How to create a hand tied flower bunch

08 Jan 2013

Creating a hand tied flower bunch in your home is easy, but one has to remember that every flower falls into a form category and knowing these will ensure you end up with a design or style that suits your end result.

Flowers should never fight one against the other, they should harmonise together well and look as if they are relating to one another as opposed to being hidden by one another and or squashed or suffocated within the design.

According to Jill Manson, floral communications and expert designer at Corollation Floral Design School in Johannesburg, the form of a flower is how it looks and there are three different floral forms:

Spray forms

These are flowers with central sturdy stem featuring a number of smaller stems emanating from that stem, each of which may have a flower or floret at the end of it.

Examples include carnations, chrysanthemums and wax flower.

Round forms

These include circular looking flowers that appear to have a face including proteas, sunflowers, pin cushions, roses and gerberas.

Linear forms

These are also referred to as line flowers and they appear to be one straight line. There is a main stem, however, unlike the spray forms, the flowers emanating from this main stem are sheathed onto it as opposed to being on the end of a stem growing off the main stem.

Examples include veronica, gladiolis and tuberoses.

Manson says there are also spray fillers, flowers with an essentially spray form most commonly used to create the foundations of a design or fill spaces within a design.

In this category, you will find flowers such as heather, wax flower and limonium.

Greenery is also used in flower design be it a bunch or basket, she says.

“The stems of plants are also a combination of forms, however, they have no flowers on them so they remain in their own class as greenery.”

Examples include ruscus, kol kol, asper, viburnum and pittosporum.

Before putting your bunch together, it is important to understand the principles of design, namely harmony and balance.

She says harmony refers to the harmonious relationship between the forms and between each of the stems of flowers used in the design.

Linear forms are also referred to as line flowers and they appear to be one straight line, an example is gladiolis.

“Flowers should never fight one against the other, they should harmonise together well and look as if theyare  relating to one another as opposed to being hidden by one another and or squashed or suffocated within the design.”

The larger the form of the flower, or the more space it occupies, in its own right, the lower down it is placed in the design, she says.

Manson says spray-like flowers and greenery are usually placed slightly lower than the round forms and the linear forms may be the highest or tallest form in the design - extend above the round forms.

Linear flowers may occur highest as they will never overshadow any of the other forms as they are straight lines and therefore do not umbrella or spray out and hide any other flower, she explains.

The second principle of design is balance – balance within the overall design in terms of styling.

According to Manson, you can achieve balance by choosing a symmetrical or assymetrical design.

In symmetrical, one side of the flower arrangement is exactly the same as the other while in assymetrical, the components of flowers and foliage is different on each side of the central axis.

Once you have understood the forms of flowers and design principles, you are now ready to start working on your bunch.

Make sure you buy the right flowers bearing in mind that every flower has a genetically determined maximum life.

It is important to know at this stage how to buy and keep fresh flowers.

Tools needed for tying a bunch include, wire, cellotape, elastics, scissors, secateurs for woody or thicker stems and various wrapping elements, such as coloured cello, coloured tissue paper and brown paper for example.

Manson points out that there are four easy steps to prepare for the tied-bunch technique.

Choose flowers ensuring you select a range of stems according to the style of bouquet that you are creating.

Step 1: Choose your colour scheme

Plan the colour scheme in your mind before choosing the flowers.

Here, you can choose classic - traditionally green and white cream, Persian – purple reds and blues, Spring mix – yellow, pink, orange, green, blue, white, Pastels – light hues of blues, soft purples, Autumn – reds, oranges, brown and yellows.

Step 2: Choose your flowers

Choose flowers ensuring you select a range of stems according to the style of bouquet that you are creating.

Step 3: Prepare the flowers for use in the hand tied technique

Clean the foliage off every stem so that the bottom half of the stem is completely clean.

Tip: Keep the top third of the foliage and flowers on the stem and strip off the rest.

Leave stems grouped in types and try not to mix the flowers all up together, this will facilitate the arranging as it is easier to find or reach a flower required.

Step 4: Prepare the workspace

Like an artist uses a palette of colours so too are your flowers your colour – remember to prepare them correctly before attempting to arrange them, says Manson.

Leave the stems grouped in types and parallel to one another, stems facing your flower heads away from you and try and not to mix the flowers all up together.

Keep the sprays and greenery together, the round forms together and the linear flowers together.

Following the elements of design, arrange your bunch, then tie and voila! You have a hand tied bunch in no time. – Denise Mhlanga

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