Boston Flower Party

FASG BostonMaster floral designer Lana Bates was the teacher for the FASG Boston Floral Tea Party in early November. Originally from Russia, Ms Bates developed her international reputation as a designer in the UK, and recently relocated to the South of France.

 TAj Hotel BostonHeadquarters for the workshop was the Taj Hotel, the former Ritz-Carlton, facing the Boston Common at the top of Newbury Street. The group had the use of the entire floor giving lots of room for flowers, tables, a lecture area and the Buy Design shop.

 Cornus in a potManipulated red-twig dogwood, Cornus sericea, was the basis for one of the designs. In this example it is attached to several Cornus stems embedded in plaster of Paris within a heavy vase.

 Cornus details of wiringThe Cornus stems were lined side by side with the tops matching. The toughest, thickest part of the lower stem was removed. First, a doubled length of 24 gauge wire is worked around and between all the stems, with a short twist between each. Then, working with the stems in pairs they are wired together: 1 & 2; 3 & 4; 5 & 6, etc. staggering the placement of the pairs, then repeating to gather up 2 & 3; 4 & 5, etc.

 Cornus Structure in glassThe result as you can see on this worktable, is a structure of very flexible line material. There was a choice of the plaster of Paris vase/structure (we, helpers, made these in advance) or a low rectangular vase.

 Ceramic pot and cornusOne was allowed to choose any plant material to put with the structure, which here, was attached to three Cornus stems embedded in the plaster. To enable the extreme bend, the structure was additionally wire from side to side. After it really dried out, that could be removed. The structure can be used over again.

 Cornus and OrchidsThis Cornus structure wraps around with romantic, curving calla lilies, some bear grass and two kinds of orchids.

Cornus, grass and alocasiaMore bear grass is used to repeat the shape of the Cornus which fits entirely in the vase. An accent of calla blooms and some Alocasia foliage creates a focal point.

Orchids, hypericum and cornusThe Cornus structure in this vase opened up after the pink orchids with a wide framework for the white Dendrobium, while the ends of the piece are detailed with a pink and white group of callas, Hypericum and a few orchid flowers.

Cornus and galaxThis elegant shape quietly overruns the vase, which holds a striking group of calla lily blossoms with the deep green and smooth forms of Galax leaves.

Isn’t it a pleasure to see the many ideas that emerge from the lesson?


About Susan

Susan Detjens is a former landscape painter, she lectures, demonstrates and runs workshops on floral design for museums, horticultural organizations and garden clubs across the US.
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