Sunflower Topiary

Sunflowers are such marvelous flowers. Tall, stately and dramatic they demand a design style that really enhances their beauty. In this Flower School Video Leanne demonstrates the techniques and mechanics for creating an outstanding sunflower topiary design. Be sure and gather armfuls of sunflowers for designing while the season lasts. Enjoy!

Video Transcription 

Welcome, to the Flower School .com video library. I'm Leanne Kesler, director of the Floral Design Institute. And today I'm here to share with you a fun topiary, a classic design that's perfect for beautiful sunflowers. There are so many different varieties of sunflowers. During the season, you want to explore. Yes, there's the classics with the brown centers. But then there's also the green and the fuzzy. So many different ones to choose from. When it comes to mechanics, you want stability. So I'm using almost a half a brick of foam anchored in well with two pieces of tape and then also strapped across, so that it can't come loose. Then the problem with sunflowers is oftentimes their heads tip. To make the topiary stay straight, using a hyacinth stake right in the center to support everything. 

I start by just bundling them in my hand, keeping the stems nice and straight. The head slightly domed. Then as I want to add more, maybe a lighter yellow, just sliding it down in, then getting the stem nice and straight and another. Adjusting a bit to make room. Deciding, do I want this one in the center or this one? You can always adjust them a bit. Bringing this over to the side, giving it a tug, just looking at their pedals, making sure they line up. Then again, straightening those stems, taking the hyacinth stake, and placing it right through the center, down in. Then judging my height, at such a big head, I don't want to be too tall or it won't look right, so keeping it nice and short. Going through cutting the stems. Then with the hyacinth stake in the center, tightly holding it together and piercing it right down into the foam. 

With the base secure, you want to secure the top, barked wire is perfect for that. It will pick up the rustic look of the box, carrying that brown on up to the top. Just taking and wrapping it, make sure everything stays right where you want it, secure. Then wrap again, getting a nice banding that secures it all together. When you're happy with the amount, then just twist it, tie it off. Confirm you stayed straight, then cut the ends. 

If you've made topiaries, you know the biggest challenge is keeping it straight and stable, because even when you go to deliver, it kind of rocks back and forth. The secret is Oasis Floral Adhesive. Yes, you glue directly onto the wet foam, right around each of the stems. And believe it or not, cold glue, Oasis Floral Adhesive, will adhere to wet foam and it locks everything in place. It won't shift on you. You could carry it around by the sunflowers. Now, I don't recommend that. But, that's your secret tip today. A little bit of cold glue on your topiary keeps it stable. Then once you have that done, going back and finishing, just adding some foliage, maybe some fatsia leaves, maybe even one more sunflower, to draw your eye all the way to the base. Tucking it very, very low. Then filling in with additional foliage and green trick carnations, because they give it that feel, almost like moss coming in underneath. When I'm done, I'll have a total of nine sunflowers, a variety of foliages, some pittosporum, some fatsia, even a little bit of ruscus. Then five stems of green trick dianthus. 

The classic topiary, a grand way to showcase fabulous sunflowers. For more creative inspiration, check out our website Flower School .com. If you have questions, you can reach us there, or pick up the telephone and give us a call at (503) 223-8089. Now it's your turn. Find your favorite sunflowers. There's so many different kinds. Create a design. Then take a picture and post it on social media, hash tag Floral Design Institute, and that way we all can see what you create, as you do something you love.

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