We are fortunate that there are so many different varieties of flowers available today that we can use in our floral designs.
There are tips and specialized treatment you can use for certain flowers so they will last longer and to show them to their best advantage in your flower arrangements.
Gerberas are large flat daisy like flowers that include shades of orange, pink, red, yellow and white.
There is also a mini gerbera which is not so common that is a much smaller variety.
Gerberas are very versatile and they can be used in many different styles of arrangements. Because of their large flower heads and bright colours they are perfect for modern floral designs.
Give gerberas a long drink before arranging them.
If the stems are soft, snip off the ends of the stems and place them in a bucket half filled with water.
A piece of chicken wire can be placed across the top of the container and the flower stems inserted in the holes with the heads resting flat against the top of the chicken wire. This will help support the flower heads.
You can also use a piece of cardboard with holes made in it instead of the chicken wire.
As the stems take up water, they will stiffen.
Leave the gerberas standing in the water for at least 4 hours before arranging them.
Wiring Gerbera Stems:
After a few days, the heads of gerberas can sometimes go limp.
Wiring the stems before you arrange them will help the flower heads stand upright in an arrangement.
To do this, insert the end of a long 22 gauge wire x 45cm (18″)vertically up into the base of the flower head for about 2.5cm (1″) and wind the wire three or four times spirally down and around the stem.
Cut off the excess wire level with the end of the stem.
Liliums grow on long graceful stems and have open trumpet shaped flowers and long pointed buds and come in many different varieties.
They look wonderful used on their own in flower arrangements. A tall classical container filled with liliums always looks elegant.
Liliums also look great combined with other flowers in traditional and modern style arrangements.
White liliums also look spectacular used in flowing cascade bridal designs.
Tiger lilies in orange with brown spots are ideal for exotic type arrangements.
Liliums have long stamens with anthers at the tips which are covered with pollen. If the pollen comes into contact with anything, including clothing or a tablecloth, it will stain it with a brownish yellow stain. It is recommended you snip the tips of the end of the stamens before arranging them.
For this reason, many florists remove the tips as soon as liliums come into their shop.
If pollen does accidentally come in contact with fabric, brush the pollen away with a soft brush or tissue and then place in the sun for a few hours. Another method is to remove the pollen with clear sticky tape.
These delightful small purple flowers are sold in a bunch surrounded with their attractive heart shaped leaves. Violets mainly drink through their faces. Snip off the ends of the stems and then immerse the heads under water for a few seconds and then place them in a small container of water.
Spray the violets each day with water. A few violets look pretty used in dainty posies and circlets for bridal designs.
These are just a few specialized tips on flowers and their care. In our Floristry Diploma Course you will learn hundreds of professional tips and techniques on flower arranging and all about the floristry industry.
Copyright Fay Chamoun 2004