Tropical Inspiration

Consumer demand for tropical flowers and foliages is rapidly increasing. At Floral Design Institute when we seek out new trends and inspiration in tropical floral design and products the Tropical Plant International Expo TPIE has become our “Go-To” resource. In this video clip Leanne creates a dramatic tropical formal linear design as she shares emerging trends and techniques for designing with tropical flowers and foliages. Enjoy!

Welcome to the Flower School .com video library. I'm Leanne Kesler, director of the Floral Design Institute. Today, I'm here to chat with you with what's new, what's exciting in the world of flowers, and where do I look? TPIE. 

What, you may be asking, is TPIE? TPIE is the Tropical Plant International Expo. It happens every January in Fort Lauderdale, and it's a perfect opportunity to see what's new and exciting in growing materials. Lots and lots of plants and cut flowers too. Today, I grab some tropical, some temperate, some local, because in floral design today, you can mix and match anything. We've got some great items; monstera leaves, big large things, you can get them cut or as a plant. Ti leaves, ruscus, maori look at that, isn't that a great line? Fox tail fern is the common name. Some lily grass. Beehive ginger, great coloration. Look at the flowerettes coming out. Then looking into the other side, some cymbidium orchids, Ilex and interesting, Australian Pine. Look at the color. Isn't that great with the tropicals? 

To stay on trend, a textural bark covered container. Absolutely fabulous, filled with floral foam, pre-soaked with flower food. Then I want to cover my mechanics. It's a lot of surface area, so coming in with the large monstera leaves, setting them in, and then terracing back, getting quick coverage coming out the opposite side, and again terraced over. Tucking in some of the ruscus. Getting movement, and then for even more texture, bits of moss just slid in between adding definition to the design. 

The ginger are so big and bold. They're perfect for the focal emphasis, and then you cut them with your knife, but the stem is so heavy a pruner can even be better. Then just placing it in. Drawing the eye back a bit to the container, then a second one, a little closer to the front. A little bit lower to draw the eye down. 

At the expo, you're always going to be introduced to new materials, not one that's not brand new, but I'm sure they'll have several new varieties this year. It's the Tillandsia or the air plants, which is a wonderful addition to this design because as the flowers fade, the Tillandsia will still be fabulous, so just a touching a wood pick, securing it with wire, and then placing it right down into the design, then repeating it, another Tillandsia, already wood picked, placing it in. You can see it enhances the focal emphasis. 

As you can see, each material adds so much interest to this design. Now, I need to add some line to really give your eye a path to follow, and maori is perfect for that. A little longer than I need so cutting it down, and then placing it in, so it draws your eye inward in the design and repeating that line. Then the ilex, coming on the opposite side, letting it add interest, drawing the eye upwards, so it's coming through back up, then a bit of the Australian pine to bring in that great coloration, and start filling in and adding texture. 

To finish the design, I want to add a little more interest and then also finish covering my mechanics, maybe taking ti leaves, giving it a cut, and then rolling it back on itself, piercing and placing it down into the foam to conceal in the back. Repeating that wherever else I've got a little bit of a spot, maybe some lily grass, softening it by using the back of my knife, letting it drape through the design, and then adding in cymbidiums, taking individual blooms, giving it a cut, and then using a water tube, setting it right down into the foam. 

We are so lucky to be florists today. There are so many fabulous materials to work with and new things coming out constantly, and if you're like me, you're always on the hunt. What's new? What's exciting? What's on trend? In January, join me for TPIE. That's where you'll find what's new, what's hot, what's happening, both in plants and flowers. More than 400 exhibitors will be arriving in Fort Lauderdale, January 16 to 18. Hope you can join us. 

Now, for more creative inspiration, lovely designs, you'll find it on our website at Flower School .com. Do you have questions? You can reach us through the website where if it's easier, pick up the telephone and give me a call at 503-223-8089. Now, I'd love to see what you create. Gather some fabulous materials, create an arrangement, take a photo, and then post it on social media. Be sure to tag Floral Design Institute. In that way we all can see, because now, it's your turn. Have fun, and 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)
  • Wired Wood Picks Bundle of 375 6 inch
    Wired Wood Picks Bundle of 375 6 inch
  • Water Tubes Pack of 10 4.75 Inch
    Water Tubes Pack of 10 4.75 Inch