November 16, 2017

New (To Me) Floral Design Trend

I really enjoy making flower arrangements so I was happy
that one of the workshops at the recent Country Living Fair
in Atlanta was titled "Vintage Vessels and Seasonal Blooms:
Ingredients for a Remarkable Centerpiece". 

The speaker was Emily Kennedy. She is a floral designer
with her own company, Kennedy Occasions, based in
Nashville, Tennessee. It is a wedding planning and floral
design studio. I believe she said that she started out as a
wedding planner and began to get interested in the floral
design aspect of weddings also. 
I did not get a good picture of Emily at the workshop so I am borrowing this from her website.

My expectation for the workshop would be how to use
vintage items as the base for flower arrangements shaped
in a traditional rounded or fan shape but I was in for a 
surprise. In workshops Emily has attended to learn floral
design, a different type of arrangements and even bridal
bouquets seems to be emerging. 

The look is looser, airier with more of a "gathered from
the garden" look. Instead of the flowers being very close
together, the trend is for each flower to have some space.
Also, instead of spreading a certain flower or color of
flower equally through the design like confetti, the design
has a "palette" of color that goes from one shade to 
another or even light to dark. Most shocking to me, this
type of arrangement usually does not use floral foam!

Emily brought several different types of vintage vessels
and she let the audience pick which one we wanted her to
demonstrate the arrangement in. We picked a milk glass one.

The following photos are not good quality because they
are literally "screen shots" as in, I took pictures of the
screen in the class tent. The screen showed the images of
an overhead camera so we could better see how Emily
was constructing the arrangement. 

First she affixed some floral clay to the bottom of a 
floral pin frog. Then she carefully put pressure on the
pin frog to make sure the clay would hold the frog 
securely on the inside bottom of the vessel. 

Next she crumpled up a piece of chicken wire and put it 
over the pin frog. She secured the chicken wire with 
waterproof floral tape (this is different than stem wrap tape).

It is kind of hard to see on the white turntable but 
the milk glass vessel is an octagon shape

With the floral mechanics secured she started the
centerpiece by adding stems of a bush called "ninebark".

She pushed these stems securely into the pins of the frog
so they would stay at the angle she wanted them to.
Small leafed eucalyptus (parvifolia?) was added too. 

After she had established some lines of the centerpiece with
greenery she started adding her focal flowers.

The extra vintage vessels kept me from having a clear view but I thought it would be pushy to ask to move them.

As she put more flowers in she was mostly grouping them
from light tones to dark tones.

As she neared the end of placing flowers, she put small
chocolate cosmos in to "dance" or "float" over the center-
piece on their delicate stems. 

Here is the lovely finished centerpiece...

Here is a not so glamorous shot but shows the centerpiece
from a different angle. 

Because it was hard to see close up what she used for 
mechanics to hold the stems up and in place, I got the
four main things at JoAnn's and Michael's to show you.

I already had the chicken wire so it is not in a package like
it would be on the floral aisle but you would recognize it.
The green rectangle with white label is what I used to call
floral putty but this package says "clay brick" at Joann's.
Michael's has the same thing but in a roll like a fat tape.
Both places had the waterproof tape; Joann's is clear,
Emily used green so I got that. The pin frog was a little
cheaper at Joann' was less than $5. The other three 
items were about $3.50 each so not a big investment.

Emily told us to practice making these type arrangements
to get better at it so here is my attempt...

The container I want to put the arrangement in is not made to
 hold water (although you can see I have put wet floral foam 
in it in the past) so I am using a clear glass bowl inside of it.

Pinch off a wad of the floral clay and squish it with your 
fingers to get it pliable and in a round disk shape about 
the size of the bottom of the pin frog. Push it on the frog.

Without sticking your fingers on the brass pins, push the clay
and the frog firmly on the bottom of your vessel.

Cut a generous portion of chicken wire. You want to have
 enough to be able to crumple it up into almost a ball shape.
Like my "all weather" wire cutters?

Fold, crumple, wad the chicken wire. You are trying to get
a lot of spaces for the stems to be supported.

Tape down the chicken wire with the waterproof tape to
 keep it from moving around.

My tape did not stick well. I googled and found that the 
object you are attaching the tape to and your fingers have
 to be totally dry for it to adhere. Live and learn.

I put some water in the glass bowl...I don't remember Emily
saying when to add that...maybe it not a big deal. 

This shows me trying to fix my bad tape job by adding more tape.

I put my glass bowl into the prettier container.

Too much visual clutter on the patio...going inside to
be able to see the shape of the greenery and flowers better.

"Foraging" for interesting greenery and branches
is a term I heard several times while researching
more about this type of flower arranging. 

I've never used a pin frog before but the stems do seem
secure when they are pushed down on to it.

"Loose", "organic", "spreading" are other terms used to
 describe this floral style. Most of the arrangements I have
seen done like Emily's are asymmetrical.

Be sure to fill your container with water so the flowers
can drink and stay fresh. Recheck water level daily.

Some floral designers don't use the pin frog for this style.
 However they do use more chicken wire to make the ball.
 So if you want to try this type arrangement without purchasing
the pin frog and clay, here is a tiny version of that technique.

Cut enough chicken wire so that when you crumple it into
a ball shape, you have almost like layers. Tape it securely
with the waterproof tape.  

Like Emily, start with some greenery.

Add flowers by pushing the stems through the spaces
in the chicken wire to hold them in place. Add more
greenery at the end if needed. 

If you want to follow Emily and her company on social
media, here is that information.

To see more of Emily's work here is a link to her Pinterest.

One of Emily's mentors is Ashley Beyer of Tinge Floral.
She designs in a similar style to Emily. Here is a link 
to Tinge Floral on Pinterest to see more floral examples.

To watch Ashley make a centerpiece from start to 
finish and comment along the way, there is a free
video to watch on "If I Made" website.

This style of floral design may not be that "new" but
it certainly is "new to me"...what about you?

I am sharing this post over at this blog party...
Home Sweet Home @ The Charm of Home
Flaunt It Friday @ Chic On A Shoestring


  1. It's really lovely Gayle. I must admit I prefer arrangements that are lose and less controlled. It looks more like nature intended

  2. So pretty! I am loving your floral arrangements.


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