Christmas Floral Arrangements With That Personal Touch
Creating your own Christmas floral arrangement is a great idea and a great way to save some money. More importantly though, is that special touch it will give your Christmas.
“Give it a go” I say – it is quite easy and very rewarding.
The principles of flower arranging apply regardless of the season and what better time than Christmas to try your hand at creating something that is uniquely you?
There is no reason why you shouldn’t do an extremely good job, all it takes is a little knowledge and a bit of practice.
What vases do you have?
Obviously the flowers you have available are the most important thing to consider but don’t overlook the vases. The size, shape, and even colour of your vases will set the tone, and determine what you should or shouldn’t do, for your arrangements. Remember short vases require low arrangements and tall vases enhance long stemmed flowers.
Begin with a vase that you enjoy, as it is difficult to create with something you don’t like in the first place.
For a Christmas theme festive vases are in keeping with the season.
The vases you use will determine not only the final outcome of your project, but also what flowers to use! As a guide your arrangement should only ever be 1.5 times higher than your vase.
Here is a brief overview of typical vase types:
- Tall Vases – whether narrow or wide, will require tall blooms with long stems. They need to be able to stand tall on their own – even when supported by shorter lower stemmed foliage.
- Short and Narrow – using a short vase with a narrow opening, you can use the shallowness of the container and the tight confines of the opening to support the flowers. The more delicate, grass-like stems work well here.
- Short and Wide – these container requires a different approach before you start adding flowers. Being wide necked the options are greater than the narrow vase. Lots of foliage will help to keep the taller plants in place or you could use foam or any of the options listed in the following paragraph.
Keeping Your Flowers In Place
Always treat your water with plant food.
There are many simple tricks that the florists use to achieve this:
- Place your shorter flowers in the vase first – taking up most of the space available in the neck. Then the next and subsequent layers of flowers working from shortest to tallest can be squeezed in between this supporting foliage.
- Flower arranging foam is a florist’s favourite. Cut your foam to size and make holes, using a pencil, where you want to insert your stems. Place your moistened foam in the base of the vase before filling with flowers and topping with treated water.
- Wire fames are also occasionally used. This is an older way of supporting flowers but it works well. Don’t be shy to experiment with it.
- Layers of tape can be placed across the vase entrance, in a grid fashion or blocking it completely. Simply use the grid or make holes for the stems and insert. The tape provides a solid support. (But don’t forget to fill your vase with water for the flowers before you cover with the tape. It’s a messy job if you try to do it later!)
Once you have your vase prepared your next decision is which flowers to use.
- Do you need tall or short or both?
- Do you have them in your garden or do you need to source them?
When choosing the flowers to include in your Christmas arrangement, consider the colours that go with the season. Red and green are common flower colours for this time of year. The choice available is almost endless
Roses can be found in shades of red and white, both common Christmas colors. Gerber Daisies are most commonly found in red this time of year, while Carnations come in almost any color that you can imagine. White Lilies can make a statement in your bouquet as well.
Try not to overpower your arrangement – a good balance is what you are after. Many beginners grab every red flower they can find and try to make a mixed bouquet. You are better off choosing only one or two types of flowers and focusing on them.
Preparing Your Flowers
Make sure that your vases are clean, including wiping away any residue left inside by soaps. These residues will mix with the water and poison your flowers if left. When your vase is ready, add water and plant food, then stir.
Hold each individual flower up against the outside of the vase. Mark the length of the stem and cut it so that the bottom of the stem will sit on the bottom of the vase. Be sure to cut it diagonally.
It is imperative that you remove all the leaves that would otherwise be under the water level. You don’t want the leaves to start rotting, leaving your beautiful Christmas arrangement standing in a pool of stagnant water.
Arranging Your Christmas Flowers
The secret to creating good flower arrangements is in the placement.
Begin by placing the supporting plant structures (the shorter plants – usually the greenery) in your vase first. Be sure to have all the plants facing towards the area they will be viewed from. For example, round arrangements should have all the blossoms facing outwards while arrangements that will be placed against a wall should be structured so that they are viewed from inside the room.
My own personal preference is to then place the stars of the arrangement – the taller, more striking plants of the arrangement, in the center and again, ensure they face the audience.
Place your most beautiful flowers centrally. This will be the point where the eye is naturally drawn in your arrangement. These central flowers should all be around the same size, and the tallest in the entire vase. This is your focal point, so be brave and make sure they are attention grabbing for your Christmas theme. Use an odd number of star flowers – 1, 3 or 5 work better than 2, 4 or 6.
When you have finished with the center-most blooms, begin filling the gap between your focal point and support foliage with medium sized flowers.
As you step out, taper the blossoms gradually shorter, so that the flower heads along the outside hide the stems of those nearer the middle. Place the smaller Christmas flowers toward the outsides.
The Finishing Touches
The ability to create your own Christmas floral arrangement is personal and special. It’s your party and you can make something that truly reflects the season, your character and your family’s way of celebrating this special occasion.
Your options are many – be bold, you have nothing to lose.
You can add Christmas ornaments, brightly coloured ribbons, candy canes, or wrapping paper to the outside of the vase. Just remember that accents are there to add a splash of the unusual to the arrangement, not to become the focal point.
This will depend on your level of skill, the time of year and of course what you hope to achieve.
Master the art of flower arranging – for all seasons: