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Breaking The Mold in Your Floral Designs

Break The Mold With Modern Flower Designs

Robbin Yelverton is BACK with even more wise words for us flower lovers!

Sometimes when things around the flower shop are hectic, it’s easy to fall into the slump of creating the same types of arrangements over and over again. Well, it’s time to BREAK THE MOLD! Robbin is here to show us how to use the same materials we would use to create a “roundy-moundy” flower arrangement, and turn it into something more stylish!

People like to see things they’ve never seen before, whether it be film, art or flowers. Instead of ‘Oh, well that’s pretty,’ make your customers say WOW! and want to show it off to all their friends!
[Read more…]

Help! I Can’t Get Stephanotis Stems To Stay Fresh!

Stephanotis StemAsk The Expert:

Hi, I can’t get stephanotis stay fresh stems in the UK, so wondered if you could tell me either how to make them or how to wire one. Would cotton wool soaked work at the end? And what gauge wire to use! Thanks so much,

Flower Shop Network Expert Reply:

For the best possible answer, we asked our florists on Facebook. Here is a great reply:

“Upon arrival, open box & make sure cotton/tissue in base is damp. If they’re looking wilty spray them with water or Crowning Glory, recover, close box & into cooler. Upon using, we use the packaged “stephanotis stems” & spray them good with Crowning Glory, been doing this 30+ years & never a problem.” via Janet Frye of The Enchanted Florist in Asheville, NC.

You might also check out this post: How To Keep Stephanotis Fresh In A Bridal Bouquet

Aspects of Design: Floral Design Periods

Thinker - Thinking About Floral DesignPreparing for the future is always easiest when we know from whence we came. In this month’s Aspects of Design from FlowerShopNetwork.com, we focus on popular periods of design and how they can be interpreted into floral designs. Below is a handy, easy-to-print chart with the style and time period in which the style of design was dominant. We also include a brief description of many styles.

In floral design school? Need to brush up on your period pieces for a theme party? Interested in art behind what we do?  Whatever your interest, the information below will help enhance your unique floral design skills. [Read more…]

Spice Up Your Holiday Vases With This Technique

If you’re looking for a little something extra to spice up your holiday flower arrangements, try this cinnamon vase technique!

Cinnamon Flower Arrangement

Not only will this arrangement spark Christmas spirit, it will smell wonderfully for weeks to come! Cinnamon is a favorite in holiday smells, and will definitely set the mood for any holiday party. This little design would make a perfect hostess gift for the elf in charge of your favorite Christmas get-together.

For this technique, you will need:

  • a small, plastic cylinder container under 8″
  • a bunch of 8″ cinnamon sticks
  • hot glue
  • scissors
  • ribbon

Cinnamon + Vase = Creativity!

First, hot glue the individual cinnamon sticks vertically to the outside surface of your vase. (tip: cut the tops of the cinnamon sticks different heights to give it a staggered, rustic look)

Tie ribbon around the center of your cinnamon vase to finish the look. Depending on your design, you could use ribbon, rafia, wire — it’s really up to you. If you want to go a step further, add a bunch of holly, mini candy cane, mini pine cones, or anything festive, to the front of your design.

Don’t stop at just cinnamon! Think of other ways to use this technique. You could use branches from your yard. (Birch wood is very popular this time of year.) How about the large candy cane sticks? Instead of a vase, use this as a great candle treatment. It’s all about using your imagination!

This is a great technique for florists to use in their shops. However, if you’re a craftster like me, try this at home! Just don’t forget to visit your local florist for a great winter flowers to use in you’re new and aromatic vase!

This post is brought to you by local Auburn, NH florists.
Not in Auburn? No worries, use Flower Shop Network’s handy directory of local florists to find a florist near you!

Above & Beyond: The Quest For Perfect Personalized Funeral Flowers

As florists, if we are lucky, we sometimes get those unique and unusual design requests that give us the freedom to be creative. As peers have told me, it is always best to leave the designing to the designer.

Harley Davidson Funeral Flowers Request

I got a call from my best friend, she said she had a special request. She told me about the loss of a dear friend of hers. The friend loved Harley Davidson motorcycles, so I was thinking, Okay, logo.

She continued on to say that she wanted not only the logo, but also wanted to use black and orange flowers, some accents of cream, and definitely some silver to represent the colors of Harley Davidson. My mind came to a complete stop, while my mouth said, “Sure I can do that.” I hung up the phone and thought, Okay, what am I going to do now? How do you make black and orange look sophisticated and not look like Halloween.

Can Black & Orange Look Sophisticated And NOT Like Halloween?

For starters, I work out of my home, and live in a small rural town. Supplies are limited, to say the least. Like most of us, I started brainstorming and headed to the internet in hopes of finding anything to get me started. Nothing! Not many want to share their designs.

I always aspire for my floral designs to stand out and make a statement. I wanted people to remember my flowers and this order was no different. Who wouldn’t want their flowers to stand out and be the best, or at least make us feel that we have done our best.

Go Above & Beyond — Think Outside The Box

So here we go with the design. I started at an auto parts store to try [Read more…]

Elements of Design Part 1: LINE

The Elements of Design are a universal concept shared between designers everywhere. Whether you are a floral designer, furniture designer, graphic designer, or even something as crazy as a cheese sculpture designer, to be good, we all use the same, basic building blocks.

A good designer learns every aspect of his trade and uses the elements, along with the principles of design, to give their works an added little “oomph.” Anyone can put flowers in a vase, but only the most talented florists can tantalize your senses with their expertly crafted designs.

Using the right lines is important to convey your intended moods and emotions in your arrangements. Using line correctly, in conjunction with the other elements of design, can give your arrangement an overall finished, top-quality look.

Line [lahyn] Show-noun/laɪn/

  • A visual path that directs eye movement through composition.
  • Something arranged along a line, esp. a straight line; a row or series: a line of trees.
  • A band of color, a seam, or a furrow: lines of stratification in rock.
  • The edge of a shape.

We all know what a line is, right? Sure, a line is a visual path between point A and point B, but that is just the start of it!



Actual Lines are lines that are actually physically present. We may not think about it, but everything we use in our arrangements have line qualities in them. Leaves edges (curved, or straight) create line. Bands of color — such as a row of red roses amongst white ones creates line. Keep track of these little features in all your arrangements and you will train your eye to instantly see them.


Implied Lines are lines that are created by your mind’s eye. Your choice of composition makes it appear as though they were there. A connection of two similar visual elements, the continuation of a repeated element in the arrangement — there are many many ways to use implied lines.


A static line can be either vertical ( | ) or horizontal ( — ) and are at rest. These lines are not falling, leaning, or showing any potential for movement, so visually gives you the impression of rest. These static lines can give stability to an otherwise chaotic design.

Horizontal lines – calm, quiet, rest. (Frank Lloyd Wright architecture)

Vertical lines – more potential fore movement, reflect power and spirituality. (Think corporate buildings and cathedrals.)

If you have a design you think is too dynamic, try adding a static line of some form to balance the look.


A dynamic line as a line that is not horizontal or vertical. This can be curved, zigzagged, slanted, diagonal; basically anything that is not static. Dynamic lines infuse the idea of movement into your flower arrangement because these lines are not at rest.

There are different degrees of dynamic lines in floral design as well. The softly curved edge of an Aspidistra leaf definitely gives you a different impression than a tangle of curly willow.


  • Vertical + Horizontal

When you combine vertical lines with horizontal lines you create a geometrically inspired structure. Because they are both static lines, this type of arrangement reflects strength, reliability, and safety. (Great for Fathers Day designs!)

  • Curved Lines

Curved lines are those that gently relax into an arched shape. These are gentle, comforting lines. The human body is made up of curves, thus these lines are familiar, pleasing, and reflect relaxation and sensuality.

  • Strong Lines

Strong lines are those that are bold and in your face such as bamboo or Equisetum. These must be positioned carefully and very purposefully and give your arrangement a crisp, tight look.

  • Imperfect Lines

These are the types of lines that are rough, and jagged to create texture. These usually not used for the focal point in line designs.

How do you use line in your floral designs?



Leaf/Grass Design Techniques You Can Be Proud Of!

Wire Wrapped Leaf

While I was at the AIFD Southern Conference, I noticed many designers using weaving techniques and other intricately designed tricks with their leaves. Above you see a leaf wrapped in copper wire and spiraling up three, straight Equisetum.  This is a great visual effect that gives much needed movement to an otherwise static design.

In these videos, Regina Berryman, AIFD, CFD, our lead designer here at Flower Shop Network, shows us how easy it is to spruce up your foliage with these clever tricks. The first is a slightly complex weaving technique [Read more…]

Aspects of Design: Enhancing Glass Vases With Aspidistra Leaves

Since the dawn of floral design, florists have been trying new techniques for enhancing simple, clear glass vases. Flower Shop Network’s lead floral designer, Regina Berryman AIFD AAF, shows a floral design technique that has grown in popularity. In this video, Regina explains how to use aspidistra inside a glass vase to enhance the look and appeal of your flower arrangements. Don’t forget to view the gallery below the video to see floral arrangements that use this technique.

Member florists: see information below about accessing these videos through your FSNf2f system.

To see the video and view a gallery of related flower arrangements [Read more…]

Aspects Of Design: Curly Willow

Curly Willow! Florists have been turned on to this fantastic foliage for ages, but its popularity has taken off in recent months. In the video below, Flower Shop Network explains how to use curly willow inside the vase to enhance the look and appeal of your flower arrangements. Don’t forget to view the gallery below the video to see floral arrangements that use this technique.

Member florists: see information below about accessing these videos through your FSNf2f system.

To see the video and view a gallery of related flower arrangements [Read more…]

5 Components of American Colonial Flower Arrangements

History: “American Colonial” generally refers to the period between 1700 and 1780 in America. During this time, American settlers were still considered colonies of England therefore received and brought back several English-inspired products and trends.

Among the English trends brought to colonial America was the use of five-fingered, fan shaped vases also knows as Quintal horns. These created a unique fan-shaped and narrow design style that usually included garden herbs and cuttings. They were later reproduced in the colonies and grew in popularity at that time.

As with English garden floral design and Victorian floral design, American Colonial flower arrangements relied on what was readily available. This usually extended to wildflowers found in home gardens as well as native shrubs and trees. Settlers often brought back herbs and plants that were then used in arrangements, but worldwide distribution and importing was no where near current availability.

Style: American Colonial flower designs tend to be symmetrical mass arrangements that are either rounded or in fan form (usually reserved to five-fingered vases). They are casual and open. The arrangements may feature either one type of flower with a filler flower or a variety of several blooms. Most American Colonial designs feature gourds or fruits such as peaches, pears, cherries, plums and apples.

Flowers Used: A combination of fresh and dried materials is often used in this style. These may include pods, grasses, grains and other materials.

Flowers that work well in American Colonial arrangements are roses, carnations, daisies, lilacs, marigolds, peonies, sunflowers and other mass flowers.

Bulb flowers are also appropriate in American Colonial design. Examples are daffodils, tulips, hyacinth, allium, ranunculus and lilies.

Popular wildflowers and filler flowers used in this style include baby’s breath (very popular), limonium, solidago, alder, sumac, cattails, several grasses and grains among others.

Basic Characteristics:

  • Usually includes a type of a fruit or gourd such as peaches, pears, cherries, plums and apples
  • Round or fan-shaped
  • Containers made from earthenware, stoneware, ceramics, or metals (copper, tin, silver, pewter, etc.)
  • Similar to but more “refined” and well proportioned than English Garden style arrangements

Containers Used: Since craftsman style trades were popular, containers often followed the styles being readily produced by local craftsmen. These included silversmiths, pewter manufacturers and glass blowers among others. Many types of containers were used but the containers themselves were mainly ceramic, earthenware or stoneware. Porcelain was a later import from England and China and increased the variety of containers during this style of floral design. Metallurgy was also a popular trade so pewter, copper, tin and silver vessels were also used.

Types of containers used included:  pitchers, pots, vases, jars, jugs, bowls and Quintal horns (five fingered vases).