Bird of Paradise Arrangement

When designing with Bird of Paradise floral designers often chose to create a linear design. But, these dramatic blossoms can also be used in a classic round arrangement. In this how-to video Leanne creates a gorgeous garden inspired design using the colors of the Bird of Paradise for inspiration. Enjoy!

Welcome to the Flower School .com video library. I'm Leanne Kesler, director of the Floral Design Institute. Today, I want to share with you a fun design that features bird of paradise, but not in a linear design, combining it with so many fabulous things that you might find in the garden. 

Starting with the bird of paradise, I let Mother Nature determine the color harmony and decided to work with the triad, orange, violet, and green. I have bird of paradise, pincushion protea, clematis, veronica, green trick carnations, little bit of nigella, some miniature green hydrangeas, carnations and roses in lavender. Should make a fabulous design. 

Then, rather than doing low and linear, going for an urn style. Lovely lavender color to coordinate, and the mechanics, floral netting taped in place. 

I filled the container with fresh water and flower food. Then I go back and add just a little bit of foliage, maybe some pittosporum. Cut it down and then feed it right into the weave, keeping it fairly low to create a nice base for the flowers. Some to the front, some to the back. Bringing in a little bit to the center, just nestling it down in. And then a fatsia leaf to help visually anchor, bringing it down low, tucking it across. Then bringing in the hydrangea, because they too have these big leaves. You may not want all of them, pulling some off but leaving some to help enhance the green of the design. Placing those down. Maybe doing three in a triangle, radiating around that central binding point, treating them almost as part of the foliage as I build the nest. 

I'm doing the same thing with the green trick carnation, which adds in more texture to the design. Some to the front, maybe grouped for a little more value, and then some to the back, to make sure you pull from front to back visually balanced. 

With the luxurious green base, I want to go back and add some of the purple, bringing in the carnations. You can even do two at a time, just give it a cut, slide them into place. One shadowed behind the other. Again, shadowing one behind the other. Working in the triangle, and maybe just one coming out here. You don't have to do always in twos. Up towards the center. There we go. 

And then the roses. You can see, the purple and green together start looking so lovely. Bring in another one a little bit shorter, shadowing underneath. Then around to the back, and a second, keeping them grouped, but they look a little more important. I could even bring in some of the orange now, with the pincushion protea. Look how that starts to pop when you add orange into the green and lavender. Really makes it look fabulous. 

Now that I have my nest, it's time to add the birds. How appropriate, a nest of flowers for the birds. Not letting them come real tall, I want them to be tucked down with the other blooms. So giving it a cut, a second, and then placing it in so that the orange comes up towards the top but doesn't take flight above everything else. And another one, letting them look at each other as if they are speaking. 

Right now, I really have a simple round arrangement that just happens to have two birds. I want to soften that. I let it extend to the top, let's let it extend out to the side as well. Bringing in a little bit of the clematis, just cutting it down, and then letting it trail outward. Bringing in a little larger piece and bringing it out to the side. Adding the bud. You can see the movement that this adds to the design, softening down the round form, making it look so much more interesting. 

Then the veronica, bringing it up through the center, finding the perfect hole. And again. And maybe one more, adding just a tad bit more height and letting it look out towards the back, so it keeps the rounded form and gives that wild movement to echo what you're starting with the clematis. More and more stem, just because it'll make it so much fun. Bringing it right out over here, making it a little longer. And then lastly, a tiny bit of texture with the nigella pod, just pulling it, getting that softer green and letting it be a little longer and airy in the design. 

The design looks great from all sides. Now, since so many of you ask, yes we do have a recipe. I have two bird of paradise, four of the pincushion protea, three of the miniature hydrangeas, seven beautiful purple carnations, and then four roses in that same purple hue, four clematis, three Veronica, five green trick carnations, ten stems of the nigella pods. Then two fatsia leaves and two stems of pittosporum turns this design into something that is a beautiful textural masterpiece. 

You can see, bird of paradise don't have to be linear. They can fit into a garden-inspired design. For more creative inspiration, you'll find it on our website at Flower School .com. If you have questions, you can reach us through there or pick up the telephone and give me a call at (503) 223-8089. 

Now it's your turn. What are you going to create that's maybe a little bit out of the ordinary? Pick a flower you wouldn't normally work with and then mix it with treasures from your garden or from the market. Take a picture, post it on social media, and be sure to tag Floral Design Institute. That way we all can see what you create as you do something you love.

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