gorgeous plant is also used for landscaping as well because it can grow to nearly 30 feet. The leaves are paddle shaped and depending on the size of the plant itself range from 6 inches to over 10 feet.

The Heliconia is available in orange, purple, red, yellow, pink, green or a combination of any of these like the photo shown to the left. The real flower of the Heliconia is hidden within the brightly colored bracts which protect its very sweet necter so that only hummingbirds with their long thin beaks can feed on it.

Some species of Heliconia have upright flowers and others have flowers that droop down from the main stem. Those are called Hanging Heliconias.

Tropical Beauty–Hibiscus

Looking to add an exotic touch to your flower arrangement? Consider using the gorgeous Hibiscus.

This large blossomed flower is available in colors of red, pink, white, purple, orange and yellow. The flower is trumpet shaped with five or more petals and range from just over an inch to over 7 inches depending on the species.

There are over 200 species of Hibiscus. Some of them have medicinal uses and some are edible and all of them are lovely.

This lovely floral treasure grows best in hot tropical areas or cultivated in specialty greenhouses so you should expect to pay a higher price when adding Hibiscus to any arrangement you are creating. Hibiscus flowers lend themselves very well to using used in bowls or table displays as the blooms last well without any water. They can be floated in bowls and used with driftwood and other sea shore related details such as shells to make a beautiful arrangement for a summer event. However, keep in mind that they have a very limited vase life, just around 2 days so when using Hibiscus in your arrangements, make sure to always place them out last and keep them in a cool dry place before hand.

Add some pizazz to your summer arrangements with Zinnas

A member of the Aster flower family, the Zinna originates in Mexico and the Southwestern United States. This brilliantly colored flower comes in a great variety of shapes, sizes and even multiple color options that make it perfect for almost any arrangement you could possibly think of. Bloom varieties include single, double, cactus, dahlia style, ruffles and pom poms.

Zinnias are also available in a profusion of colors, multi-colors, and hues. Colors include, white, yellow, orange, red, rose, pink and multi-colored blooms. Zinnas range in size from the miniature which grown to about a foot to giant varieties that can grow to over three feet tall. The Zinnia plant’s leaves are lance-shaped and sandpapery to the touch.

The Giant Zinna has a long stalk that makes it a great choice for vase arranging as well as making it easier to trim for use in other arrangement styles. The Miniature Zinna is the perfect choice for a small container or even a bud vase. Adding a little greenery will bring out the gorgeous colors of the Zinna in any arrangement. They hold up well in hot weather so they are a perfect flower choice when creating arrangements for outdoor events. And with so many colors, shapes and even patterns available, you can create an almost endless variety of arrangements using just Zinnas.

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