Photography by Ryan Brook Credits: Photography by Ryan Brook
1. Place a brick of wet floral foam in a bucket of water and allow it to soak through. Using a paring knife, shape the foam to fit snugly inside a small bowl. Trim the excess, leaving an inch above the rim of the bowl and angling the exposed edges.
2. Cut carnation stems at a 45-degree angle, roughly two inches below the bloom and above a node (one of the bumps where leaves grow).
3. Insert the stem of the first blossom into the angled edge of the floral foam, positioning the blossom so that it obscures the lip of the bowl. Continue inserting blossoms in the same fashion, tightly packing them to create a ring around the edge of the bowl.
4. Insert a concentric second ring of blossoms, angled slightly higher than the first to create a dome-shaped arrangement.
5. Fill in the remaining gaps at the top of the arrangement, inserting stems vertically to complete the dome shape. Mist the arrangement with water daily.
Tool kit: Wet floral foam
Wet floral foam not only provides a structure for your stems but also acts as a sponge, continually feeding flowers the water they need. Here's what you need to know about this indispensable flower-arranging aid.
Do make sure you're using wet floral foam. Dry floral foam—used for dried and
silk flower arrangements—looks similar but doesn't have the same water-retention properties.
Don't dunk floral foam. Forcing a brick of foam underwater can trap air pockets in the core, resulting in dry patches. Instead, place bricks on the water's surface and allow them to submerge—and fully saturate—on their own.
Do secure floral foam in the vessel. Although the foam in this small-scale carnation arrangement fits snugly in the soup bowl, larger arrangements may require multiple bricks. A few strips of floral tape placed across the mouth of the vase will hold multiple pieces in place.
Don't reuse a hole. If you've pushed a stem in too deeply, resist the urge to pull it out slightly—the base of the stem will no longer be in contact with the foam and will suck up air instead of water. It's better to reposition the flower entirely.
Keep your flowers as fresh as possible with these helpful steps.
|This story was originally part of "Flower Face-lift" in the August 2015 issue.
Subscribe to Canadian Living today and never miss an issue!