Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman
Longer lasting Gladiolus Composite Flower
The secret to this composite flower is how you cut the flower from the spiked stem. By leaving the stem intact, each of the individual flowers will continue to draw up water without wilting or spoiling. This composite flower will last as long as the stems would arranged in the usual way.
Be very gentle. Gladiolus flowers bruise easily
Pull the husk from the flower on the spike
Snip the flower from the spike.
Peel away the rest of the green husks.
Have a good look at the gladiolus petals. They are already in a spiral formation making it easy to split and unfurl. You want to split the flower where my little finger is pointing
Gently lift the petal and split it down to the green stem.
As soon as the petal is split open it furls out easily...
Creating a beautiful flat flower to wrap into a composite flower.
Fit a closed bud between the split flower petals and gently wrap
Split another flower open and wrap that around the bud
Make sure all the green stems are at the same height so that they will all be in water when you place the flower in a vase
Continue to add more split flowers to build up a lush composite flower
Have a look from the front and add split flowers where needed
Carefully place the flowers in a vase...
... making sure all the stems touch to bottom of the vase and none of the petals are trapped below the water line
Carefully add water. See the Tutorial below for more information on adding water so that you do not bruise the delicate petals or disturb design details
Design note: The closed bud in the middle of the flower opened up and fanned out after a few days
Break the water flow when you fill a vase with details in that can move with the stream of water
Great way to use all the autumn leaves you collect on walks during the season. Slowly build up the leaf rosette and let the leaves dry before adding a few more.
I used to make baskets full of these when I was a little girl. We had a big Acasia thorn tree and I used to spear my “roses” onto the tree pretending I was the fairy responsible...
Split and spiral a few gladiolus flowers in a way that the stems remain intact, to spiral in a water filled filled vase for a long lasting composite flower
Use the petals of your flower to cleverly keep all the other floral details of your design firmly in place.
A little bit of effort... that will last for weeks design to roll us in to the Festive Season.