Rustic Sunflower Basket

Sunflowers, yarrow, kangaroo paw, grasses, nigella, local foliages, and some fabulous banksia -- just some of the floral ingredients for a large and long-lasting arrangement. In this Flower School How-To Video Leanne takes you step-by-step through each flower placement as she creates a casual & rustic basket full of Summer's bounty, perfect for indoors or out. Enjoy!

Video Transcription 

The bounty of the summer season. It's a florist's dream. Today, all the treasures, plus this most amazing Banksia. Let me show you how to work with those.

As I was gathering materials, the main thing I was searching for was sunflowers, which I got, and they're beautiful, but I found this amazing Banksia. It's new to me, commonly called bottle brush, but isn't it grand? And bonus, it will dry and look beautiful. So this makes this a very long lasting arrangement. The container, a basket, which I lined with a plastic liner, and then I filled it with the midnight enhanced biodegradable floral foam. That way I have anchoring ability for each of the stems. Then for fun, a lot of late summer texture, yarrow, kangaroo paw, leucadendron, nigella, and some grasses. This is going to be fun. 

The Banksia here are so bold and fabulous. I'm going to place them very first to make sure there's room, giving them a cut. And then to make sure it will drink, whittle just a bit, then placing it in securely into the foam, grouping a bit so it looks like it's all one bush, and then coming back with the last stem. It has a wonderful angle, so letting it come out, helping to break the line of the container. Then just to build a nest, a bit of foliage. I'm going to use salal and huckleberry, both native right here to the Pacific Northwest. 

Now finally, the sunflowers, which was where I started but had to use the Banksia. I'm going to cut it low because that way it will last well. It doesn't have to drink quite so far up its stem, giving it a cut, and then placing it down in the focal emphasis area nice and tight. And then repeating that with a second one shadowed so it really draws the eye and says, "Look at this. I have sunflowers." Placing them with the angle upward to the sunshine, shadow one over the other, and then bringing another around to the back so that the yellow is carried through and not just in one area. 

So, we've got the deep golden yellow and the burnt orange. Now we'll go ahead with a little more contrast, bringing in a real rusty red, finishing off the analogous color harmony. Leucadendron adds that soft red. Kangaroo paw for fabulous texture, letting it come up a little taller. It's a little more delicate. And Cottage Yarrow, also that paprika color. Again, a little bit longer so that it comes out over the top, adding a little bit of lightness, and then repeat with a few more of each stem. 

We have so many bold statement flowers. It's nice to go back and add some small delicate things. Maybe grasses, line it up in your hands, then giving them a cut all at once, and dropping them in for a little bit more height, coming up above, and then repeating that. Maybe a little bit of nigella, the pods, cleaning it up slightly, and then letting it come in just over the top, adding soft texture throughout, and then repeating till it's full and lush. This is the type of design that you can use so many different materials. The key is to start with a couple fabulous specimen varieties. Mine, four sunflowers and three Banksia. Then I filled in with salal and huckleberry, 10 stems of leucadendron, six stems of nigella, three Kangaroo paws, five of the Cottage Yarrow, and then clusters of grasses to finish it off. 

The summer season brings us so many fabulous flowers. You'll find more creative inspiration on our website, Flower School .com. If you have questions, you can reach us through there. But now it's your turn. Find the fabulous summer blossoms in your area, find a basket, and create away. Be sure to take a picture, post it on social media, and hashtag Floral Design Institute. That way we all can see what you do as you do something you love.

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