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Eucalyptus & Dried Flower Centerpiece

Combining Dried Flowers, Preserved Flowers and Fresh Flowers opens a new creative opportunity for the floral designer. In this how-to design video Leanne creates a grand oversized arrangement using flowers and materials from FiftyFlowers.com. The finished design built on a chicken wire armature is a stunning foam free centerpiece. 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 fabulous centerpiece combining seeded eucalyptus and fresh flowers with wonderful on-trend dried flowers.

The flowers, so many grand things to choose from. I went shopping at FiftyFlowers.com online. It makes it so easy. You can shop 24/7, sit in your pajamas and order flowers. How grand is that? I started with the seeded eucalyptus, long-lasting, lush, on trend, and it will dry and look fabulous. Then I added the golden mustard garden rose, some beautiful scabiosa and then protea for some interest and drama. Then I started searching out the dried materials. Of course, I chose my favorite, the Italian ruscus. It's preserved and bleached, will last and last and last, and that ivory hue, so grand mixed with the seeded eucalyptus. Then I wanted an assortment so I went to the French vanilla bouquet. It's a pre-done bouquet, comes packed all together, carefully protected with the wrap. I'm not going to use it as the bouquet though. I'm going to take it apart and use the components to add texture to my bouquet.

The vessel, a statement piece to really add drama to the design. The mechanics, foam free, starting with fresh water premixed with flower food, and then to support, using floral netting. That'll give me the structure, the armature that I need to hold everything in place. Then I'm going to start with the seeded eucalyptus for a lavish base. Pulling it apart, cleaning off the lower leaves, giving it a snap, then placing it down in, making sure you get it into the water so it will drink and hold well. Repeating that, and as I work just radiating around from side to side, letting it drape over, breaking the line of the container. Then of course in addition to the radius, you want to come up through the center, filling it in, so it gives you a full bouquet all the way around.

You can see it's beautiful even with just the seeded eucalyptus. You might want to use that for another bouquet, but I can't stop there. I'm going to fill in with some of the Italian ruscus, the preserved foliage, giving it a cut and bringing up some through the center. See how that brightens. Then longer pieces out towards the sides, again radiating from that central binding point, filling in. Then coming back with the protea. It adds such drama. Now the stems are so large and heavy, you want to use a nice pruner. Give it a nice cut then set it down in and again radiate from side to side.

At any point you could stop and have a beautiful design, finish it out, cover up your mechanics. But of course adding the depth of color with the golden mustard garden roses makes it even more special. Giving them a cut and placing them in so that they will go down deeply, down into the water. Maybe leaving them a little bit taller so that they come over the top of things, but then another one a little shorter, drawing the eye down in but still deeply into the water. Then coming out to the sides so that you can fill in drawing the eye downward at the sides of the bouquet.

The final touch, the drieds for texture. So taking the French vanilla bouquet and cutting it apart, opening it out. Save the wrap. I'm certainly going to use that for something. Don't know what, but it's a nice little touch. Then opening again and just letting it separate out. Smaller bunches, gently pulling, repeating, and repeating. So much variety in here, it's just amazing. Then using a 22-gauge wire, clutch wrapping, tying it together so that when you go to place it inside to the vessel, it'll all just stay without having to be worrying about all the loose ends. Giving it a cut and placing it down right into the armature. Finding the perfect hole around with everything else, sliding it down in, getting the texture down into the bouquets. Again, clutch wrapping, taking it on down so you're just tying all those ends together, and giving it a cut and placing it into the bouquet.

All the flowers are from FiftyFlowers.com and you can see the combination of fresh, dried, preserved is fabulous. The recipe. I use 20 of the golden mustard roses, 15 of the protea, 1 bunch of the preserved ruscus. Then 2 of the French vanilla bouquets and 2 bunches of seeded eucalyptus. Of course, I'm going to add the light and delicate right over the top, the scabiosa, so strong and sturdy. I'm going to add 10 scabiosa and let them come delicately dancing over the top.

The combination of dried and preserved materials with fresh gives you a whole new realm of creativity. It's so much fun, but it's time to explore. Log onto FiftyFlowers.com, search by dried and see what's available. After you find your favorites, go back and search by color so you can see what fresh flowers would coordinate so perfectly. Then it's your turn to create. If you need more creative inspiration, you can find it at the website, Flower School .com. If you have questions, you can reach us through there or pick up the telephone and give me a call at (503)223-8089. Now it's your turn. What are you going to create, combining dried and fresh? Be sure to take a photo, post it on social media and tag Floral Design Institute. That way I'll see, and the tribe can see, what you create as you do something you love.

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