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 classic candlelight Christmas centerpiece, updated with unique foliages and materials.
I've filled the container with floral foam, pre-soaked with flower food, and filled it quite full so I have a lot of surface area to work with. The pillar candles, using a candle stake, just placing it in and then placing it right into the foam, getting it nice and straight, repeating, and repeating once again. Giving myself a solid base to begin with.
The base of the design is a mixture of broadleaf and conifer to give it a little more interest. A Hinoki cypress is dense, dark green, fabulous. Cutting it off the stem, then using a knife to whittle the side a bit, exposing the inner wood. Then letting it drape in, coming out the back, the sides, the front. Then some Deodar cedar, gives it a nice draping look, has wonderful movement. Again, just cutting it off, then using the knife to scrape the bark off, exposing that inner area. Letting it drape, falling all the way to the tabletop. Also bring it up towards the center. Then to add the contrast, Fatsia leaves with their deep intense color. Terracing them to pull your eye from the base up towards the center, then bringing them back out the opposite side, creating horizontal movement from front to back in the design. Then for interest, the Pieris with the seedpods still tightly closed radiating from the central back, front, base, and sides.
The base design is beautiful as it is. You could stop here as long as you add water, it would last for weeks and weeks, giving you a wonderful, long lasting centerpiece. Of course we all love flowers, so going ahead and adding those next, but making sure the base is beautiful as it is so that when the flowers fade, you can just pull them out and the design continues to be gorgeous. Bringing in some white roses, some Vendela. Matches the ivory of the candles, keeping them short so that there'll be down low, drinking the water, lasting as long as possible. By grouping them, adding extra value, placing one shadowed behind the other, creating depth and impact. I need a perfect hole. There we go. And repeating that on the backside, because everything you do on the front you want to do on the back so that it's two sided. You don't end up with a flat side and a pretty side and then a not pretty side. You want it all to tie together. Again, shadowing below, bringing in the ivory hypericum berries. Little bit different color than what you may be used to. Softer, and it brings in that neutral look, following through the candles and the roses. Treating them as a filler flower to add a little bit of contrast throughout the design. And then to make it look a little more luxurious, some beautiful dendrobium orchids, just draped out the sides to bring the color out to the edges.
As you finish, you want to clip the wicks down to about a quarter of an inch. That way they'll burn the cleanest. Then spray the entire arrangement with Crowning Glory. That will lock the moisture in in both the flowers and the foliages for maximum life.
The recipe, so that you can repeat this at home. The Hinoki cypress and the Deodar cedar are both gifts from Jim Greg, so thank you for that. They are wonderful. You may want to harvest your own or source them through the wholesaler. Then I use 10 hypericum, 12 of Vendela roses, and six dendrobium orchids, a little bit of Pieris, six fatsia leaves, and you can see it's gorgeous.
With the dark days of winter, candlelight brightens and adds warmth to every design. Now you know the techniques for adding pillar candles and creating a contemporary flair, classic design. For more creative inspiration, check out the 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. Gather your supplies, create a beautiful arrangement. Be sure to take a photo and post it on social media. Tag Floral Design Institute. That way we all can see what you do as you do something you love.