Magnolia Compote Centerpiece

Magnolia branches are so lovely and are perfect for establishing the line and form in a floral design. In this Flower School How-To Video Leanne creates a gorgeous arrangement in the Bespoke Garden Design Style. Color shifted protea are used to create a dramatic focal area. This demonstration is an excellent review of the elements and principles of floral design. Enjoy!

Video Transcription 

Welcome to the Flower School .com video library. I'm Leanne Kesler, director of the Floral Design Institute, and today I have a wonderful design featuring magnolia branches in a compote. The container, an elevated compote filled with foam already soaked with flower food. The prime thing that I'll be using, the magnolia branches. These are actually harvested from Teacher Michelle's yard, so thank you to Teacher Michelle for bringing these in. Then a variety of different things. We have hydrangea, protea, gerberas, rice flowers, seeded eucalyptus, so many different things to give it a lot of texture and variety. 

I like to start with the branches at the very beginning because they establish the line and the form. Cutting them down using a nice pruner, pruning out any that are a little extra or messy, so you have nice clean lines, then placing it angled into the container, and going towards the back a bit, nice and firm. Then bringing in a second branch, cutting it down, coming back out the other side, creating this lovely crescent, placing it in securely. Maybe repeating that, pruning out the extra then placing it in, balancing from side to side. Then for extra stability, a tip, using a little bit of floral adhesive right on the insertion point, it will actually glue the branches directly to the foam so that they don't spin and shift. 

Once you have your line and your emphasis, you can start finishing out the form and concealing your mechanics. Maybe adding large fatsia leaves, coming out, adding weight at the base, putting them draped down, taking a second one and terracing it over the top, drawing the eye inward, carrying it back in the arrangement, then of course pulling it to the back side, carrying it on across and repeating it, terracing. A little bit of seeded eucalyptus to give some nice draping over the front, breaking the line of the container, adding texture, of course, bring it around to the back side then also carrying it up into the arrangement, drawing the eye through. Then maybe other foliage, anything you love. I've got some pittosporum, adds a nice deep green color, and again helps to hide all the mechanics. 

Now comes the fun part. Filling in and enhancing the design with all your favorite flowers. Maybe it's the miniature Gerberas. Their necks have that little natural curvature that follows along with the form that we've already established. Placing it in, making sure it's down deeply into the water so that it will drink, and repeating. Maybe bringing in a little bit of rice flower, brightening the base of the design, coming out underneath the protea. Tucking in carnations for some depth of color. Using them as basing, tucked very, very, very low, drawing your eye into the arrangement. Then for brightness and texture, Sterling Range heather, just breaking it down, coming out on the opposite side, enhancing the magnolia lines. 

Most important for this arrangement is fabulous branches, so I started with four stems of magnolia. Then I needed a fabulous emphasis, three protea that I tinted to get them a little darker to go well with the magnolia. Then it's fun. You can mix and match with whatever you like. I used five fatsia, some seeded eucalyptus, and a little bit of green pittosporum. Then I added in eight miniature gerberas, five carnations, three stems of rice flower, and a little bit of the heather just to finish it off. You can see it doesn't take a lot of flowers to do a fabulous design. 

Designing with the elements and the principles of design frees your creativity. That's why we use that all the time in the classroom. For more creative inspiration and education, you'll find it at the website: Flower School .com. If you have questions, you can reach us through there at (503) 223-8089. What are you going to do? It's your turn now. Think about lines and emphasis and choose your favorite flowers. Once you're done, 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.

  • Fresh Flower Food Individual Pack 10 ounce tub
    Fresh Flower Food Individual Pack 10 ounce tub
  • Quick Dip Individual Pack One Pint
    Quick Dip Individual Pack One Pint
  • Crowning Glory Individual Pack 32 ounce spray bottle
    Crowning Glory Individual Pack 32 ounce spray bottle
  • Standard Floral Foam Pack of Four Bricks
    Standard Floral Foam Pack of Four Bricks
  • Waterproof Tape Single Roll 1/4 Inch Wide (Green)
    Waterproof Tape Single Roll 1/4 Inch Wide (Green)
  • Oasis Floral Adhesive Individual Pack 3.9 Gram Tube
    Oasis Floral Adhesive Individual Pack 3.9 Gram Tube