Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Floral design is about creativity and following your intuition rather than rules. Here are a few general suggestions that can help novice floral designers achieve their goals.
The first rule is that there are no rules. Follow your instinct. Choose colors and kinds of flowers that you find pleasing, and youíll come up with stunning designs.
Have fun. This is no place for fears and tears. Look upon it as an experience, and not a goal-oriented event. This will prevent you from getting frustrated if things donít always go exactly right. Your first couple arrangements may not be prize-winners, but it gives you a chance to learn the basics without fear of criticism or self-reproach.
Keep it simple. Floral arrangements need not be elegant. Start with easy flowers, such as hydrangeas, sunflowers, or roses from the garden. Find a matching set of glass jars or bottles, and fill each of them with the same kind of flower. When youíre finished, display all of them together on a tabletop or other similar location.
Use floral preservatives. You certainly want your creations to last well. Preservatives increase the vase life of fresh flowers, and are well worth the money and effort. For the most part, commercial products work better than home remedies. Some people may have good luck using ginger ale, but donít take a chance. Use the real thing.
Match the flower type to the style of design you have in mind. By their very nature, some blooms are informal. Take the sunflower, for example. Thereís nothing you can do to make it seem formal. On the other hand, calla lilies are the epitome of elegance.
Anyone can do floral design. Donít let health problems or physical handicaps stop you. A friend of mine has rheumatoid arthritis. But, she doesnít let that prevent her from creating gorgeous floral designs. She is a frequent winner at flower shows and exhibitions. If necessary, buy special pruning shears, scissors, and the like. These are available from specialty stores.
Stretch your budget. Even if you donít have a lot to spend on flowers, hat need not prevent you from creating floral arrangements. Look for inexpensive sources, such as discount stores and supermarket floral departments. Just be sure the stems are fresh and undamaged. For the freshest stems and the best selection possible, call the store to see which day/days of the week that new shipments arrive.
Another way to stretch your budget is to choose long-lasting flowers, or ones that can be used as everlastings. This extends the useful life of the plant material at no extra expense. For example, buy a stem or two of hydrangea, and create a lovely arrangement. Once the rest of the flowers in the design are past their peak, discard them. Save the hydrangea, and dry it for future use as an everlasting. The same is true for globe amaranth and all kinds of statice.
Go out in your backyard, and see what kinds of material you can harvest. Cutting gardens are a great way to save money. In addition, numerous kinds of garden plants, wildflowers, and other natural materials are useful in floral designs. These donít cost you anything.
Donít limit yourself to flowers. Floral material is more than just blooms. It includes herbs, veggies, fruits, cones and seedpods of all sorts, as well as foliage and branches.