Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman
New growth Spring frog
Cut a few willow stems that are just starting to develop and show signs of green...
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.
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....
... 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!?! 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.
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 so that all the stems are under water.
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.
Multiple tiny twigs create a flower frog to keep the delicate buds and leaves in the exact spot you want.
Break the water flow when you fill a vase with details in that can move with the stream of water
Twist lily grass slightly to create a spiral for the orchids to nestle in
Komiwara is a classic and traditional Ikebana technique used in a Rikka design. Designers would usually bundle straw to keep the flowers in place.
Design in two levels by using two vases, the smaller slipped into a bigger one.
New growth is really difficult to design with and definitely needs to be conditioned and placed in a water source
Tie a bundle of lily grass in a bundle to offer support for your 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!
Fake an early Spring by crafting a long lasting stick bundle that has a blossoming branch of succulent flowers.
Snip and grow willow to create a Spring new growth support for your tall flower stems.
I would definitely describe my own personal style as minimalist classic... but with an edgy twist.
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
The design for the cover of my book, the effortless floral craftsman, crafted from Fiddlehead Fern and Red Lipstick Hanging Heliconia.
A little bit of effort... that will last for weeks design to roll us in to the Festive Season.
A bundle of twigs armature to create a pretend Spring design for a snowy morning.