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Long and Low Centerpiece

At Floral Design Institute we are always exploring new concepts, design styles, techniques and products. In this Flower School How-To Video Leanne demonstrates the use of a new design product, Agra-Wool. This product is a replacement for the standard floral foam. Composed of basalt and sucrose it is completely natural, compostable and decomposes completely. Leanne demonstrates several design techniques as she creates a lovely centerpiece with flowers from Florabundance.com and GardenRosesDiret.com. Enjoy!

Video Transcription

Welcome to the Flower School .com video library. I'm Leanne Kesler, director of the Floral Design Institute. Today, I want to share with you a long and low centerpiece built on the new foam alternative, Agra Wool.

We have some amazing flowers to work with. Everything's from GardenRosesDirect.com or Florabundance.com. The garden roses, the beautiful tiara, the soft mauvy lavender, opens lovely, very, very long lasting. It's a great favorite. Then to coordinate, some snapdragons, ranunculus, super fabulous jasmine vine, some dendrobiums, hydrangea, agonis to bring in the depth of color, eryngium, and statice. Sticking with that wonderful palette of purples that's so popular.

The base of the design, the Agra Wool. It soaks just like a traditional floral foam, cuts similarly, works similarly, but it is an eco-choice. Here, I've cut it down, placed it in the dish and taped it. Now, it's already soaked with flower food, but I would go ahead and add more water to the reservoir to make sure that it stays hydrated, keeping your flowers alive as long as possible.

I have just one of the hydrangea, so I'm going to want to use that as part of my focal emphasis, keeping it low, appropriate for a long and low centerpiece, and then also slightly centered. It doesn't have to be perfectly centered. Now, with the hydrangea it will last so much longer if I dip it in alum, the pickling spice, then place it in right on the foam. That becomes a coverage in helping to break the line of the container. Then extending, some with a agonis. It breaks nicely, giving a good cut as well. Then inserting it, letting it drape. The dendrobium orchids also give me nice elongation with color, out to the side, and repeating it. You can come slightly forward so it's not stiff, just two arms, right and left, angling it, and repeating, coming out the opposite side. Then also adding in the jasmine vine, letting that drape long, low, fabulous. Then continue creating the perimeter of your arrangement.

The form is established, the focal emphasis begun, wonderful textures and colors. Now moving forward, the snapdragons also give you low movement, but you want to think about the fact that they are phototropic and geotropic. They're going to continue to try to grow against gravity and toward the light, so they're better down low, not way long and out, because if we go way out it's going to try to curl up like so. But talking them low to the vessel, even if they do curl, it'll curl with the arrangement and it will be just fine. Adding that little bit of movement and color contrast, pulling your eye back towards the focal emphasis. Adding in some wonderful texture with the eryngium, a little deeper in color, tucking. Then the intensity of the statice and weaving it through the hydrangeas. Then, of course, we can't forget the fabulous tiara arose. They're perfect for this design, tucking them in, grouping and pulling back just a little lower so it enhances and then designing up through the center and across towards the back.

The final detail, a little touch of lightness and whimsy from the ranunculus. Now, they are a little trickier because they're more fragile, but these stems are actually pretty strong, but there's a trick. When you cut them, take an ice pick, pre-drill a hole. Think about where you want it. Put that in, make sure you've got that ready, then taking the stem, finding the exact spot and placing it down in, making sure it's firmly embedded. Then you can repeat that, adding the buds. Again, pre-drilling a hole, finding the hole, then placing it down in firmly. And again, with as many of the ranunculus as you want, letting them grow up out of the design.

The recipe for this luxurious long and low centerpiece? The tiara roses, were from Garden Roses Direct. I used 10 of them. Then from Florabundance.com, 10 of the dendrobium, 10 of the ranunculus. Then I did portions of a bunch of the agonis, the eryngium, the jasmine vine, then five of the snapdragons, a bit of a statice. One hydrangea, yes, just one of the hydrangea. You can see, tucked together, it's full and luxurious.

It's fun to explore different options for foam-free designs, and Agra Wool, it's just one of many. For more creative inspiration, check out the website at Flower School .com. If you have questions, you can reach us through there or pick up the telephone and give us a call at 503-223-8089. Now it's your turn. Gather your most favorite purple flowers, create a design. Be sure to take a photograph and post it on social media, hashtag Floral Design Institute, that way we all can see what you do as you do something you love.

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