The last-of-the-season peonies are always such a treat, and when you can combine them with a fun new summertime flower-find, it's a bonus! In this Flower School How-To Video Leanne incorporates Lion's Mane with peonies, craspedia, oat grass and more, into a design that's a pop of sunshine, yet cool and refreshing at the same time. Enjoy!
At Floral Design Institute, I'm always on the hunt for something new. Today, I stumbled upon lion's mane, one of my favorite summer surprise flowers. Let me show you how to work with it.
The materials and mechanics, of course I have to start with the sunshine yellow peonies, then finding a perfect vessel, but I want a little more control of the stems. So just tucking in tiny bit of floral netting. Then add water pre-mixed with flower food, and we're ready to design.
First step, just a little bit of foliage to start establishing a nest for your materials. Some ruscus, maybe a little bit of salal, using Leanne's rule of must have three different foliage to make it interesting. Maybe adding in a Fatsia leaf for the third, tucking it. And then to create the lines in the design, going to Jerusalem sage. It's a beautiful, unique flower that's much better if you remove the foliage because that way you can see the beautiful curvaceous line and those lovely flowers. So just go through pruning it, cleaning it up. Then give it a cut and tuck it in to establish the line of the arrangement. You can see how gorgeous it is as it comes upward. Going back. Again, removing the leaves. I'm going to leave the little bit at the top because that's so interesting. Then tucking it in, reinforcing the original line.
With the lines established in a foliage nest, tucking in the emphasis is next. And the peonies are so large, so fabulous. You want to use them very low, so that they pull the eye into that focal emphasis and visually anchor everything. And you don't want it just in the front like a headlight. So, taking a second and adding it to the back.
Finish, want to think about texture, a little bit of contrast, creating interest. Craspedia, billy balls, tucked in near the peonies, but a little bit taller so they draw your eye upward. Some sea oats, nice and drapey. So fun. You can sort of hear them rattle, which is grand. Dividing it out. Then just taking and placing it in so it drapes, gives a little bit of extension. Then to extend the opposite side, some beautiful, variegated lily grass or ribbon grass, letting it drape outward. And lastly, once you have everything in place, going back with one more of the lion's mane and adding height.
The recipe. Two of the fabulous peonies. Three Jerusalem sage, lion's mane. 10 craspedia, 10 of the sea oats, and 10 of the ribbon lily grass. Then one fatsia leaf, a little bit of salal, and a little bit of ruscus.
One of the joys of being a florist is the seasonal surprises, the treasures you stumble upon. Yellow peonies, lion's mane, they just make you smile. Add that sunshine yellow, amazing. You'll find more unique varieties on our website, flowerschool.com. But now it's your turn. Go out on the hunt, find something new that you've never used before. Create a design, take a picture, post it on social media, and hash tag Floral Design Institute. That way we all can see what you do as you do something you love.