Sweet & Simple Flower Design Armature
In the Flowerhandlers Design School (Focus on Shapes Course) we teach students the benefits of making and using simple flower design armatures for quick and easy fresh flower arranging. It’s a fast mechanism to use for creating freestyle arrangements in all kinds of vases with assorted flowers and mixed bouquets.
Students secure curly willow, red dogwood tips, or other soft branches into knotted bundles, flared wands, or whip shaped structures (shown below) that will hold flowers in place as their design develops.
The trick to designing in these structures is to align the shape of the armature with the shape of the vase. Then the armature offers support for your insertions of flowers and foliage so you can get the desired shape of your arrangement.
Once an armature is created can be used, rinsed, dried, and reused time and time again in the same or similar vase. But how do you get control of a mixed bouquet design if you don’t have access to any material for an armature?
There is always something in a mixed bouquet that can be used as a simple but effective armature to control your fresh flower arrangement. In the bouquet shown above there were four strong and sturdy Bells of Ireland. By using the rubber band that held the bouquet together to softly bind the bottoms of the Bells we have made the perfect armature for this column vase.
The next step is to separate the flowers into like groups and take stock of what else is in the bouquet. So you can decide what will be used and in what sequence. In this case (because the vase is tall and skinny) we will not use the chrysanthemums (pom poms) – they are too uncontrollable.
Our general rule of thumb is to work with the largest blooms first and then continue to the smaller blooms. But for this vase we take an opposite approach – inserting all the filler flowers (purple statice, seafoam statice, and green button poms) in and around the Bells of Ireland, evenly distributing colors and textures around the vase.
Once the fillers are in place the design holds pretty still in the vase and a layer of feature flowers (delphinium, carnations, alstromeria, lilies, and gerbera daisies) can be added to the design – working from largest to smallest blooms. If flower food was provided with your bouquet you can dump the water that you designed in and replace it with preservative water according to the package directions. In this case (because all the stems are touching the bottom of the vase) one cup of preservative water would suffice and could be added to or replaced to make your flowers last as days go by.
If you want to embellish the look of the vase you can add a band …
… or two of handsome ribbon that matches your décor, or …
… you can use the colorful bouquet sleeve wrapping to enhance the color of your vase.
And what about the pom poms we left out of the bouquet?
They were a perfect fit for the square glass vase with knotted willow armature.
If you like this simple arranging idea, check out The Flower Godmother’s Styling Tip-Sheets at:
— The Flower Godmother believes that “Flowers aren’t a luxury, but a necessity for life well lived”. She offers helpful information about flowers and the floral industry so everyone can Make Magic & Live a Charmed Life with Flowers. Access the rest of her (free) flower ideas at: TheFlowerGodmother.com