Flower Arranging Made Easy
A Frog's Holes Each Support One Stem
Making bouquets doesn't have to be complicated. It's easy when you have a few good tools on hand. These devices, called mechanics, hold stems in place so you can position flowers without frustration. Here's what each one does.
While the needle holder should stay in place, occasionally the weight of stems and flowers causes it to move within the vase. Florist stickum, a pliable claylike substance, placed under the needle holder firmly anchors it to the container.
This type of mechanic holds stems in an upright position. Place stems on the prongs, and that is where they stay. Water moves freely into the stems and up into flower heads, keeping them hydrated. Woody flowering branches and hollow-stemmed flowers such as tulips, calla lilies, and gerbera daisies last longest when held in place with a needle holder.
Use florist foam when the arrangement calls for flowers and stems coming out from the container’s sides. Push a stem into the foam at any angle, and it remains in place. This allows a wide range of design options and styles.
Florist foam is a good choice with sturdy-stemmed flowers such as chrysanthemums, alstroemerias, and lilies. Check the container’s water every day, and add moisture as needed. The foam must stay hydrated for the arrangement’s longevity.
The drawback to florist foam is this: Once a stem is inserted, a hole remains in the block of foam. If you change your mind and move the stem elsewhere, the hole remains. Do this too many times, and you have diminished the block’s stability.
Use these handy tools, and your flower-arranging confidence will blossom with the remarkable results.
Finding These Tools
Old flower mechanics are fast becoming collectors’ items. Search flea markets and antiques shops for interesting shapes and sizes. Needle holders and all styles of frogs make pretty displays when not in use. You can find new mechanics at flower shops and hobby stores.