On a recent trip to Napa Valley wine country I had the opportunity to take a class at the Russian River Flower School with world-renowned florist Dundee Butcher. If you are ever in the area and have some free time, I would highly recommend spending a few hours here.
I learned how to make beautiful floral arrangements on my own, and with Mother’s Day right around the corner, what better way to show your mom you care by hand-crafting your own arrangement. AND, it’s so easy to do and will save you hundreds of dollars at the florist. Look at this one I made!
It is so easy to make your own arrangement, and I am here to show you how. The supplies you’ll need are: a square vase, oasis flower foam (you can buy this online on amazon or at Michaels), cellophane, dried moss, green foliage, flowers, scissors, and water. When picking your vase, think about the size. For a beautiful arrangement, the vase should be about 1/3 the height of the arrangement with the flowers as the other 2/3.
The first step is to cut the oasis foam to fit your vase with about ½ inch border between the foam and the base. Then, put the oasis foam in water for about 90 seconds. It is important not to push the foam and fully submerge it. Just let it absorb water naturally in those 90 seconds.
Next, line the vase with cellophane and put the wet oasis foam on the cellophane, remembering to leave about ½ inch border. Once the foam is positioned where you want it, put the dried moss on the other side of the cellophane, in between the vase and cellophane. The moss will serve as a gorgeous border for the arrangement and will hide the foam. The cellophane will serve as a barrier keeping the moss dry and the foam wet. When everything is lined to your liking, cut the cellophane down so it is hidden and not obstructing the flowers you’re about to arrange.
Now is the fun part, the actual arrangements! Start with various greens and create a mushroom shape, sticking the greens in at an angle. You can have some fun with the greens. I used some bailey and rosemary for a glorious, fragrant scent to help build the base. When picking your greens, think about texture and pick about 3 different types of greens to use. It works best to use “conditioned” foliage, which means that the leaves are stripped and the stem is cut at an angle. It is important not to have leaves in the oasis foam. You only need to stick the foliage in the oasis foam about an inch. Do not stick them all the way down or else they will not absorb any of the water. You probably want your arrangement to be about 10 inches high, so keep this in mind when making your green base.
Once you have a full foliage base, you can start inserting your flowers in to create the full effect. You don’t need that many flowers to complete your arrangement. In fact, many of the foliage and flowers can be picked right rom your own garden. If you are feeling bold and creative, you can add an artichoke heart or pinecone on a stick into your arrangement to give it a professional touch. I used an artichoke and absolutely love the final arrangement!
With these few and easy steps, anyone can make their own gorgeous arrangement for your home or for someone else. This is an easy, heartfelt gift for your mother on Mother’s Day that won’t break the bank!
The Russian River School offers great classes on flower arrangements that can teach you to make beautiful, professional looking arrangements.
For information and classes, visit their website at russianriverflowerschool.com or call them at 707-479-3816.
Or you can email Dundee herself at Dundee@russianriverflowerschool.com