Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sunshiny Sunflowers: a floral bouquet

I was in the fruit and veg shop yesterday and I saw these looovely sunflowers - they really are a ''happy'' flower.  Another happy and really long lasting flower is the chrysanthemum... I sound like I have a speech impediment when I say that word, so just as well I'm typing it!

Macci, our RSPCA rescue dog, loves getting in on the action.  We discovered a week after bringing him home that he loves singing and has a real talent for following a tune.

This posy could be used for the home, as a gift for a dinner party or even for a flower girl as it is quite stylised in its shape and form.

Sunshiny Sunflowers Recipe
  • 4 stems of white 'spider' chrysanthemums
  • 4 stems of white 'single' chrysanthemums
  • 5 sunflowers (if you can't find any real ones, artificial sunflowers can be very life-like)
  • scissors
  • a lighter or a pot of boiling water for singeing the sunflower stems
  • twine (string) or polyester twine for tying the bouquet
  • one wide and one narrow yellow ribbon (or colour of your choice)

Remove most of the leaves off of all of the stems.  Remove and set aside all the little flowers and buds that are too low on the stem to be visible at eye level on the bouquet.  In other words, decide where the bulk of the flowers are on the chrysanthemum stem and remove flowers above and below this line.

You can use these discarded blooms and buds for a mini bouquet - these can be very cute and none of the flowers are wasted.  

Decide how long you want the stems of your bouquet, I made mine 11"/ 28cm long.  Cut the sunflowers stems and singe the ends with a lighter (a long handled lighter would have been better for this!)

Alternately, you can just dip the ends in boiling water for half a minute.  This seals the exposed cuts on the sunflower stems so that the sap doesn't leak into the water and damage the other flowers. 

Cut a piece of string approx 72cm (28") long before you start so that you're ready to tie the bouquet while you're holding your finished design.

Starting with the four 'spider' chrysanthemum stems, make a little posy with a slight dome (don't cut these stems yet) for the centre of your posy.

Surround this dome with four 'single' chrysanthemum stems, placed slightly lower to add to the dome effect.

When you're happy with this, place each of the five sunflowers around the chrysanthemums, slightly lower again.

Milly our Burmese has decided she wants to be a leg model after all...

Holding on to your finished design with your left hand, grab a hold of your string with your right hand.  The string will be tied at the very top of the stems to hold the design - the sunflower stems are very heavy and just droop if not hauled in.

Still holding the bouquet with your left hand, place the string on top of the stems with your right hand leaving about 6" trailing for tying.  Put your left thumb down on the string on top of the stems to hold the string whilst you wind it around the stems three times with your right hand.  The string should be wound firmly enough so you can place your bouquet on the table whilst still holding on to the two ends of the string and tie a knot in the string with both hands.  Trim excess string from ends of knot.

It seems a bit tricky at first when you are tyng a hand held bouquet and not have your flowers move around when you have them 'just so'  however you get used to it with practice.  If you are doing a really large bouquet and it becomes unmanageable you can tie it off when you're half finished to hold the first part then add the final flowers from there and tie again.

The chrysanthemum stems can now be trimmed to match the sunflowers.

Tying a florist ribbon:
  1. Cut 35"/ 90cm each of the thick and the thin yellow ribbon.  Hold these two lengths together and tie once around the neck of the bouquet. 
  2. Cut an additional length of each ribbon, each one 70"/ 180cm long (double your previous length).  
  3. Place these side-by-side on a flat surface.  
  4. Pick second lot of  ribbons up, holding them about 17cm (6½ inches) from the end between your thumb and index finger.
  5. With your right hand loop the next 13 inch segment of the ribbon back around to the your left hand so this loop is 6½ inches when it meets the middle where you are holding it. 
  6. Now make loop the same size in the opposite direction bringing it back to the middle.  You are effectively making a figure eight with your ribbon which will become the bow for the bouquet.  
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6, so that there are two figure eight 'bows' being held between your thumb and index finger in the middle.
  8. With your ever-helpful thumb and index still holding the two figure eights in the middle, place your bows on top of the single knot of ribbon you have already tied on your bouquet.  
  9. Use this to secure your double figure eight bow to the bouquet by tying a double knot. 
A simple big bow with a nice wide satiny ribbon that has a bit of hold (stiffness) in it would look just as good.

Try and have the ends of your first lot of ribbon you tied on the bouquet the same length as your stems to maintain the elongated style of your bouquet. 

If you want to place your bouquet in a vase, the ribbon could be left on or removed depending on the surrounding decor.

Macci our pooch thinks we made this posy for his singing abilities - encore, encore!.  We won't disappoint him.  This 'action' shot shows him mid-tune... I think I''m going to become a stage mum.  Any talent scouts out there?

No comments:

Post a Comment