Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Creating a European Style Bouquet

European Style hand-tied flowers: As the name suggests, those bouquets are arranged in your hand instead of in a container. This way you can select the best fitting container or vase, once your “art work” is completed. Another advantage is that it is a lot faster to assemble and you can always change your mind and start over, which cannot as easily be done with a foam arrangement. Finally, you can simply wrap your bouquet in a nice paper or cellophane wrap and bring it as a gift. To make your own bouquet, you'll need the following: Cutters or florist knife Bindwire Rose De-thorner to cut the thorns. Clean the flower stems by stripping all foliage below 7" off the tip of the flowers. Use a rose de-thorner for the roses. Above the 7” mark, take off all leaves and flower petals that are broken, turning brown or are otherwise damaged.
1. Place each flower stem about 45 degrees in front of the previous one, so that you create a spiral form. Simply cross the previous stem, the flower head always facing to the left.
2. After every new stem you add, turn the bouquet about ¼ turn in your hand.
3. The final bouquet should have a round shape, looking at it from the side. You achieve this by positioning each additional flower a bit lower than the previous one.
4. Cut off the ends of the stems. The total bouquet length depends on the container you will use. It is crucial that all the flower stems have the same length, so that they can be hydrated and the bouquet stands upright in the vase.
5. There should not be any leaves below the point where you hold the bouquet in your hand - where the stems criss-cross at about 7” to 8” below the tips of the tallest flower heads in the center of the bouquet. Here the stems are tied with a wire tie. Cut a piece of wire about 8” to 10” and wrap it twice around the stems, fasten it by twisting the ends a few times. Cut off the loose ends and bend the twisted wire so that it is less visible.
6. The true test of every hand-tied bouquet is to see whether it will stand on its own, without the support of a container. If it does, you know that you have done a good job.
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