April Showers Bring May Flowers

An umbrella filled with spring flowers hanging on your front door is a wonderful spring greeting. Leanne shares several clever techniques for creating this lovely bouquet in this Flower School Live Video. You will be inspired to make your own umbrella design and perhaps one for a friend as well. Enjoy!

Video Transcription 

Welcome to the Flower School .com video library. I'm Leanne Kesler, Director of the Floral Design Institute. Today we're thinking about April showers. I found this child's umbrella, how perfect. Here in the Pacific Northwest April showers truly do bring May flowers. 

The mechanics are easy using an easel cage and a plastic bag. That will keep the umbrella dry. Seems sort of silly, doesn't it? But just tucking that into the bag, then sliding that into the umbrella. You don't want it wide open, just lifting it out a little bit, setting it in place. Then using a zip tie, feeding it in through the handle of the cage and then around the handle of the umbrella, zipping it tight. Pulling it, and then tightening it around the cage, sliding it into the grooves, ready to hang to begin designing. 

A zip tie may be new to you. You get them at the hardware store. When you secure them, one side will zip and the other won't. So when you feed them in, you can hear it go click, click, click, click. Then if you don't hear it, you know that it's the wrong way. You just have to be careful. Click it and then once you do hear the click, it's secure, never going to let go. It's perfect for hanging the cage into the umbrella. Now my vision, since this is a springtime wreath to hang on the door, but it's an umbrella. So then I'm thinking, what makes me think of spring? It's spring flowering branches, oh, so grand. Just giving it a cut and setting it down into the cage, repeating that. And yes, spring branches, they shatter, they dry out. But think about it, wouldn't a little snowy smattering of petals be perfect at the front door? I'm just setting those down in, feeding it into the cage and repeating. Then in addition to the upward movement of the flowering plum, a little bit of trailing jasmine vine, giving it a cut, then letting it trail outward and down. You can see the pink with the pink starts looking lush and fabulous. I am placing everything to the front because the back would be against the door. 

You could stop here and it's ready to go. The jasmine will hold so well. The flowering branches will hold for a while and then they'll start snowing. But to enhance the unity, bringing in some agapanthus in the deep purple and just carrying the purple from the umbrella up into the design and repeating, it gives you a little focal emphasis and color unity at the same time. Then a touch of green to symbolize the greening up of springtime with some Israeli ruscus and then double checking that all your mechanics are concealed. 

With the flowers, the branches, the jasmine and the foliage, I'm done. But I want to carry the pink on down, lengthening the arrangement and to do so, just gather the umbrella together. Then using a bow, tie it snugly, bringing it around and bringing it back to the front and tie it in a knot underneath. That carries the pink from top to bottom and secures your mechanics. 

The recipe is easy. One child's umbrella and one easel cage. That gets you started. Then one zip tie. Then I used the spring flowering branches, three or four stems cut into pieces, two stems of the jasmine vine cut into pieces, then five of the agapanthus and five of the Israeli ruscus. You can see it is ready to hang. 

April showers brings May flowers. The inspiration from this came from the sonnet because in the Pacific Northwest it does rain. And also from visiting my in-laws. When we drive through the country roads of Indiana, you'll see umbrellas hung on doors. You'll see branches, you'll see vines, you'll see ribbons, as everybody's trying to brighten up that dark winter landscape. 

Now it's your turn. Find more spring inspiration on our website at Flower School .com. If you have questions, you can reach us through there or pick up the telephone and give us a call at 503-223-8089. Now it's your turn. What are you going to create to hang on a door, to hang above the fireplace, to set on your table? Think spring, create away. Take a photograph. Be sure to post it on social media and hashtag Floral Design Institute. That way we all can see what you do to brighten your spring and do something you love.

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