My Creative Workbook

Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman

New growth Spring frog

Cut a few willow stems that are just starting to develop

Cut a few willow stems that are just starting to develop and show signs of green...

Into short sections

Into short sections. Make sure you keep the upside end of the stem up and the bottom end down so that the stem can continue to grow.

If you get mixed up the clever willow plant come with arrows... look carefully at the stem to find the "up" arrows. If you need more information have a look at the article I wrote for Plant Something BC about planting willow to coppice for crafting.

Fill a bud vase with water

Fill a bud vase with water.

Cup the stems in your hand and place it in the small opening of a bud vase

Cup the stems in your hand and place it in the small opening of a bud vase.

If you struggle a bit to get the stems wedged into the exact position you want I have a Tutorial for you below to make it easier.

Let the willow stand for a few days to let the new growth develop

Let the willow stand for a few days to let the new growth develop....

... for a few days before replacing the water to make sure the twigs are securely wedged into place. I have a bit more information about that and about a delicate way to adjust the roots without breaking them in my email this week. Make sure you are on the list by signing up below the post. I send out the email every Wednesday morning (Vancouver time) the moment the design is ready. It is our place where we can connect. You are welcome to reply to the email if you have questions or comments... or if you want to say hi and tell me what you are currently designing.

How pretty is this

How pretty is this!?! Fresh green growth ready for you to admire on a desk or table or add a long stem flower...

New growth is too tempting to miss out on in designs... but... they simply don't last. This is how I grow new growth for my designs. I show you more in my book on page 75. It is right next to one of my all time favourite designs.

For more information about my book: The Effortless Floral Craftsman

Slip the tall flower stem between the willow stems

Slip the tall flower stem between the willow stems.

Gently push the stem into the willow so that it stands upright

Gently push the stem from the cut end of the stem into the willow so that it stands upright.

Do not force the stem. The willow is quite tightly packed and can easily break the stem. Work slowly and slip the stem deeper until it is in position and in the water below in the vase to remain hydrated. Take extra care. You want the water to be clear and debris free and a crushed stem will increase the bacterial growth in the vase. You also require a tall stem for this look so take your time and be gentle.

Top up the water in the bud vase

Top up the water in the bud vase so that all the stems are under water.

Inspect the vase to make sure all the new growth stems can freely grow

Inspect the vase to make sure all the new growth stems can freely grow and are not stuck between the stems to finish off the design.

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


22 May 2012 Spiral twig frog

Multiple tiny twigs create a flower frog to keep the delicate buds and leaves in the exact spot you want.

22 May 2012 Filling a vase with water without disturbing the design details

Break the water flow when you fill a vase with details in that can move with the stream of water

22 May 2012 Bite and snap a sturdy twig

Break the sturdy twig on the scribe line.

22 June 2016 Lily grass spiral in a vase

Twist lily grass slightly to create a spiral for the orchids to nestle in

7 May 2014 Rethinking the traditional Komiwara technique

Komiwara is a classic and traditional Ikebana technique used in a Rikka design. Designers would usually bundle straw to keep the flowers in place.

2 August 2017 Two vase, two level Phormium snippets

Design in two levels by using two vases, the smaller slipped into a bigger one.

27 April 2016 Hiding a secret water source in a twig frog

New growth is really difficult to design with and definitely needs to be conditioned and placed in a water source

4 July 2018 Bundle Support

Tie a bundle of lily grass in a bundle to offer support for your flowers.

21 February 2018 Stem line-up

Line up stems to create a base for the heavy Hanging Heliconia stems

16 November 2022 Magnolia Rose Bowl with the brightest Holly berries and Kalanchoe flowers

Long lasting berries, magnolia leaves and succulent (kalanchoe) flowers that can remain without any water or maintenance for... well... all the way to Christmas!

5 February 2020 Pour glue over a stick Bundle to craft a Poke Out Spring stick Armature

Fake an early Spring by crafting a long lasting stick bundle that has a blossoming branch of succulent flowers.

18 June 2014 Sticking a stick curve to create a hollowed out crescent armature

An easy way to create a neat curve in a very short time

Favourite Flowers

Salix matsudana "Tortuosa"

Curly Willow, Chinese Willow, Tortured Willow, Globe Willow, Dragon's Claw, Hankow Willow

Related Designs

26 April 2023 Oh So Me

Snip and grow willow to create a Spring new growth support for your tall flower stems.

13 September 2023 I am a fan!

Giving my book a super fan make-over.

5 June 2024 hang out with.. you know… floristically speaking

Making what makes your floral details unique the focal point of a design

22 May 2012 Lean

Place short twigs, leaning to one side to create a flower frog

22 June 2016 Perfection

Spiral grass to create a nest for the lady slipper orchids

22 May 2019 Putting your own spin on it

I would definitely describe my own personal style as minimalist classic... but with an edgy twist.

7 May 2014 Serendipity

Be inspired by traditional Ikebana techniques

11 September 2013 Making it last

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

2 August 2017 Grace

Use snips and snippets and leftovers to create a design of it's own

18 March 2015 Spring Dreaming

A bowl full of miniature Chrysanthemums

4 July 2018 Wonder

Tie a bundle of grass to support your floral details

21 February 2018 Impossible things

A cut stem flower frog for the heavy Hanging Heliconia flowers

26 September 2018 Cover Story

The design for the cover of my book, the effortless floral craftsman, crafted from Fiddlehead Fern and Red Lipstick Hanging Heliconia.

16 November 2022 All your Christmases…

A little bit of effort... that will last for weeks design to roll us in to the Festive Season.

5 February 2020 What it’s all about

A bundle of twigs armature to create a pretend Spring design for a snowy morning.

18 June 2014 Stuck stick

Glue a few sticks to create a hollowed out crescent armature