Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Camp Chlorophyll!

Today's Project!

As most of you know, I'm a plant geek. I went to school for botany/plant taxonomy/horticultural science, followed by floral design school, followed by years of working as a florist and gardener.

I decided to try a new project for 2014...each month I'll do a botanical tutorial: design, holiday decor, gardening stuff, indoor plant collections, etc.


Not those kinds of plants!

For January 2014, I thought it would be great to start off with a really fun, simple, colorful and festive way to usher in the new year. It's a table centerpiece you can make at home with a plate, candle, hunks of oasis, and colorful flowers.

Step 1

Pick up some bright flowers with sturdy stems. I got roses, stock, and hydrangeas at Trader Joe's. You don't need to spend a ton of money for this project. Just getting some basics at the grocery store will work. If the weather was better, I would putter around outside and collect some branches and flowers from my garden to use.

Step 2

Soak the oasis (green foam blocks you can buy at a craft store, florist, or sometimes grocery shop).

Step 3

Condition the flowers. Recut the bottoms of the stems and soak in lukewarm water. You can add the packet of preservative if you want to.

Step 4

Get a nice big chunky candle and place it on a sturdy plate. NOT good china!

Step 5

Take the oasis and cut it into pieces that will fit around the candle.

Step 6

Cut flowers and foliage into pieces, make sure bottom of stem is stiff, not flimsy, or it won't pierce the oasis effectively.

Step 7

Start making a "nest" with foliage pieces.

Step 8

After inserting greens, start adding flowers. Make sure stems are in contact with oasis so they will absorb the moisture.

Step 9

Pack on flowers until all the oasis is hidden. 


Step 10

Spritz flowers with water to keep them fresh.


Light candle and order take-out for dinner since you're now too exhausted to cook.

Gorgeous! You have now completed Task #1 at Camp Chlorophyll. Congrats!

Until next month,

Stay Green!



Tales of Whimsy said...

Oh my word. It's so beautiful Penny. I've always wanted to learn floral design. Thank you!

Question: How long do you soak them before you can put them into the foam?

Penny Watson said...

Good question! I soaked both the foam and flowers for about half an hour. You want the foam totally soaked, all the way through. And the flowers should be nicely hydrated before you start designing.


Julia Barrett said...

Oh wow! This is your calling - pretty stuff. You are so crafty and I mean that in the best way. I'll have to give it a try.

Geek Amicus said...

I know I'm late for the party here, but this is awesome. The most awesome part is that just when I was beginning to seethe with jealously due to your talent and taste, you made it all better with your anti-Martha stance wrapped up in the sentence: "Light candle and order take-out for dinner since you're now too exhausted to cook.".

Penny Watson said...

Julia...I'm crafty and cunning! Watch out! :^)

Penny Watson said...

Thanks, Geek! We have a lot of pizza boxes in our recycling bin. I'm the Anti-Martha!