As I mentioned in my previous blog about the French style of floral design, I was inspired to create my Southern style arrangement using flowers and foliage from my own South Carolina landscape. The only floral items I purchased were a bouquet of fall floral mums and a bag of dried, sustainably gathered Spanish moss.
I always keep a selection of floral supplies on hand, making arranging flowers much easier. Wired floral picks, stem wire, and wet floral foam are kept on hand so I can quickly create an arrangement. A roll of floral wire covered with raffia provides a way to add support to a design. The raffia adds another attractive element and hides the wire. As I mentioned in an earlier blog on French style floral design, large pieces of oasis or floral frogs are not needed to support the design. The structure comes from the stems of the flowers and foliage to hold everything in place.
Taking a plastic floral bucket, I wrapped a piece of the raffia floral wire around the middle of the container to provide support for the magnolia leaf covering. I then alternated the glossy upperside of the magnolia leaves with the rusty pubescent underside to create a covering for the bucket. For a final touch, I added a drape of Spanish moss to add interest.
When prepping the flowers, always cut the bottom of the stem at a 45-degree angle to increase the surface area, allowing the flowers to absorb more water. Remove all the foliage below the water line to prevent bacterial buildup.
Wire pinecones with floral stem wire by wrapping the wire inside the scales on the lower part of the pinecone. This will make it easier to insert the pinecone into the arrangement.
Creating moss balls will add another interesting layer to your design. You can use fresh moss but only collect a small amount from an area to prevent wiping out a moss population. Longer-lasting moss balls can be created using preserved floral moss and be more ecologically sustainable.
The key to creating an interesting design is to use your imagination and the materials from your garden. Mixing shapes, sizes, and textures will create a complimentary arrangement. Use dried seed pods, grasses, and hydrangeas, along with berries and fresh flowers. My design incorporated many flower shapes, including Ryan’s yellow old-fashioned garden mum, rabbit tobacco, and goldenrod. For an airy effect, shed peacock feathers from my daughter’s pet peacock were used. I always incorporate Southern smilax in most of my designs as a nod to my Southern roots. Every memory of my mother decorating for the holidays, weddings, or special events includes Southern smilax.
With the holidays coming up, impress your family and friends with your creativity, and you’ll have fun in the process.