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Amazing Zinnias

The end of summer brings such an abundance of fabulous flowers. And, while the season is changing to autumn we are not ready to give up the green of summer just yet. The inspiration of the video was an amazing two-tone zinnia, beautiful green with a hot pink center. Leanne shares several design techniques as she creates a dramatic vegetative styled arrangement. Enjoy!

Video Transcription

Welcome, to the Flower School .com video library, I'm Leanne Kesler, Director of the Floral Design Institute. Today, we're going to be look at summer flowers. Yes, the season is in a transition to autumn, but it's hard to give up that lush green of summer time.

Thanks to the moderate climate here in the pacific northwest, we still have fabulous local materials. And I went scavenging, looking for green. Found so many wonderful things. This sunflower, called Green-Fill, isn't that amazing? Celosia or brain plant, cockscomb, soft green, and look at the zinnia, beautiful green with the hot pink center.

I pre-soaked my floral foam with flower food. Then set it in, taping it in place, leaving ample room for a water reservoir so that the flowers will hold well. Then starting with the zinnias, looking at their stems. Some of them have side shoots, some don't have quite as much. Thinking about how they line up together, and then placing them in. Working off center, and angling them. Placing them as they would grow, keeping them upright. Maybe coming up this direction, turning its face, coming in, and one more. Let's kick them all tall. We were thinking about shortening it, but no. It needs to be tall, and beautiful and elegant. Turning it so the face shows, and placing it in.

Continuing on with the vegetative style, placing them as they would grow in nature. Going to the sunflowers, thinking about varying the height, giving it a cut. Then placing it in again at a bit of an angle, and off center. Deciding where I want it. Maybe putting it a little bit towards the back, and then down into the foam. Then going shorter, maybe even lot shorter. Bringing it down towards the base, but still keeping it upright as it would grow. And again, grouping it together, giving a nice base, pulling the eye downward.

This celosia has such a wonderful texture to it, and the lighter color, pretty fabulous. The stem itself, very large. So giving it a strong, slanting cut, and even going back and slanting it again so that it doesn't use up all the foam. Then bringing it in horizontally, finding a perfect little spot. Then repeating that. This one, the stem is much smaller. Bring it around towards the front, creating a shelf to visually support the flowers, and another. Tucking it in down low, below the sunflower.

For those of you that have studied with us either online or in the learning center, you know color is crucial to floral design. I started here with monochromatic, all green. But to make it really pop, I add the compliment. So crossing all the way over from green to red, or pink will really make this design come alive. So that's what I'm going to add my accent. Fill in the focal emphasis, create contrast, and finish off the color harmony with some beautiful hot pink roses.

The Pink Floyd picks up the center of the Zinnia, and adds a real fabulous pizazz to the design. Coming down low, pulling your eye through the center. Then as I work filling in with more green, little more pink to help cover all my mechanics. To finish, I want to think about my balance, the front, the back, having a complete design. Maybe one more celosia, this one has quite a bit on the side, cleaning that off. Make it easier to go into the foam. Then tucking it in right over with the rest, keeping the groupings, down nice and low.

Maybe another Zinnia, bringing it around towards the back so that it isn't flat. Adds interest, pulling the eye all the way around. Possibly a little bit of hydrangea to finish covering up mechanics, following through with the green. Then of course just a bit of foliage, lily grass, ruscus just to fill in and finish. As I work to avoid the transition to autumn, and embracing summer green it makes me laugh because I think about, this is a precursor to Christmas with the red and green, but done summer style.

For more creative inspiration, check out the website, Flower School .com. If you have questions, you can reach us there, or by telephone at (503) 223-8089. And of course I'd love to see what you create. What are you going to do with the end of summer flowers? Take a photo, post it on social media and be sure to tag Floral Design Institute. That way we all can see. Because now, it's your turn. Have Fun and do something you love.

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