How To: Arrange Fresh Flowers in a Low Vase

Last Saturday, we attended the (free!) flower arranging class at Jayson Home & Garden that was part of Domino's Design District event. It was a blast AND we brought home a gorgeous (if we do say so ourselves) arrangement and some new skills and knowlege. Jump below for what we did and learned:
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Getting started: We met our fantastic instructors, Heather and Victor. Heather designs the floral arrangements for Jayson Home & Garden and Victor is her colleague. We checked out the sample arrangement (shown above) and got the low down on the items we were going to use.
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The basic goods: a low glass vase and floral clippers. We also used double sided carpet tape and colorful patterned paper/ribbon to decorate the vase.
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First step - decorating the vases: Long strips of colored papers were cut to a width that would create a stripe around the simple glass vase, allowing a strip of plain glass to remain visible above and below the paper. We attached it with double sided carpet tape (available at Home Depot and hardware stores) which worked very well; it's super sticky to both the glass and paper ribbons.

A few others at our table wrapped jute twine around their vases which looked lovely and natural.

Another option was to decorate the INSIDE of your vase by wrapping a large tea leaf around the interior of the vase. The dark glossy leaf looked very dramatic and pretty inside the glass vase. The spine on the back side of the tea leaf needs to be scraped away with a sharp knife prior to wrapping it in the vase - this step will allow for it to be much more flexible and to lie flatter against the vase interior.

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A few finished vases.
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On to the flowers: We were working with lilacs, stocks, viburnum and peonies, fresh from Wisconsin. Gorgeous.
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Criss cross: We started with the lilacs, cutting them to an appropriate height for the vase, where the blooms started just above the rim of the vase. We removed all the foliage from the stems. We then inserted the lilacs across the vase in a criss cross pattern to create a base and some structure for the rest of the arrangement.

Next up were the viburnum. We left the foliage on, eyeballing them to about the same height as the lilacs and cutting them down. They were also inserted on a criss cross, opposite to the lilacs.

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Triangles: The 3 stock stems were cut down and inserted next, in a triangle pattern into the criss crossed stems of the lilacs and viburnum. Then we added the cut peonies, also in a triangle rounding out the arrangement with the stock, lilac and viburnum stems.
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Finishing Touches: The final touch were three hosta leaves, which we used close to the peonies to help highlight them and add color and balance to the overall arrangement. We did a few final spins to see the arrangement from fresh angles and to make adjustments, loosening up certain areas and filling in holes.
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The finished product.
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Another finished arrangement. So pretty!

It was a good time, working away and getting to know to our friendly and fun fellow classmates, who happily didn't mind the snapping of photos throughout class. Thanks to Heather and Victor of Jayson Home & Garden for the relaxed and informative class and to Domino for setting up the Design District events.

Domino also has a good flower arranging video online, for a French Spiral bouquet - check it out here.

Photos: Janel Laban

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