Create a Bouquet

Orchid Cascade Design

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Create a lovely cascading bouquet in a traditional manner, using the same techniques as a professional wedding florist.

Begin by securing your bouquet holder in a in a vase weighted down with gravel or marbles. The holder must be secure, as cascades tend to become heavy and can fall forward damaging the flowers if you aren't careful.

You may want to consider one of the holders from Oasis - the SuperWet. I love this new holder because it comes in both green and white, has a large head of foam and is available in slant. The best part is that the handle is hollow with a built in wick - allowing you to place the finished bouquet in a vase of water where it continues to draw up moisture and feed the flowers! Awesome - no more continually wetting the Oasis. This allows you to make the bouquet up a couple days in advance - saving a lot of time for a busy DIY bride.

Clean off the bottom stems of your snapdragons and insert as shown. Insert only about 1" - deep enough to be secure and not fall out, but shallow enough to leave room for other flower stems in the holder.

The firm rule is to INSERT ONCE! Repeatedly pushing and pulling stems out of foam causes it to crumble and break, and wallows out holes that will make your flowers loose in the design. So cut carefully and insert only once into the bouquet.

I now add in some mixed greenery to add visual interest and texture to the bouquet design. I tend to remove the leaves from the seeded eucalyptus since they tend to be rather floppy and uncontrolled.

Accents like this tend to have more impact if you cluster in groups rather than sprinkle sparingly around the design.

To create a bouquet like this one, you want to place your larger flowers in the center of the design. You will need to put the Cymbidium Orchids on corsage picks and then attach Cowee picks. These flowers are heavy and need to have a good stem support before inserting into the bouquet holder.

I now added a little touch of Ming Fern in the upper right and lower left of the bouquet.

I looped the Lemon grass with Cowee picks and inserted into the bottom right right on top of the variagated pittosporum. You can see that decorative greens can add just as much to a bouquet design as flowers do!

Now I've added some flat Sword Fern, giving a graceful framing and a lighter green color to the design.

Now I fill in some of the empty spaces with white dendrobium orchids - some cut shorter for the center and longer pieces draping down to fill out the cascade.

Stephanotis blooms should be "hardened" first by soaking in a chilled water bath. Then you pluck off the green stem and slide the white, star-like bloom on a stephanotis pick. Florists often finish stephanotis with a pearl or diamond center. You will need to cut the stem off the pin with wire cutters. and insert the shortened stem into the center of each stephanotis.

Again, to create a bouquet with visual impact, I began inserting the stephanotis in a grouping in the upper right.

I then added more of them down on the left on the other side of the cymbidium orchids.

The result was a loose, open bouquet design with the different shades of white making a lot of depth and visual interest.

I always finish every bouquet by using Floralock Adhesive to secure the stems into the bouquet holder. The can has a long, red nozzle that inserts deep into the flowers. Squirt in short bursts, shaking the can throughly to be sure all the glue flows evenly.

Spray with a flower sealant such as Finishing Touch. This seals and hydrates the petals, delaying wilting and transparency. These products are SO IMPORTANT. If you want to create a bouquet as a florist would, don't skip these steps. This is what separates amateurs from the professionals. These products are not that expensive and truly do extend the life of fresh flowers.

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