8 Jun 2010

flower bouquets (and pimms) were had by all on sunday!
the great floral experiment was a total success.

our day started with a trip to Columbia Road flower market.
hadn't been in ages, and it was fabulous.

if you've never been, essentially picture a stretch of road about 150 metres long absolutely packed with flower vendors. and these are the actual farmers (or representatives of such), so the flowers are wicked cheap. we're talking 3 bundles of whatever for £5. and if you are there towards the end of the market, when they are packing up and trying to get rid of stuff, oh the deals you can get. suffice to say, we walked away with many many more flowers than we initially intended on buying.

the damage...

provisions of the floral variety

provisions of the snack/pimms variety

and now to the educational portion of this post. the step-by-step instructions! 
(from a you tube video found by Sam)

1. de-leaf and de-thorn all floral stems. in the case of roses and other multi-pedaled flowers, remove the outer petals to give a cleaner appearance to the flower.

2. arrange the heads of the flowers while crossing the stems in a twisting manner a bit below the base of the flower heads. (wow, the step is hard to phrase in a way that makes any sort of sense. but trust me, when you start playing with the actual flowers, it all starts to come together.)


3. using floral wire, tightly bind the stems at the twisting point.
this may be easier with two people if you can bribe a friend/flatmate/fiance/friend's fiance.


4. wrap the stems and wire with florist tape to stiffen and keep everything in place.


5. take a break for delicious pita chips and hummus and to fish out that elusive strawberry from your pimms.


6. wind a piece of ribbon or cloth around the stems to hide the florist tape and wire.

7. using quite long large headed sewing pins, secure the ribbon/cloth in place by sticking the pin through the fabric and up into a stem to ensure the pin will not end up on the other end arrangement and stick you.

8. trim the stems off in an even manner to the desired length.

9. admire your handiwork, take plenty of pictures and proclaim how much of a genius/awesome you are.

 - these are some other bouquets we threw together.

 - our final products:

 - what we learned:

1. always do a test run. not only are they wicked fun, and allows you to strew your living room floor with flowers, but they let you know exactly how long it will take you to create your bouquets and exactly how many flowers you will need, because

2. you will need more flowers than you think you will. flowers in bouquets are packed in fairly tightly. when we were juggling armfuls of loose flowers on the bendy bus back to my flat from the market (not the easiest thing in the world to do, by the way), we figured we could easily get 8 or 9 bouquets out of our stealthily purchased flora. we got 5. two full "real" ones (sam's), two very thin ones (mine, will try with many more next time around) and the leftovers of some button daises sam had got and not used all of.

3. simplicity really is the key. you start trying to put too many different things (flower types, colours, shapes) into the bouquet, it has a tendency to look a bit forced and over done. it can look wicked awesome, but it more often than not leans the other way. another reason to experiment.

4. florists are, in fact, moot points. bam. proven.

5. and last but not least, pimms is awesome.

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