Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman
Dried and fresh hydrangeas with sticks and bark
Hydrangea, when cultivated as a cut flower rather as a plant it is often revered to as Hortensia
There are more than 100 species of Hydrangeas. New varieties improve on vase life and are increasingly popular as a cut flower.
The flower colour depends on the level of acidity in the soil its planted. Available in white, blue, green, pink, and late autumn you will find a rusty red.
Hydrangeas are notoriously hard to condition. Even a well conditioned stem can still decide to wilt at a very inconvenient moment. Due to the popularity of Hydrangeas, especially as wedding flowers, there has been improvements in vase life in the last few years.
Can be broken down into florets or grouped for impact. As a wedding bouquet it is great to use the shape as a guide and simply insert other flowers to follow the round ball shape. I also like to dry stems or the florets to use in permanent arrangement. I also use the dried flower head stems to make perfectly shaped gypsophilla snow balls. I love working with the stems because they look thick and robust but it is easy to cut and press a wire through the sponge filled center.
Harvest your Hydrangeas when they are more mature and rustle like dried grass when you run your fingers over the flower puff. The new flowers and buds do not hydrate well. Hortensia is easier to hydrate. Pour a bit of boiling water into a heat resistant container. Give the stem a fresh cut and place it in the boiling hot water for about a minute to shock the air bubbles out of the spongy stem. Remember to protect the flowers from the steam. Remove the stems, cut the boiled stem ends and place the flowers neck deep in water with dissolved flower food in. You can also let the entire stem swim in a water bath overnight to hydrate. Gently shake the flowers dry before designing.
Sign up for my weekly newsletter
Every week I add a new design with related tutorials. Be sure to subscribe to receive an email notification with design inspiration.
Attach three Physalis pods to drop down in a long lasting Fall design.
Gently curve ripped foliage over flowers to add a cooling movement to a minimal summer design.
A cooling design for early summer days with swinging ripped grass and more than enough water for thirsty hydrangeas.
Craft a wire tripod to fit into the bristles of a handcrafted broom so that it can stand freely in your display.
Preserve some floral material to design with when it is but not quite Autumn outside.
Floral styling using mostly dried material that will last the entire Autumn.
Another version of a design idea I showed you last month... A vine wreath armature to balance a dramatic single stem anthurium. Only this time I take it a bit further.
A wreath armature design for early Autumn... this takes the split armature Tutorial I showed you last month a little bit further.
Yay everyone! I found the absolute best way to preserve passion fruit flowers. Here it is: how to dry flowers using Silica Gel.
A flat-lay to celebrate finally finding the perfect way to dry passion fruit flowers... and my book's first birthday but mostly the drying of passion fruit flowers thing.
The second design I did for my book launch demonstration looking at aspects that influences my effortless style of designing.
The first design I did for my book launch demonstration looking at aspects that influences my effortless style of designing.
My book launch demonstration was hosted by my flower-buddies from the Capilano Flower Arranging Club. We looked at what influences our own effortless style... that "thing" that...
Create a contrasting base to lift the heavy flower-head to design in
Barely there skeleton blossoms with Eucalyptus eyes for my Halloween design... Oh! and a Willow Paddle, which probably should have been the main Tutorial... but... well...
Wrap a ribbon around an up-cycled plastic ring for the most comfortable wrist corsage
Take inspiration from a traditional Dream-catcher design to create a floral armature
Retail florists and wholesalers are already designing, ordering and preparing their product range for Mother's Day. This is my article that I wrote for the Mother's Day Design...
Retail florists and wholesalers are already designing, ordering and preparing their product range for Valentine's Day. This is my article that I wrote for the December 2012...
August is the month for retail florists and wholesalers to start designing, ordering and preparing their product range for the Christmas and Festive Season. This is my article...
A veil of green wool, Spanish moss and dried hydrangeas hang over white lilies
Use all three methods to dry hydrangeas to get three very different textures to use in design work.
As a floral artist I am inspired by the endurance of nature and my work is still re-creating the Sleeping Beauty Castle of my imagination.
Designing adventurous Contemporary Floral centerpieces Article in the Canadian Florist Magazine.
A clean Easter design. The tiny blossoms are Kalanchoe 'Calandiva Pink'. Tucked low in the paper eggs are a few Cymbidium orchids and the twigs are contorted hazel. The...
Floral Craftsmanship Article in the Canadian Florist Magazine
I designed my posy to be light and feathery but also earthly, like a fresh snowball gathered from a forest floor.
Decorate the wire tiara with florets, curls and baubles
Easter Basket used in the Durbanville Flower Club Easter Parade Demonstration
Flax leaves are ripped with a kenzan and wrapped with copper wire and small blue beads to create a rope to weave into a delicate spider web.