Friday, September 7, 2012

Mums the Word....

Doesn’t everyone have a back-to-school attitude this time of year?

New pencils, books, crayons……and those darn mums!

Tidy, roundy-moundy little gumdrops for the landscape or doorways, they shout autumn which is why I hate to see them pouring into the supermarkets and nurseries early in August.  I want to shout – not yet!!

As cut flowers they are hard to like, being stiff, uniformly branched and not in particularly pretty colors.  Their best characteristic (or not) is that they last forever!

We will remove those stiff branches and use only their bright faces to create a pattern in a plant saucer or other low shallow container.  In the interests of floriferous research, I counted 45 flower heads from bud to bloom in one ten-stem bunch!

 Any low container, soufflé dish, baking pan or outdoor pot saucer will work.  Just be sure it won’t leak.  This design will last a long time if water is regularly added.

First fill the container with long pieces of Oasis which are the same depth as the container.  You can fill in the open areas as I did on the east and west, or not, as on the north and south.

This design is all about color and texture, not flower form. Biedermeier is a design style which calls for formal lines of flowers which are inserted side-by-side to create the patterns.  Notice (above top) how I angled the longer stems so that the flower heads covered the open space where there was no Oasis.  I used a cup and a bowl to make the circle dents (technical term) in the Oasis to guide me.

This technique is called pave – literally from paving stones, which the flower placement resembles.  I have put a spider mum in the center and allowed it to stand up a little taller than its cousins.

Instead of an apple, what about one for the teacher?  This is in a tuna can.  Maybe you will make them for bedside trays at the local nursing home or hospital?


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