My Creative Workbook

Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman

Latch an imperfect stem support for thin stemmed and heavy design details

Choose a few imperfect stems to latch together

This time of year is perfect for harvesting... stems. As we deadhead some of our flowers we are left with rather pretty stems that can absolutely be used in a design.

This technique actually works better if your stems are not perfectly straight. I wanted to show you more about why I choose these crooked stems in a way that you can ask me questions... or comment on the idea so I added it as a tip in our email this week. You can subscribe below this post if you are not yet receiving your email. Also I would love to hear what you are designing or growing... or for you to say hi. Please be patient though... I do respond to all the emails but some weeks it takes me a few days to work through them all.

Use a blade of grass to knot the ends of the stems to latch it together

Use a blade of grass (or an iris leaf as I did here) to knot the ends of the stems to latch it together at both sides.

Book readers turn to page 59 for a gorgeous knot to try if you want to level up this design. It is absolutely a knot every floral designer needs to master.
For more information about my book: The Effortless Floral Craftsman

Rest the stem support over a water filled container

Rest the stem support over a water filled container.

Wiggle the stems a bit so that they find a natural way to sit on the container

Wiggle the stems a bit so that they find a natural and balanced way to sit snugly on the container.

Slip the thin stem through a gap in the latched support stems

Slip the thin stem through a gap in the latched support stems. Move the stems into a position where they fit , but are not pinched, between the two stems.

Do the same with the thin stems of the strawberries

Do the same with the thin and droopy stems of the strawberries.

Gently thread the strawberry stems deeper into the water

Gently thread the strawberry stems deeper into the water until you find a position where the stems carry some of the weight of the berry to tilt it slightly up to keep it from looking wilted or sad. Or where possible use the support stem to prop up a berry.

This is really important. Even more so when designing in summertime when flowers can start to look wilted really quickly. Make sure the design details have a general uptilt to it so that it looks fresh and happy. Like a smile... always curve the design details up.

Finish your design with a few dew drop crystals

Finish your design with a few dew drop crystals.

See the Tutorial below for more detailed instructions on how and why I add the crystals with a pin.

Every week I add a new design with related tutorials. Be sure to subscribe to receive an email notification with design inspiration.


13 July 2022 Suspend a tiny flower over a large water filled container in a sandwich knot support

You don't have to design with a bud vase when you have a bud vase sized flower.

11 January 2023 Unfurl winter’s potential in a snow filled monstera leaf shelter

Capture a bit of winter magic by placing delicate flower buds in the middle of two large leaves.

6 April 2022 Create a design gap with two leaves to create shivering whiskers for your Spring design

Adding design details to create tiny gaps for more design details.

7 March 2018 Phormium bubble frame

Curl and secure a few blades of flax into a bubble to frame your flowers

8 January 2020 Leaf-puddle for a short stem in a big vase

Add a leaf to a large-ish vase to create a small puddle of water for your short flower stem to rest in.

11 September 2019 Weave a small wreath in the side twig of a willow branch to keep a flower in place in your design

This is both a decorative and functional design solution. But most importantly, I think, there is absolutely zero waste.

10 October 2018 Single blade wrap armature

Fold a single blade of grass or slender leaf around a small container to stand your flower in position

27 January 2016 Sprouting willow armature

Carefully manipulate and bend green willow stems to place in water to sprout as an armature for tulips to mature and open

28 January 2015 Well Rooted Sprouting Willow Weave

Weave a sprouting armature

22 November 2017 Acorn fork

Wire and glue a few acorns into the fork of a twig to create an Autumn armature

7 June 2023 Peg the heavy details in place with a wedged stem support

Create a support for your floral details by wedging the cut flower stem across the opening of the vase.

1 April 2015 Hana-kubari Bamboo

Hana-Kubari is an Ikebana flower mechanic. Only natural materials such as pebbles, sticks and branches can be seen to support the flowers. Traditionally no twine or wire, nails,...

Related Designs

5 July 2023 The Wiggle Is Part Of The Plan

A easy going summer design that makes full use of the imperfections you harvest from your cut garden.

13 July 2022 Blue…

The tiniest flower adds some much needed coolness to a summer floral design.

11 January 2023 Maybe Still Maybe

... a something to look forward to design that makes you lean in closer to see what might still be.

6 April 2022 Gaps between those in-between Spring days

Give a minimal design a few grass "whiskers" to feel that Spring breeze.

7 March 2018 Twist of its own

... a quick an easy design. Curl a few flax leaves to frame orchids

8 January 2020 Rest a bit here

Gently curve a shallow area with a leaf to showcase a gorgeous flower with a short stem in a water filled vase

11 September 2019 Transition into Fall

A sustainable, absolutely no waste floral design using willow to suspend your flower head in your arrangement.

10 October 2018 From A... for Acer to Z… for Zantedeschia

This week we look at the design featured in the Flower Guide Chapter at the very end of my book

27 January 2016 Well, I'll be

Manipulate fresh willow stems to create a sprouting armature for long tulip stems

28 January 2015 In a State of Flow

weave some willow to use as an armature

22 November 2017 How do squirrels Cache a tree?

Hoard a few acorns in the fork of a twig to show off a single oncidium orchid.

7 June 2023 Be excited

Oh my! Picked from my balcony garden... after I thought I completely missed it blooming.

1 April 2015 The Space Between

Traditional Hana-Kubari flower mechanic