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Video: Centerpiece design quick tips

Join Kelly as she goes through a free 4-part quick tip video series on designing a centerpiece. She discusses designing for a table, using the lines principle of design, and shows the ingredient use and purpose. Watch these completely free video lessons.



Video transcripts

Hi, I'm Kelly Perry with Team Flower, and I'm here to show you a few quick tips for designing on a narrow rectangular table. If you have a client that wants a long, full, lush, centerpiece, or you're doing a styled shoot and they want something larger, it can be a little bit tricky to fit all of the things on your table that you need to, cups, glasses, flatware, plates, and you, of course, want it to be beautiful, but you also want it to be practical for your guests. I think that's really, really important. 

So, I have just a few tips for you if you're wanting to go in this long and lush direction. The first one is to use a centerpiece container that has a little bit of height to it. So, maybe you're doing a bowl, but it has a little pedestal and then the bowl is on top. What you're looking at right now is pretty low. There's no pedestal on this bowl. It's just a bowl with a small little lip at the bottom. And what we're running into problem wise with this, is that the flowers are kind of just invading this space. There's not enough distance between the plates and the flowers. 

So, we want to create a little bit more space. And I'll show you the difference that it makes just to add a little lift underneath your arrangement. So, now you can see there's a considerably larger amount of room between the plate and the flowers, and so the guests can easily access their dinner, and cups and things like that fit in a little bit better. The next tip that I have for you, is to do a little mock setup before your event and before you start designing. So, if this is for a wedding, just set up a table similar. If you're working with an event planner, or cater, or whatever, just ask the dimensions of the plates that will be used. 

You want to be mindful of chargers. Sometimes, you know, you'll get there and oops, surprise! There's chargers, and on a narrow 30-inch table, you cannot fit chargers end to end, and then also, you know, really large centerpiece. So, that's something to consider during the design process when you're working with your client. If they mention charger, you have to kind of ding, ding, ding, remember. It's going to be difficult to fit all that on the table. So, you can set up in your studio, just a quick little-- maybe with a little pop-up eight foot or six foot table, whatever they're using, or round six foot table, just to get an idea of what you're looking at. 

If you don't have those tables, you could do a little visit to the venue if that's practical for you, and you could kind of chart out and set it up, and see what dimensions your flower arrangement should be. So, that way you know if you control your greenery out a little bit more, if you need to tuck it in more. But the most important part with these narrow, long tables, is this section right here. You want this to be pretty narrow. So, tip one, you know, popping it up a little bit higher, tip two, having a little mock setup table. Now, what's great about this, is you're making your first arrangement, you can sort of, examine how the cup-- the cups are kind of the thing that, a lot of times, will get in your way. 

So, if you have the height and width of the cups and you can set that up, you can sort of trim out of your arrangement, little pieces that are interfering with the guest access to those elements of the table. So, this particular pokeweed berry is touching the glass, and I just want to get that out of there, so that it's comfortable for my guests. So, just a small adjustment-- maybe we get rid of this leaf as well-- it makes a big difference, and that'll save you a little bit of time whenever you go to set everything up. It helps the event planner or the caterer be able to access those things easily. 

You don't want to be the florist that always has flowers in the way of other people's jobs, and just practicality is important. So, those are my two quick tips for you. Get the level up, and then set up your little mock table, and that'll help you get an idea of the general size that you need to go for. And then you can also clip things out before your arrangements head out the door, just a little bit of quality control to help you make things a little faster on event set up day. I hope you enjoyed this little video, and if you'd like to see more, you can visit I'm Kelly Perry, thanks for watching. 


Hi, I'm Kelly Perry with Team Flower. And I am back with a little flower recipe for you. This might be a great option for a bride who would like something that has just a little hint of fall in the air but is still nice and summery. 

It's late August here in the mountains. And I think that these colors are really just telling of the season and the time of year that it is. We have some of these pinks, and we've paired them with some-- just a real rich orange that just has that little bit of a knod to fall, which is fun. 

So the leaves have started changing colors. And this color palette just reminds us where we are in the season. So I just wanted to go through and tell you a little bit about each of these ingredients. You might find a way to work them into your garden, or into an arrangement that you have coming up soon. 

So the first arrangement that we're going to start out with is pokeweed. It's this right here. And it has little pink and green berries. 

Later in the year, they turn into a very dark purple. Once they hit that stage, I don't use them in arrangements anymore because they stain pretty bad. So I just like to avoid that liability. 

But whenever they're at this stage, they're really, really great to use. This is something that just grows wild. And it's weedy here in Boone, so it's easy to come across and a great way to fill an arrangement. And next, we have some snapdragons here-- these little pink guys. And I love how they pull the color out wide into the arrangement. 

These little orange guys here called gomphrena. And they come in a carmine pink and white lavender. So there's a lot of fun color options with these. They have just really nice texture and just that little knod that you can use as a finishing piece. 

I'm quite a bit of lisianthus in this arrangement. This variety has a nice dark burgundy center, which I love how it just captures what's going on with these queen redline zinnias-- one of my favorite zinnias. and then I have the burnt orange dahlias deep in the arrangement here. 

And if we flip over, I just have one other variety of dahlias that we pulled from Darlanna Besecker's farm, Hope Valley Gardens. So here is another variety, that dahlia. And then I missed our little base in here. 

If you look in real deep, there's some limelight hydrangea and then, also, some sedum. So that is my little quick flower recipe for you. Hope you enjoyed it. And if you'd like to see more videos like this, you can visit See you soon. 


Hi, I'm Kelly Perry. And I wanted to take a few minutes to talk about one of my favorite design principles, and it is, lines. It's never fun to stand in lines and wait. But it is so fun to see lines in your arrangements. 

There's two different kinds of lines we're going to talk about today. One is actual and one is implied. As you can imagine from the definition, an actual line is what the stem creates. It is a line that you follow with your eyes. So you can see it right here in this little piece of gomphrena. 

Implied lines are like connect the dots lines. Maybe if you think about a starry night, all the different constellations and how we use those stars to connect the dots and to create a picture in our mind, that is what an implied line would be like. So I just wanted to show you how I used flowers in this arrangement to create some lines. 

So of course, we just talked about the gomphrena and how we have this little bit of line here. I love to use maybe ranunculus, or things that have a little bit of a curvy stem or some interesting stems that can add some interest to the arrangement. This one's pretty straightforward. But we have some nice curve lines going on with the implied line. 

So let's talk about the first one that's probably most obvious in this arrangement, and it is the zinnias. These are queen red limes. We start our line right down in here. And you can see they're at different levels and the direction that their faces are pointing are a little bit different to add some interest. 

So we have one here, here, here, here, and here. So this is one of our implied lines. Now, the next one we're going to talk about is the line that is formed with these burnt orange dahlias. So it starts down in here, and it pops its way up. 

So here is another implied line. Another one would be here with this lisianthus. We're going this way. 

And this one's more horizontal as opposed to curved like these ones were. And I'll flip the arrangement around. You can use different flowers to create the lines on different sides of your arrangements if you want to add some interest and variety in the flowers to your arrangements. 

So in this one we have dahlia's going in a little line like this. And then, lisianthus, again, we're using to go here. And then over here. 

The great thing about lines is they guide your eye through the arrangement, and they invite you to keep looking deeper. So that is what I'd encourage you to do today. Consider how to add some lines to your arrangement, and always be thinking about how you can think deeper. 

Hope you enjoyed this lesson. If you'd like to see more, you can visit Thanks for watching. 


Hi, I'm Kelly Perry with Team Flower. And I wanted to do a little bit of a different take on a tutorial. A lot of times, we see the arrangements come together step by step, but when we actually look at them in real life, in a photo, they're already completed. And it's like, wow. How did they get there? 

So I wanted to have a completed arrangement for you today. And I would like to pull it apart piece by piece. I'm going to go backwards, I'm going to show you the last thing that I put in. We're going to just slowly work our way out until all we have remaining is our container. So this will be a really fun one. I hope you enjoy it. 

The ingredient that we're going to start with is this gomphrina, up here. So, I'm just going to start pulling it out in the order that I put it in. I like to use this as the final little bit of movement in the arrangement. So, you can take a little snapshot in your mind and see how removing this ingredient changes it. You could still do something like this if you had a bride who wanted something maybe just a little bit more tailored, less sculptural. Just deleting this one ingredient gives you a more tailored look. 

Next, I'm going to pull out some of the focal flowers that I was working with. And, back here, they were the dahlias So the dahlias are going to come out and I'll show you what it looks like without those dahlias in there. And then on the other side of the arrangement, we were working with zinnias as the focal. And you can see them right here. So I'm just going to tug those out. And then I'm going to go in and pull out the lisianthus So you can take just a quick little peek of what that looks like without those dahlias and without the zinnias. And I'll start pulling out the lisianthus Everything comes together one step at a time, no matter what it is. Flowers, cakes, books-- just a series of steps. Homes. All of those things. 

So, it might seem like a daunting task at first, but as you just start deconstructing it and thinking about it a little bit differently, it becomes, in a way, a little bit more attainable. Which is fun. So if I get overwhelmed, I kind of like to step back and think about all the steps it took to get there. 

OK. Next, I'm going to pull out the burnt orange dahlias, here. And now I'm really getting down to the base material of the arrangement. These ones that I've been pulling out-- the dahlias and the lisianthus-- I would consider the accent flower. So, those are gone. Next I'm going to pull out the snapdragons. These were used to carry color to the sides of the arrangements. Missed a zinnia. 

And now, we're left with the pokeweed, which creates the shape. And, then, the hydrangea and the sedum, which creates the grid that we can layer all the other flowers into. If you find that flowers move around on you a lot, especially with bouquets, this might be the ingredient that you're missing. Something like this, the flowers can really latch into. Because just the overlapping stems, I think, isn't quite enough sometimes. So I think it's helpful to have a flower, a structural flower, in there, as well. 

So out comes the hydrangea. Now you're starting to be able to see the flower foam that it was arranged in. And, of course, with these, the purpose is to cover up that base or that structure, whatever you're using. Whether it's a frog or chicken wire or the foam. Each of those things has pros and cons to them. And you can learn more about those on the free page at Team Flower, where we go through the three different ways that you can set up an arrangement. So if you're curious about the different kinds, and pros and cons, and when to use what, you might consider watching that and chiming in with a few comments. 

So, out comes the serum. And, then, all we have remaining is the pokeweed, which is what created our shape and our general-- how big we were going to get and how wide and deep. So I'll pull that out, too. And a lot of times, with this-- I'll leave this one in here, I guess-- some of these shorter pieces go in second. And I will use the longer pieces too. Those ones will go in first, to get the general shape established. And, then, these act both as a shape and then also as cover. And one little piece of spirea that I put in here. 

So, there you have it. The deconstructed table arrangement. This isn't a very pretty way to end a tutorial, but it was pretty when started. So, anyway, I hope you enjoyed that. And hope that that helps you and inspires you to take the next step with your business. If you'd like to see more free videos like this, you can hop on And hop on our mailing list, you'll be notified as soon as new videos are released. Thanks for watching. Have a great day. 

Video: Amending soil and growing snapdragons

Lee of Goldenrod Gardens has been working with me for several years, providing amazing plants for my wedding work. In this video she shares in-depth about amending soil, nutrients and how she plants snapdragons!



We're back and we're talking about what this field used to be and the goal for soil amendments and texture of the soil that we're working with and all those kinds of things. So tell us a little bit about your field. 

We're south facing here, which is an important thing, if you're growing at a high altitude. 

OK. Now, why is that? 

Season extension. 


You need to be where the sun is going to hit you and it's going to be consistently warm temperature. And if it's frigid-- for example, we're going to try and overwinter these snapdragons. 


You want to be south facing, because that's where the light is. Throughout the winter it drops. And this whole area, this whole field was-- they were Christmas trees. So they were Fraser firs. They were farmed here and they have a short crop season, fir tree. So I would say maybe max for this area was 10 years. 

The soil's wonderful. It is a loamy, sandy mix. It's very well-drained in most part. 

Yeah, there's no-- like, it's not that tight compact clay that you can get sometimes. 

And low on the rocks too, which is a dream up here. A lot of times you're in rocks, which I use to my advantage. I say they're good for drainage and they have a lot of minerals in them. You just have to release them. 


But this area has also not been overfarmed. So it doesn't have a lot of weeds, see. The weeds that are here-- 

So overfarm, that term means there's just been-- every year, there's been a lot of different-- 

Crop after crop. 


And in some places people do a crop after crop. And they'll start and then they'll let it go to seed. And so the soil ends up being, sometimes-- 

Full of all of these other seeds. 

Weed seeds, yes. And it's also been leached of its nutrients. You know, if you're gardening in a certain area or if you're farm in a new field that's never been farmed, you will have the most amazing stuff the first year. 


But after that year, that's when you really have to deal with what's going on in the soil. So what's going on here is we're on the bottom slope of my field. There is a natural-- and I think I've noticed this with a lot of areas, when you get to a lower area, is acidity. 


Acidity is pretty much how the whole like eastern coast is, acidic soil. 


You know, if there's been a woodland or a swamp, there's acidity. It is what happens when plants break down and decompose. So that's, you know, peat, peat bogs. And they are what they are, because they're so acidic. 


There is a little bit of an issue here of acidity in this low area. And it's like it seeps down. And you can amend that with lime. And that's what's already been doing to this soil. 


Before we add the good stuff, the other extras, I've already limed this area, because I noticed the acidity. 

Yeah. And you didn't really need to do any amendments to the texture of the soil, because it was that nice kind of ideal condition. 


Perfect. So we dealt with texture. And then, we know that we're a little bit acid. So we're dealing with the pH. And now, we're going to look at the actual nutrients that are in the soil. 

Yes, which you have N, P, and K, are our main nutrients. Nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. When you're growing flowers you need them all. But you don't need as much nitrogen as you would need as if you're growing a bunch of lettuce. 


You absolutely need a good bit of phosphorus. 

OK. So how does the nitrogen hinder the flower production and how does the phosphorus aid? 

Nitrogen causes leafy growth. 

OK, but no blooms. 

No blooms. 


They all work together. You need the nitrogen, but if you have an overabundance of nitrogen, you're going to have leggy, weaker stems. 

Well, that's what's happening with my cosmos right now. Like, I have lots of leaf, leaf, leaf, but I'm not having the growth. 


Yeah, buds. Yeah. 

And it happens. 


You overfeed them with that. 


This area is known for being low in phosphorus. 


And so I'd like to touch on that. It can be noticeable, to the point where there is a purple tinge on leaves if they are deficient of it. They're not only like stunted and not as flowery, but their leaves are purple. It's not supposed to be that way. Another tricky thing about phosphorus is it is immobile in the soil. 


So you can't just sprinkle it around and think that you're going to correct it. 

You really have to like work it in. 

And bring it in. Even my professor at school said, just, you got to dig a hole and stick it in. 

Yeah. Yeah. 

That's an important thing to remember. 

To remember. 

Calcium, magnesium, and potassium. They're all very important roles, but phosphorous seems to be one of the things that's a little bit harder. 


Another one I'll touch on while we're here and there's sunflowers, I can grow sunflowers here right now this season, but next year, if I grow sunflowers here, I'll have to boron. 


Sunflowers don't form if there is a boron-- 



And they kind of like eat it all. Like this crop will eat it all up. And so will the kale, collards, all of that. And if you're in the desert, you're good on boron. It happens where you are getting a lot of water. It just runs through. And even if you over boron, it'll work itself out very quickly, with even a hose. 

It's kind of like vitamin B in your body. You get rid of what you don't need. 

It goes away. 

OK, perfect. 

So we're going to add the basics today. 


We're going to start with pal-- and this is all organic. 


So it makes it a little bit more difficult, but it makes it a lot easier to work with maybe a little bit stinky sometimes. 


We're going to do pelletized chicken manure. 


Which is a good balance N, P, K and calcium. 


They don't list their micronutrients on there, except for the calcium. But I consider calcium very important. And I buy it in a pellet. 


It's a lot easier to do than nonpelletized chicken manure 


I've done both. I recommend this. And what we're going to do-- you're going to help me in your white shirt-- is one of these buckets-- this bucket full this will fill and amend a good 50-foot row. 

Oh, wow. OK. 50 feet by how deep? Four? 



Yep. It depends. You don't want to over beef, but since this, for me-- this did have Christmas trees in it, I do want to kind of enrich it, because there will always be flowers and vegetables here. And I think if you start-- this is the first year on this field for me. And you want the sweetest soil you can have. And this is a good way to start it. 


So voila. We have our pelletized chicken manure. And then, we have our ever expensive, and I must tell you, bone meal. 


This is the organic source, one of them, the main one, for phosphorous. 


It's slow release, but it is organic. This little baby costs, you know, $16 to $20. 


Whereas two and a half buckets of these, like, maybe total $11. 


But it's worth it. You have to have it for flowers. 

Yeah. But the ratio of what you really need of bone meal to chicken manure, is the same? Different? 

I burn through this. 

You burn through it? 



If it's deficient, you kind of have to really add to it. 


But it's not mobile, like boron, so it's not going to wash out. Once you get it in there, it's going to stabilize it. And there are actually cover crops that will help fix it. 


Buckwheat fixes phosphorous. 

OK, so the bone mean functions as-- you said it stabilizes-- 

Well, it stabilizes in the soil, but what it does is it creates strong stems. 


Strong stems, big flowers, and just a healthier plant. It also affects the root growth. 


And I can get into potassium, but these are the picky ones for flower growing. If you have a burn pile and this is potash is what it's called, that's where you grow the best stuff. Grow it in the burn pile, because it's phosphorous, calcium, everything. 


Favorite other little amendments. And one Epsoma. It's a company called Epsoma. 

I think I just bought something from them. 

They grow the tones. So you get flower-tone, bold-tone, holly-tone, citrus-tone. 


You can get phosphorous. But this is flower-tone. 


It has the major nutrients in it. It's not just N, P, K. It's the list of all the elements. 

Little ones, uh huh. 

It also has beneficial mycorrhizae geared towards what you're growing which is the fungus that is good in the soil for flowers or citrus. 

So it's like probiotics for plants. 

Yes, exactly. 


So I have flower-tone. And then, I have-- well, we're going to call this azomite. It's a rare earth mineral. 


It is like the periodic table of elements, but just in just tiny, tiny doses. And so it's just a full amendment for the whole of the soil. 

OK. They've decided that there are certain things that the plants have to have to live. Doesn't mean that they're not going to benefit from other things in the periodic table. 


And this is one of the things that includes everything. 


There's even gold in it. 

Yeah. She's a big fan of this, the azomite. 

And I've actually done tests, like just field test of like kale side by side, poblano peppers side by side, zinnias side by side, and it is so amazing. Oh, and dahlias. They're so much stronger and so much happier of they have a good dose of the azomite in them. 


I recommend it. 

OK. Great. 

It's soil building. You donate a lot. 


So that's what we're going to do. We're going to add stuff. 


It's likes baking a cake. 

So if we're trying to figure out, like maybe I have a space that's not as big as this space, like maybe I can write it down, but like the ratios of like how many scoops of this we need per square foot and those kinds of things, what you would recommend? 

I would say, if you had a nice plot, a four by four plot, I would add-- if you really want to make it really happy, I would add about maybe five pounds of the chicken manure. 

OK. So you're like top dressing. And then, you're going to like and bake the cake. 

Till it in. Turn it in. So you'll do, if it's new soil and you have just a little test plot, I would do five pounds of the chicken manure, a good cup of the bone meal, a half a cup of azomite. And with the flower-tone, you can do, maybe a cup dressing, two cups dressing. It depends on your soil, if it needs more building. Or you can just put a little sprinkle in each hole and mix it as you plant. 


And that's where I like it too, is when I'm planting like plants that are a little bit bigger and I'm having to dig a bigger hole and not just like a finger. I can kind of throw a little handful in there too, mix it around, and then get my plant in there. You just don't want it to-- if you're using something like that, you just don't want to nuke it on top. You need to mix it in. 

Yeah. Yeah. 

Otherwise it could burn. It could get really happy and suck it all up at once and just go-- 

Yeah. That happened to me this year, whenever I transplanted everything. All my stuff, I think I just like overfed it and burned. 

Yeah. You have to be careful. 


And temperature has definitely. But mixing it in. I know it's easy to kind of get over eager. I would go with like the amounts that they recommend first. 


And then, if you need to add a little side dressing, you can go back later. 

Sure. Now, are there any of these things that if you overdid it, it would be like, bad news? 

Well, I think I killed a hydrangea this spring, because of the chicken manure. 


It was thirsty and I gave it lime and it said. Yay, I needed lime. 

I really needed that and then it was like I'll take way too many things. 

And then, I put some chicken manure around it and it said uh. And it was one out of six. So maybe it just was on its way out. But nitrogen will burn faster than anything, because if it's a good source of nitrogen, or even a mediocre source, it will suck it up so quickly it will cook it. I think that nitrogen is probably going to be your biggest killer. 

Yeah and nitrogen plus lime, because lime helps you absorb all of your nutrients, little deadly combo. 

So you got to be careful. 

OK. Perfect. Let's do it. Yeah. 

Very good. 

Very good. OK. 

It's a good even coating. That's like my magic booster. It's like baking soda. 

Oh, yeah. It is. I could see that. 

Whereas this is like the eggs, because it's the chicken. 

We're going to go all in on the baking analogy. 

So this was the flower-tone. We just did one little cup of this. 


Little light dusting about every, what, like eight feet per cup? 

Little zigzag. 

Is what we're doing. 

Yeah. And this is one of those things that you can always go back midseason, and a little bit more. 

And top dress. It's great for that. 

Because it'll rain and go down in. So top dressing works for this. 

And heavy feeders, I would say, like sunflowers, well, if they're fast sunflowers you don't need it. You just have to feed the stew out of them to begin with, because you're not going to have time. But dahlias, any type of perennial, and I would say zinnias as well. It's a good thing to go ahead and add some midseason, just to give it a little extra boost to get you through the first frost or until you're tired of cutting them. 


Which who knows which comes first? 

Whichever comes first. 

And this is bone meal. And I'm going to go ahead and say that, just observing like this winter, this lower part of the field was-- I saw purple, weeds. So we don't have a ton of bone meal right now, but I'm going to focus my dosage down here, because this is where I think it needs it more. 

The part where we're going to plant. 

However, you know, the chicken manure did have phosphorus in it. But this is a good strong extra source. 

Energy boost. 

And it's really dusty so keep it close, close to the soil, so you don't lose any, because it's expensive too. 

Yeah. That's what I didn't do right with the plant-tone at first. I was holding it too high. 

Which just, I don't know which one of those nutrients tends to go through the air fastest, but it's probably the one that I really need. 

Yeah, right. 

If you're not having to certify organically, you can use triple phosphate. 


But it is strong. And so you have to do it in really low doses. But if you're in a situation-- 

Instead of bone meal? 

Instead of bone meal. 

Because it's cheaper? 

It is cheaper. 

Or what are the pros? 

It is a lot cheaper and it happens a lot faster. 


It's strong. Another organic source though is greensand. 

Oh, OK. 

It would take pallets of greensand for me to do what I needed to do here, because of the way our phosphorus is. All regions are different. 

OK. What is greensand? 

Greensand is a mined sand. It's a mined earth. 

As opposed to playbox sand. 


OK. Got it. 

It's literally has a green tinge. And like this comes from, basically, the same place that the chicken manure comes from. And it comes from processing. 


They're bones. It's bone meal. They're ground down. Greensand is a mined element. And it just depends on where you are and what you have access too. If you need greensand and you're in the southeast, you're going to pay five times-- 

A lot of money, because it's tons-- 

--on the shipping. 


So you have to think about your local sources of what you can do to amend your soil too. And I think that's an important thing to consider. 

Would the extension office, like the local extension office be a good resource for connecting you with those different places and sources to get them? 

Absolutely. Yes. And like our local extension agency has a alternative farming adviser. And he helps with people that are certifying organically, or like to use organic, even if they're not interested in certifying. 


And then, there's the regular office. They're both wonderful, ours are. But they both have wonderful resources and classes to help you learn about your region. And even they-- 

Yeah, I think they're such a great resource. 

And they usually know the people in your area who supply the things that you need. 


So go to them. 


They even do the garden masters. 

Yeah. Master Gardeners. 

Master Gardeners, that's your local-- 

Great resource as well. Definitely. OK. We got it all? 

Yeah. Well, we're going to add a little azomite, just add it. And then, David's going to come through and till it. And we're going to-- 

What do we do if we don't have a David? 

You get a little tiller, or-- I did not bring my-- you do it by hand. 

By hand. I have one of those little like, it looks like a lawnmower-- well, I have the little Mantis. And then, I also have this little thing that looks like one of those push lawnmowers. There's just like all the little like tines, which works for my little boxes that I have. 

I'd recommend the Mantis. 

I probably would break my boxes with the Mantis. 



No. I use it in my little boxes. 


But the Mantis is awesome. 

Yeah, very, versatile. And they're not too hard to, like, manage. Once you get like the real big ones, like I can't manage those. But I can manage a Mantis. 

Yes. And it does a lot of work. I mean, I could go back and forth with my Mantis. It is, I think, more efficient than a rear tine tiller sometimes. The rear tine tillers somewhat leave gaps. They're slow. With the Mantis, I can actually like hoe with it-- 

Really get it in there. 

--and pull the bed together, I can do all work with it. It's a little thing. And it's easy. But then, there's a tiller on a tractor. 

This is a simple quick system to set your lines, if you are planting or laying horizontal netting. We're using hoops that have been-- they're conduit. They've been bent with a hoop bender. 

This is rebar. 

These, do you buy these bent? 


You have to buy this at Lowe's straight and then you bend it on a hoop bender. 

Which you can purchase through Johnny's Seeds. 


They actually have several sizes. 


You can do a smaller one, which will bend up to, I think, an inch thick. But they also have some that will bend conduit for caterpillar tunnels. 

Oh, wow. 

These are made for low tunnels, or bent for low tunnels. Caterpillar tunnels are for the kind that you can walk through. 


And I just don't do that type of large scale. If I were to set up a cover over this area, I like low profile, because there are winter winds. I think the caterpillars are great for, possibly, that if you have a good anchor. But I'm going for hard core winter protection. 


But what we're doing today with the snapdragon planting is using this as multifunction, adjustable, holding for our horizontal netting for our snapdragons. Because our snapdragons, if they fall over, they don't fall back up. 


And if they fall over, they do this. And you just get no fun. 

Yeah. I didn't stake mine. That's what happened, to all of them. So I just pulled them all out yesterday. 

But they went a long time. 

They did. Yeah, they did. 

And those were like the rejects that you got too, which is awesome. 

Yeah, they went. 

I had four cuttings, four major cuttings out of the crop I put in. 


So with Chantilly snaps, it's my first time to have the patience to go through that. 

Yeah. Little seeds. 

I was excited. 

Yeah. OK. So we bent our rebar with our-- 


No, no, no. Our conduit. 

This is conduit. 


It's roughly four feet wide now. This-- 

From Johnny's Seeds. 

Johnny's Seeds. This is rebar. This kind of stake with the arrow in it is generally used for electric fencing, like, just pop-up quick electric fencing. But I use this in the field. Lowe's, yes. You get these at Lowe's. We've already preset 18-inch shorter pieces of rebar that were going to slide the conduit onto. 

As your anchor. 

These longer pieces of rebar in this string, I've used in this field repetitively since April. This is how I mark my lines and keep my bed widths-- 

Consistent and neat and tidy. 

Consistent and straight. 

Which is great, because whenever you're organized and everything's straight going in, like you can really pack the plants and make the most of the ground that you do have to work with. 


OK. So we're laying this on. We're going to make it tight. You're going to hook-- just lay your ends on the corners of the rebar. And David's going to help you and make them tight. Can you get that corner? Of course, it's the broken one. The tighter the better with this stuff I've learned. It's plastic. So if it's not tight, it tends to get a little squirrely very quickly. 

Nice and tight. 

All right. 

And what'd you tell me this was? This is the-- 

This is horizontal netting. 

Horizontal netting, as opposed to the-- or no. Is this vertical? 

This has been amended. This was vertical netting. It was 10 feet high and I cut it and I cut it. 


I think with the horizontal netting that you can purchase from Johnny's, it's more of a square grid. But I had, a good 100 feet of this. So I cut it. 

Using what we have. 

And we're going to just lower-- it's good and tight. Yay. We're going to use this as our planting grid. 


So this kind of does double duty. We're going to take our snapdragons-- 

So we just want to put it right down on the ground. 

On the ground. We're going to put our snaps in. And then, once our snaps are in, we're going to put our hoops on, and then raise this netting up. And as they grow, we can raise them up a little bit more to hold their height. 

OK. Perfect. So you just raise it as the plants are growing? 

With the hoops too, I use the hoops. I've noticed-- this is the first time I've really put this out. If you have a big wind in the spring, if you had just this, it would be goodbye netting. Now this, actually, it kind of like moved. 


But it didn't fly away. What I did later in the season is I took the hoops out, just so I could get in and out. And I had this up. And for security, I zip tied to make sure it was tight and didn't get knocked out of place. And that helped it stay. But I hit a point with the hoops being here-- 

We're going to overwinter these snapdragons. So this not only provides horizontal support, it's also going to provide a cage for either greenhouse plastic or [INAUDIBLE] or growing fabric, which just gives it frost protection. So that's what we do. And then, that's when you use all your extra rocks to weigh down the edges. Save the big ones for the end. 

Random bricks left over from something. Yeah, OK. Perfect. We're going to put these in there, tuck them in? 

Tuck the little plants in. 


Specialty Cut Flowers book is a heavy handed book for me. And I highly recommend it for anybody that's seriously trying to grow-- 

And he wrote that book? Is that what you're saying? 

Yes. He and another lady, and I can't remember her name right now, and she's wonderful to, but his books are-- I can't do without them. 


His perennial book and his professional cut flower, specialty professional cut flower. 


But the recommended spacing-- and it's a group effort, by the way. They used input from flower growers across the country and their experiences and they have them in notes. And they definitely rely on having it as a group-- 

Group effort. Great. 

Because we can't all-- I mean, you can't-- 

Can't all know everything. That is for sure. 

You can't test certain things in Athens, Georgia and expect them to grow in Spokane, Washington. 

So I do plant in rainbows. It helps me organize mentally and it also helps me when I'm cutting large groups of things. So we're starting with purple then go in to velvet and then red and bronze, salmon, et cetera. 

These are going to be roughly eight inches apart. And we're just going to use the grids. So we're going to do this y'all. And they're kind of eight inches apart, but kind of not. There might be some losses, but we're going to lay them out that way. I kind of do this a little ahead of time. And then, you can kind of throw your little babies in there. I try to get all of one color done first. And these look terrible right now. But oh my gosh, I can't wait til we come back in a week or two. 

Yeah. They'll take off. 

And so we're just going to lay them down. 

Oh, I meant to ask you, like temperature and weather. Like when is the ideal time? Like if we had to cancel earlier because it was too wet to do this, like what would be the best way so that the plans aren't shocked? Like if you're looking at your calendar for the week and you're trying to pick the best case scenario, what's ideal? 

So with this field, since we don't have the direct, like, water hose water source, it all has to be brought up from the spring down below, you plant it right before a few days of rain. 

Got it. 

And it's going to be naturally-- 

Taken care of. 

Yes. That's important, getting things watered in. 

So would you say like the first week is like really, really crucial for like the water? 


For them being set in? 

Yes, I would say the first week, even if it's really dry-- I can't speak for a desert region. But if you're an area like this where we've had very dry periods, but when we do get rain we'll get a good inch or too, you have to give it a week, 10 days. And those are the times if I don't have access with a hose-- 

I'm just going to keep making circles. 

If I can't do a hose, I fill up my backpack sprayer with water. And I go along and I just take off the spray nozzle. And if I can give it just a localized squirt of water-- 

That helps a lot? 

Every other day, if I can get it through that first 10 days, it's usually golden. 


After that, I'm just about trying to compete with the weeds, because the weeds don't seem to mind the fact that there's no rain. 

I know. That's always funny how that happens, isn't it? 

But if you're really doing a lot of planting and don't have that kind of access to water and you don't have the time to go in and do the hand watering, time it before a big rain. And they'll get watered in and your likelihood of survival is going to be good. 

Much better. 


I was going to say, is there like a survival rate that you typically see whenever you're planting? Like out of everything that we do today, like will you lose a few of these little babies along the way? 


What's normal to lose? 

I have one of those, in my head, from landscaping for many years, which I usually beat it on landscaping. My percentage is really low on landscaping. But I think an average that you should consider is 15%. 


Yeah. I think he should go for 85% survival rate. That's a good number. You know, if you're doing sunflowers, these pro cuts, they're geared towards stick it in the ground, they'll be done in less than two months. That should be like a 95% survival rate. But I think with smaller, less vigorous plants, 85 is good, because sometimes, as we talked about with like the marigolds being bad seeds, sometimes you'll just get little genetic glitches. 


And you want to pull them out and you don't want to keep them around. And so I would say that factors into that percentage as well. 

Fast Flower Video: Bouquet of my wedding flowers

Seven years ago this week Jesse and I were getting ready for our wedding! I thought it would be fun to celebrate by recreating the bouquet my sisters-in-law made for me. It has eucalyptus, spray roses, sweet peas, lisianthus, garden roses, anemones and lamb's ear. Watch this fast bouquet time-lapse come together!

Video: How To Divide Dahlias

In this video we share how to divide dahlia tubers. Susan has been doing it for over 20 years, has tried all kinds of methods and is sharing her favorites. Jump in to learn about tubers, eyes, and dividing dahlias!



Hi. My name's Kelly. And I'm here with my friend Susan from Shady Grove Gardens. Susan and her husband Brent grow wonderful dahlias up at their mountain farm. And so I asked Susan to come over today and tell us a little bit how to divide dahlias. And I also wanted to tell you a little bit about the dahlia workshop that she has coming up this July. Tell us a little bit about it. 

It's July 31st. And we're going to have one day of very intensive everything you need to know about dahlias. So it'll be planting, staking, dividing, design. We're going to spend a little bit of time with little tricks and tips on how to design. How to cut them, how to do disease control. 

They also get a lot of insects, so we're going to go over insect control, and the hard parts, planting and harvesting and digging them up in the fall, and then how do you store them. And today, we're going to do the division. But we're going to cover everything else at the workshop. 

Perfect. That sounds super fun. I bet you'll have like all the different varieties and kinds that you would recommend. So you're thinking you might want to start growing dahlias, there are all kinds of varieties out there. But Susan's been doing this for a long time and she knows the ones that really work well for her. So she'll be sharing all of that at the workshop, which is really exciting. 

So tell us what we're looking for and how we need to do this. These are Cafe au Laits from my little backyard garden. And I've never divided them before. I know that there's eyes and that that's important. 

Well, there are several different ways to do it. And I'm actually very conservative, because they're mine and I'm not shipping them off usually and I'm not trying to make hundreds out of it. So I might leave something like this for myself. But I start by clipping off all the little, what lot of people call as hairy bits. 

Get rid of all those hairy bits. 

And that makes it just a little bit easier to see. Now, you can divide the dahlias, either in the fall, right after you dig them up, which makes it a little easier to see the eye. 

Show us what the eye looks like over here. 

So the eye is these little tiny bumps here. 

Right around the kind of top. So this kind of looks like a little magnolia pod, doesn't it? And then, it's tiny. And then, you get this little bit of a bump right there. 

And it's always attached to the stem. So when you divide them, you always want a little bit of the stem to remain. So on this particular one, if you think there's two or three eyes in there, and you can also see, possibly, two or three eyes back here. So what you want to do is leave some piece of the stem, because that's where you think the eyes are going to be. 

So here, I'm cutting up through the middle of the stem. And this part isn't necessary. 

Goodbye stem piece. 

So then, if you really wanted to make three out of this, you could cut it again. But if you want to be conservative, you just cut it like so. So this has sort of this little neck here. And that's where I would expect the buds to come out. 

So the buds, or the new growth, is actually going to be coming out of that eye. 

All the growth will come out of there. And of course, it will form roots. 

So if we cut the eye off, then we just cut off anything that would be viable. 

Right. You can, if you have these here that are-- see how this is broken, what I would call broken, the neck's broken. 


So these, most likely, will not do anything. So often, we will clip those off. But we'll keep this and that should come out. Now, this one's a little on the shriveled side, but it should be OK, if it doesn't continue to shrivel. We store ours-- we've gone through a lot of different trial and error, sometimes they'll rot, sometimes they don't. But this year we've decided that pine bark or the bedding that you use for pets-- 

Like hamsters? 

Like hamsters, like those little chips you buy at the store, those big bags, that seems to be our best bet for storing. So it doesn't keep them wet, it doesn't keep them any drier. We do have the whole bins all the sets of bins with the chips shavings in there, are all also surrounded with plastic so they don't lose-- you also want to store them about 40 degrees. Now, our garage is not 40 degrees. 

Yeah. This isn't either. 

So we try. 

Do they need a cold period? Or it's more or less for preserving them? 

Yeah. They're from the Andes. But they do not need a cold period. So think of them like a tomato. It's a tropical plant. It just needs a little rest, because in North America, it's too cold for them. 

That's interesting that it was a tropical plant. 

Yeah. So whenever people say like that it's too hot or that it needs that-- I guess, and you know this, because you're a Costa Rica girl-- the swing of the temperatures, like day to night, but people in Florida it just doesn't get cold enough for them, or if they're like they're on the coast. 

They're from the Andes. 

Educate me. 

The mountains, the cool summer nights, cool days, that's where they're the happiest. That's their origin. 

When you said tropics I immediately thought I'm going to the Bahamas now and I was like, wait a second. 

But that's where the wild ones are. So they probably originated somewhere near where potatoes originated and they act a lot like potatoes. 

Interesting. So this one here, would you say, if you do you have that broken neck, would you just leave it on and plant it? It's not going to do any harm, but-- 

Yeah. I probably would, just hoping that it might be OK. , Now, one that's really badly damaged, like this one, I'd probably clip it off. And I didn't used to do that. But just for storage space. And then, you don't want the rot. If it rots, you don't want it to spread to the rest of the plant. So ideally, you don't want them to shrivel quite that much. 

Show the bad example. 

But this will still have a good potential to sprout. I don't think I would divide it more, although some people might. You can clip the stem off, just don't clip down too far, because every once in a while, the buds will come out right here. 

Now, this one is more challenging. So you would need, probably, a sturdier knife and really cut into that. You could use clippers or even loppers. 

Yeah. This is hard. 

So that's another reason to maybe do them in the fall, when they're a little softer. 

Right. So basically, I dug these. I left them in soil and I kept them in a pot in a cool room of the house. 

Cool's good. Cool's good. And then, you want fairly high humidity so they don't dry out. And like I said, 40 degrees, 60 degrees. We start opening our garage windows if it gets above that and hope for the best in this warm weather. 

So recap. We're getting rid of the hairy bits. Step one. Step two-- 

Makes it a little easier to see what's going on. 

Yeah, it's easier to see what's happening. 

And you knock off the dirt. In my case, I'm knocking off rocks, because we have lots of rocks. And we're trying to get those out between the tubers. But the next step is what most people are afraid to do, is to really just go right on in there. And you are going to lose-- 

Look at this one. What's happening here? 

That is probably the mother. Actually this one's the mother. So that's the one you had last year. 

Oh, OK. 

So it's usually a little rougher, it could even be hollow. 

Will it produce again? 

No. So you could remove that and not miss it. 

Let's get a close up of what the mother looks like. 

So this one is the mother. So that's last year's tuber. And then, all of these formed over the summer last year. 

So then, usually, I'll go in with something like clippers and cut into the stem. But these won't do that. So we're just going to show you. 

Is there something else I can give you? 

Nah. I think maybe I could just switch to another. 

Yeah. We'll just switch to another one. And there's all kinds of different tools that you can use to get these going, even the little-- I'm not sure what it's called. 

It's like a Dremel tool. 

It's like a Dremel tool. 

Or those tiny Sawzall. And you can get small and large blades. We use a little narrow one, about the width of my finger. And it's heavy and it's not cheap, if you have a lot of dahlias, you're going to want to do it. So then, we go in and it just goes-- 


--and it just cuts, like that. And then, it's a little easier. 

So here's one of your eyes. 

And you can see, it looks like it's like sprouting now, this little bit of green. 

Yes. It's starting to sprout, because we've had a little bit of a warm spell. So if you wanted to get them started early, you could put it in a pot. 

Put it in a pot and starting babying it a little bit. 

Yeah, but then you have to care for it everyday. 

Do you get an earlier bloom, or what's the benefit of-- 

Yeah. You get an earlier bloom. And then, those people that really want more dahlias can do cuttings. But that's a whole other project. 

So on this one, it's a little easier to see where you might cut it. And so you just cut in there. And you still have multiple buds. And on this one, hopefully, we still have multiple buds there. 

Yeah. Can you see this? You can see, up around this eye, how there's already even these little buds that are starting to pop out. So cool. So there's a plant. And here's one. And here's one. And here's one, maybe two? 

Yeah. Maybe two, if you're feeling brave. 

I don't have enough room, so I won't feel brave. I'll just-- 

Since these are Kelly's, I'm not going to cut it up more. 

And since I don't have a lot of room, I don't need-- look at all these. It's amazing how, this was three plants. So here and now we already have three more plants coming up this year. 

Especially if you're doing this in the fall, you want to let this sort of seal over before you were to put it in some-- 

To store it. 

Don't do what I did. Don't put them in Ziploc bags and store them. You will kill them. All mine rotted one year when I did that. So you do want to use some sort of loose bedding, newspapers, shavings, or something like that. But you also, just give it a day or two, like a potato that you've cut up and let it seal over and you should be good to go there. 

Well, Susan, thank you so much for coming to tell us and share what you know about the dahlias and dividing them. This has been really helpful. And now, all my dahlias are ready to get potted up and I guess to get an early bloom, get started out there. 

So thanks so much for coming. We look forward to seeing you. And for those of you who come to Susan's workshop, we can't wait to see you soon. 

Video: How to Grow, Hydrate and Hold Cut Hellebores

Susan from Shady Grove Gardens is joining us to share some information on growing, hydrating and holding cut hellebores! Susan has been working with flowers for 31 years and has been so gracious to come and share. If you've ever been captivated by the charm of the hellebore you are in for a real treat!



I'm Kelly, and I'm here with my friend Susan from Shady Grove Gardens. She's a grower here in Boone, North Carolina! Susan, why don't you tell us a little bit about what you do up at Shady Grove Gardens? 

All right. Well, we're growers and florist. And we've been doing-- this is year 31. 

31, wow. 

We grow our flowers and use them for all our wedding designs. 


So, we grow well over 300 different varieties, and we sell them to people like Kelly. 

Like me! Actually, to me! Yes. 


And florist. 

So, I'm, like, nodding, like, oh, this is new information. But I of course know this, because Susan is one of the growers here in Boone. So, a lot of flowers that you saw whenever we were doing bunches of weddings and things like that, some of those things came from Susan's farm. 

Mhm! And we sell directly to brides, as well. 

OK, fantastic. So, before you started doing weddings and doing flowers just cut, you had a little bit of experience in landscape design. And then also tell us a little bit about your education. 

Well, I have a master's in Biology, and I have a Naturals degree and a Botany degree. And then I did landscape gardening, for about 20 years. And then we slowly transitioned into having a flower farm. 

So that's all we do, now. We have a flower farm and a nursery. We grow all our own seedlings. And I'm the grower, seedling, office mouse, designer. And Brent, my husband, is the main grower and farm manager. 

Yeah! Because they've got some flowers at their main place, where all of the seedlings and office work takes place. And they have a beautiful, you call it "The Peak," that's out-- just beautiful mountain views. I mean, one of the prettiest farms that I've ever been to. Fantastic views, great location. So, again, all of that then happens out at the Peak. 

Tell me a little bit about that Naturalist degree. What's included in that? 

Well, it's from Appalachian State. And, back then, we just did a lot of fieldwork. So it was all ornithology, mycology-- which is mushrooms-- 

You're going to have to tell me what-- so, mushrooms-- got it. 

Mushrooms and fungus, you know. So it was all fieldwork, as opposed to, like, learning how to do lab sorts of things. 

OK, sure. 

But I also took Plant Physiology and things like that, as well. 

Yeah, fantastic. Well, when it comes to hellebores, there are a few things that are really great that we want to share about keeping them hydrated. And one of them actually goes back to some of this plant physiology and some of those things that Susan's been talking about. 

And one of them is keeping the water that you're using-- having quite a full vase of water. Because having all of this water in here creates pressure that then pushes the water up through the stems! So that's one of the first things about hellebore hydration. And that would apply to a wide variety of plants, actually. 

So, it's great to have some deep water, whenever you're working with hellebores. We have several different types of hellebores here. And Susan really loves the ones that have their necks up, because they are a lot easier to use in arrangements. So, do you want to tell us a little bit about the ones that you brought today? 

All right. This one is actually a seedling, from my other hellebores around the yard. I will point out that it takes four years for them, at least, to bloom. And they don't move terribly well. 

So I love this one, and it's in a pot, so it's going probably back in my yard somewhere. 

OK, it's ready to go out. Uh-huh. 

This one is one that you can buy on the market. It's called Winter Thriller. There is a mix, and this one is Pink Ballerina. And it's a really nice ruffled double. 

But it does hang down a little bit. So, Kelly might be able to tell you how to solve that problem. 

[LAUGH] Yeah. Well, whenever they have kind of that natural facing, like, that their heads are moving down, sometimes what I'll do is take a branch-- like, for example, spiraea and quince are blooming at a similar time as the hellebore. And they both have, like, nice, branchy stems. 

So what I'll do is put this one-- you know, since this is a short stem, I put this kind of lower in the arrangement. But I would just, like, hook its little neck, here, onto one of those branches, or prop it over one of the branches, so that you could get that effect. And sometimes, too, seeing the backs of the stems, and the silhouettes that you get-- 

It just all depends what the point is, and what the purpose of that flower that you're using is, in your arrangement. Because this, even pointing down like this, I think, would be really lovely, depending on the lines and the shapes that you're using in your arrangement. But if you have some that are a little bit droopier, you can prop them up using those branches and things. 

So, love this. Pink Ballerina. Another one that's on the market right now, this one's called Pink Frost. And this is one-- I got a couple of these at Lowe's-- had them. 

I like the stiff stem on that one. 

Yeah. Very hardy. And that's what Susan-- as soon as Susan picked it, she's like, yeah, this is a really hardy one. And several years ago I visited Pine Knot Farms, which is where some of the research in this book took place. And I cut several different types from their garden. They were so gracious, to let me do that. 

And this was the variety that really held up well, comparatively. I mean, this went on for almost a month, I think, whenever I had it that first time. So I think this is a really great one, if you're looking to add some cuts to your garden. 

But really, most hellebores, I think, do hold up quite well. All of the progress that they've made in breeding and all those kinds of things, they're a great, strong plant. 

So, anyway, this one, I just cut from the garden, right before we came in to record today. So I'm going to give it a quick snip, exposing as much of this area as I can. And then I'm going to have some Quick Dip, here, from Floralife. And I'm just going to do a 1, 2, 3. [LAUGH] 

And then I'm going to put in that deep water. And then, same thing with this. And this one, I'm not 100% sure on what exactly this is called, but I got it here at Pine Knot Farms, if you really love it and you're looking for one that's similar. It's a very unique-- 

It doesn't have the picotee, like this Ballerina. I love the little spots. But this is more of a gradation in color, from white to this just really rich burgundy. And the back sides of the petals are so lovely, too. And a double, like the Ballerina that we have, here. 

And most of the hellebores on the market now are hybrids, so you just have to go by variety name and which ones you like. 

Yeah. There we go. OK. So those ones are in there, and they're ready to go. 

So, Quick Dip is one way that you can process your hellebore. And another way that you can do it, kind of an old-fashioned technique-- we just wanted to show a couple of different techniques that you could try out-- is to take-- 

And, Jessie, why don't we just get a close-up of this, if we can, here. We want to get water up into the stem as quickly as possible. So we're just doing a very small, gentle, super-gentle scoring of the stem. 

And that is also done with tulips, occasionally. And that just helps them get water into that-- what's it called? The xylem? 


In the-- 

Yeah, in the xylem. In case you have a stem that's sealed off at the base, somehow, that allows more water uptake. And if there's air bubbles in there, like an embolism comes out. 

Mhm. So there we go! So, tell us a little bit about how the Quick Dip works. Because it serves somewhat kind of a similar purpose, when it comes to-- 

It does. 

--the air bubbles and the embolism-- things like that. 

In theory, you shouldn't have to do this on your own cuts. But with the ones that are shipped in, especially if you have them wilted, the Quick Dip, what it does is it changes the surface tension of the liquid and the water that you're trying to get taken up. 

So, it's acidic, and it's just-- that's all you need, is that few seconds to change that surface pH. 

So, the acid breaks down kind of the surface. 


Mhm. And then it pops those bubbles and lets everything flow through freely! 

And that's similar to what you're doing with the slits. You're allowing the air bubbles to be dissolved, in one way or another. And you get more uptake. 

OK. Yeah, because sometimes with hellebores, we get those little, droopy necks at the top, especially when you're shipping them in wholesale. And for a long time-- Susan and I were just talking about how, for a long time, it was considered that hellebores just weren't a "good" cut flower. And how unfortunate that we lost that. 

But we moved into a season where a lot of our sourcing was coming from other countries. And we were doing a lot of shipping in planes and all those types of things. And so, comparatively, in the world of flowers, it was a little bit more complicated to get hellebores going, and because of their bloom season being whenever it's cooler-- things like this-- maybe flowers weren't as much in demand. 

So there was sort of this little period of history, in the cut-flower world, where they disappeared. But whenever we were doing cut flowers using things that were in our own backyard, before, you know, airplanes and all those types of transportation methods were a piece of it, this is something that you'll see in floral history and in art and different things. You'll see these being used. 

Well, the hybrids certainly have made them more popular, because there's nicer colors, better stems. But yes, back in the '40s, when people grew their own flowers as a florist, they used them. 

And then, the tropics, they don't do well in the tropics. They have to have that cold period. They bloom in the snow. They're Lenten roses. So, now that there's more North American growers, we have more hellebores. 

More hellebores. Yeah, and how lucky we are, because just the variety that's available, now. And Pine Knot Farm has done so much work in pushing us forward, in terms of just the interesting types and colors and, you know, all the doubles and picotees and all those beautiful gradiations in the colors of the petals. I mean, it's just fantastic. They have such a great variety, there. 

Tell us, Susan, a little bit about these little rubber-band guys. 


We were talking about when the best time is to cut them. In the summertime, we, of course, whenever it's warmer, we want to cut them early in the morning or late in the evening. But what's interesting about hellebores is, they are blooming whenever it is freezing, unlike most other flowers. So you actually have to pay attention to, is it frozen? [LAUGH] 

Well, these were cut last night, at 11 o'clock at night. And they were frozen solid. So, I had my doubts about bringing them over to Kelly. But, sure enough-- 

Yeah, pull them out! 

--every single one of them-- 

Wobble them around a little bit. 

--looks just fine. They're a little more wilty than the ones I cut the day before, before the freeze, but not much. 

So here's day before the freeze, what we're looking at, here. 

And this one's not too terribly much different. 

I don't see a huge, like, visible difference. What do you think? 

I don't! Now, what you're going to notice, especially if you're getting ones from your own yard, is the buds probably will never look good. They may turn brown. 

If they were frozen. 

Or the immature ones, that stem might decline much faster. But the bigger ones, they will be fine. 


Now, it does depend on how long they stay cold, and whether it's windy and they have wind chill and dehydration. But a short spurt of snow or deep cold, they are OK! 

Mhm. Yeah, and that's something else that's important to consider, is, what-- and, a lot of times, with cuts, when you're having things, if you're someone who's having things shipped to you, there is a whole life that that flower lived before it even landed at your doorstep. And so, you might be doing all of the by-the-book right things to do but still be like, but these never opened, or these just kind of-- you know, whatever. 

They had a whole life. They could have not been hydrated properly, whenever they were a plant in the ground. They could have been malnourished. It's like, how strong was that plant before it was actually cut? 

And so, one of the great things about hellebores, I think that they are-- it's something that I think everybody should have in their-- I think everybody should have these in their garden. They're very easy, once you've got them in the ground. 

They're easy. 

A very easy plant. And tell us a little bit about when you think the best time is to cut them. Like, you would water them two days before or-- 

Yeah, about-- 

--what do you think? 

You know, just make sure it's either rained, or you watered, about 48 hours out. And then you should be able to cut them early in the morning, as long as they're not frozen, is probably your best time. And bring them in immediately, and put them straight into water. Where you could go wrong is leaving them lay around, like I did with the one. 

Yeah, yeah! 


But, even so, look at how-- I don't remember exactly which one it was, but there's only three to choose from. 

It's the one I cut with the knife. 

Oh, yes, this one. 

It's this one. So this one accidentally got left out overnight in freezing-cold weather. And I didn't pick it up till that afternoon. The next day, and it is perfectly fine. 

Yeah, look at this. 

And I didn't put it in anything. This just went into water. So that's a tough plant. You know, it's almost an evergreen. Now, you'll also notice on these blooms, here-- I think it's on this one-- you can see where there is some freeze damage from the past freeze. 

OK. Here, let me hold that out, so Jessie can see it really well. But, if you can just kind of get rid of this-- you good, Jessie? You see that OK? I mean, you can just pinch this out-- 


And it's still perfectly fine to use. 

And I use them like that, because people love green flowers. 


And so, these will all turn green in a few months. And that's generally when I use them. Because my brides are getting married in May and not in February or March. So, even the burgundies turn towards a green color. 

Yeah. They all sort of fade, a little bit, as they're aging. And-- good grief-- OK, so, this starts coming out-- well, I know, we're up in the mountains. It's a little bit cooler longer. But the amount of time that this stays on the plant is really fantastic-- that it's usable as a cut. I mean, you really have, I would say three-- 

Into June. I use them into June. 

--solid three months! 


Yeah. So, their color tones and things are going to be changing throughout that period. And the look of them, of course, will change. So-- let's see. Do we have any where the seed pods are maybe a little bit more developed? 

A few. And there is a reason why it's called "Lenten rose." It's at its peak during Lent, which is now. 

Which is now, mhm. 

There was-- I think one of the white ones has a pod on it. 


Because they're a little earlier. So, some of these will come in at different times. So you have to kind of look at the ones that work for your yard. 

Mmm-- I feel like this one might be kind of as close as we're doing to get-- 

Oh, that's right. 

--in terms of time period, right now. But these will actually swell out. So, this is the female part of the plant. Right? Yeah? 

Mhm. That's your ovary forming, there. 

Mhm! And then these are the male part of the plant. You can see the pollen popping off of them. So the pollen's popping down in here and then going down in. And these are going to, then-- these little parts, right here, Jessie. They're very small right now. 

Mmm. It's right here. Can you see that? That's going to swell. 

Mhm. And make seeds. That's the ovary, and that's where the seeds will come on and live. So, there's lots of different stages, so you can have it where it's, you know-- actually, in this book, there's tons of pictures in there I could show. 

There's a green seed pod. And they're very usable with the green seed pod on them. 

Mhm. Yeah, absolutely. So, here's a picture of the life stages of the hellebore. And here is the part where-- you know, this is what it's going to look like late in the season, once the seed pods have developed and ripened on the plant. 

But tell us a little bit, Susan, about this life cycle that we're looking at, here. I know you mentioned four years to bloom, on this. 

So, if you're growing them in your yard, and you let the seed pods drop the seeds-- which you can barely see in the photo, there-- you should, in theory, have seedlings the next year. But they're going to be tiny. They're going to be like these little seedlings you see here. 

Now, you can move them. And probably the best time to move them is when they're that small. 

Oh, OK. 

They don't especially like being divided. They don't especially like being moved. 


But the other important thing is, once they get really big and mature, they make a better cut flower. So maybe that first year or so, you might not really expect those flowers to be great and hold up well. 

Kind of like a peony, maybe. Like, you know, that kind of three-year mark. Well, for a lot of-- you grow a lot of perennials. And three years is when they kind of have established and they're doing well. 

So, as far as bloom goes, for those little guys that you might be wanting to do yourself, don't expect to see anything for about four years. 

Yeah? [LAUGH] Patience, big-time. 

And that's why hellebores are not that commercially available or that inexpensive, if you're buying. 

Right. They are a more expensive plant, and there's a lot of time that's involved in babying those things, unlike some of these annuals that you can pop up pretty inexpensively, at Lowe's or different things. Like this one, here, the Pink Frost, I think that that was maybe $16 or $18, compared to some of the other, kind of, quick annuals that they have or biannuals that they have that are coming and going. 

Yes I saw some at Lowe's, just yesterday, day before. $17 for just the standard Lowe's gallon pot. 

Yeah. Yeah, exactly. But they're great when you can get them going and established. There's nothing else really happening in the garden at that time. 

That's true. 

So it is that kind of like-- I guess I think I plant them more for myself, because it's like, oh, here's something! 


You know, spring is here. Anything else that you wanted to share? 

I started growing them because all my brides were asking for green-- 

Oh, OK! 

--and green flowers. 

Right, right. 

So, I needed something green, and there's only so many green flowers. And in June, and in May, perfect green flowers. 

Yeah, yeah. 

I also use the leaves. 

Mhm! Yeah, I love these. Mhm. These are so great. I'm not sure how you use them, exactly, but I like to use them low in arrangements, over the rim of the container, to frame some of the larger flowers. 

And the leaves you can use all season long. I might be-- am I destroying my plant by clipping from the leaves after they've bloomed? Maybe a little bit. [LAUGH] 

If it's a big plant, I think they can handle it. 

They can handle it? Mhm? OK, great! Well, I just wanted to share, again, this book. It's called Hellebores, a Comprehensive Guide. Burrell and Tyler are the authors on this. And it is one of the American Horticultural Society award-winning books. 

And you hop over-- this was at the Royal Horticultural Society gardens, in England. Whenever I was there, they have-- this is one of the ones that they have in their library. 

But it's a comprehensive guide. And there's all kinds of great resources in here and a lifetime of several people that are kind of summarized in here. And also, what we've got is, there's a plant trial, back here, that John Dole from NC State headed up, in the appendix-- which I guess I don't-- there's a little nutrient study, here, in C. 

Back here, in Appendix D of this book, there was a study that Fanelli and John Dole from NC State, the Department of Horticulture Science, put together-- a little experiment using hellebores as a cut flower. And their results-- and you can see all of, you know, what their control was and their temperature and all those kinds of things. 

But 17 and 1/2 days is where they landed. They were experimenting with cut-flower preservatives. So, like, not the Quick Dip specifically, but those kinds of hydrating solutions and holding solutions, versus when you're cutting the plant. Because, for almost-- a lot of people-- and Susan, you know, I would consider one of them-- that cutting them later, you know, finds that there's really not a whole lot of problem, once they've got those seed pods on them. 

So, that's what he was testing. You know, was there a notable difference between if the seed pods were developed versus if they weren't? And he didn't seem to find a major-- in this study, he didn't see a major difference. But it doesn't mean that there might not be for someone else. 

Like, this one's starting to form a seed pod. So I would prefer to use one like that, because it's a little more leathery. 

Sure, mhm. 

And I would assume that it would last longer than one that still has all its anthers. 

Very delicate and soft. Mhm. Exactly. 

John was using a hydrating solution and a holding solution. A holding solution is a professional solution you can get from Floralife, is the one he uses. 

Oh, and I think he did-- actually, in this experiment, I think he used-- 

And Chrysal. 

Yeah, I think he used both-- like, the kind of equivalents of both brands-- and didn't see a big difference. 

Basically, they have less sugar in them than the standard Floralife that you would get in the little packets. So that's really the main difference. The hydrator is just a solution you leave them in for several hours. And it's similar to Quick Dip-- 

Mhm, but the plant just sits in it for a while. 

--just a different brand. 

OK. Why do you think people-- why do you think that, like, higher sugar content that you would get in a packet, if you were buying flowers from a florist or something, why wouldn't it be the lower sugar count, if that actually makes them last longer? 

Yes. Because, when you give somebody regular Floralife, with a lot of sugar, that's carbohydrates. So that feeds the flower, and it also makes it continue to mature. 


So, if you're a flower grower or a florist, you just want to hold that in stasis. So you just barely want to feed it. You don't want it to continue to mature, and you don't want to feed the bacteria. Of course, there's things in there to keep the bacteria from growing. But that's why they give it very little sugar. 


And then the home person gets the product with the sugar. 

Right. So then they're really seeing kind of the best parts of the plant, and the rest of the life cycle of it, I guess. 

And most flowers are cut in bud, so you want them to stay in bud till they get to where they're going. 

Right And then that extra sugar lets them open. 


Perfect! Well, thank you so much, Susan, for popping on to join us, today, and to talk about hellebores a little bit. This has been really fun. And we're excited to share these beautiful things with you. 

So, best of luck on your hellebore planting that you have coming up. And you let us know if you have any questions. 

Video: Long Lasting Spring Arrangement

Watch a video tutorial on how to make a long-lasting, inexpensive, and cheerful springtime arrangement. I use fresh-cut daffodils (often available for $5 a bundle or less) and a handful of potted bulbs. Container aside, you’re looking at about $12 in supplies for this piece!


Hey, I'm Kelly Perry. And I'm here to show just a quick little fun with flowers segment. I was out picking up some groceries and saw these hyacinth bulbs for a dollar. And I was like, well, let's do something fun with those this afternoon. So I'm here. 

And had some rocks left over from another project that I was working on and I thought we'll just do a little hybrid potted plant/fresh cut flower arrangment. So I'm going to put a couple rocks in the bottom of this to help with drainage since there aren't any drainage holes in this container. And then I'm going to add a little bit of potting soil. And then I'm going to go ahead and put in-- I had these left over from another project as well, so I'm going to pop these in-- little tulips. 

And we'll put in the hyacinth in here as well. I love hyacinth in the spring. It is the smell of spring to me. 

They're also really fun to make hairpieces out of. I was at a class recently in New York, and Shane Connelly was the teacher. And he does flowers for the Royal Family. 

And it was really fun to hear his perspective and take on things. And he loves using potted flowers. And so we have that in common. 

And then he taught us how to wire hyacinth flowers to use in bouquets and things like that. And that got me thinking about hair crowns and just all the versatility and things that we could do with those. So anyway, just a little tidbit there about the hyacinth. So once these bloom, I might pop them out and practice doing some more wiring with them. 

OK, got these potted in here how I like them. I pulled some moss out of the backyard. I'm going to put that in here just around. I'm going to not do the whole way around quite yet, because I want to add some of these fresh things with water tubes. But we can just kind of get this base started so we have a better idea of what it will all look like when it comes together. 

Perfect. OK, these are water tubes. I'm going to just pop them open and I'm actually going to just snip the ends off these. I'm using these little daffodils and their stems are hollow. So I don't want to upset them. 

I'm just going to pop these inside. 

In this arrangement, I'm just going to like a mass of spring flowers. No particular consideration to lines or anything like that. I just want it to look like it is just happening. 

So all the different stages of the flowers are in. Perfectly fine, because that's how they are outside. Some are high. Some are low. 

So do this with whatever you have in your garden. Maybe you have some of those really pretty magnolia branches blooming. Or a few little cherry blossoms. Whatever you have, go for it. 

I have this dogwood that I think I'd like to put in. And this will open up over time. It's not open at the moment, but it will be. Actually, let me give that just a quick little fresh snip so it can have an easier time hydrating. 


I want to add just two more flower tubes. 

And I'm going to be adding the moss in so that will cover up-- oh, these are poking up through the soil right now. That'll take care of that. And these little tubes of water you'll want to keep an eye on if you're trying to keep your arrangement fresh for a particular day. Just keep an eye on those little tubes. They don't hold a lot of water. 

And I'm putting about two daffodils in each. So they'll drink that up pretty quick. Keep a little eye on that. OK, we'll fill in and cover up those tubes with the moss. And then we'll be all ready to go. 

The hyacinth already had quite a bit of moisture in the soil so I'm not worried about giving those a fresh drink just yet. But I'll keep an eye on that in the coming days. 

But once those start shooting up through the soil, and these tulip bulbs that are in here start blooming, it'll really fill this arrangement out. And it will be very, very sweet. Lots of longevity to this. 

If you do weekly arrangements for maybe a business or some type of office setting, this would be a great way to offer something with a lot of longevity to it. 

All right, there you have it. Just give this a little dust around the edges and we'll call that done. 

Thanks for watching. If you'd like to see more like this, you can visit I'm Kelly. Thanks for watching. 

Video: Mechanics for a long table runner

I took some supplies you would find at your local hardware store and made an 8 foot long beautiful centerpiece. In this arrangement you'll find bunny grass, yarrow, love in a puff vine, tiny hands (Japanese foliage), standard peonies, tree peonies, spray roses, standard roses, ranunculus, acorns, scabiosa, bay leaves, heptacodium, amaranth, and finally lepto pods!


Hi, it's Kelly with Team Flower. I wanted to pop in and show you the mechanics behind this table runner that we've created for a styled shoot recently. It's driven with me all the way back from Atlanta. It's still in one piece. It's looking a little tired. But I still wanted to bring it on and talk about it for just a minute, because I thought it might help you with a future project that you're working on. 

So what we have here-- I'm always trying out new mechanics for how I can-- different materials that I can use and ways that I can put things like this together. So you may have seen another video where I did something similar to this, where we used garland and oasis. And we had a little system for working like a floral garland that way. 

Well, this is actually, underneath-- I'm going to flip it up so you can take a quick peek. This is a piece of molding for a house. And Jessie, if you can get a little close up right here, you'll see underneath I have oasis bricks lined with a little bit of chicken wire under here. So that is there. And then I have just connected it with tape the whole way down. 

So I'm going to pull one little section of this apart so you can see underneath. Is this a good section, Jessie? OK. So I'm going to pull these little guys out of here. And then I'll just tell you what's in here, too, in case if you see an ingredient that you like for a project you've got coming up. 

These flowers came from Cut Flower in Atlanta. Really loved shopping their cooler. Alex helped me with my order that day and was super friendly. 

So if you're looking for a source in that area, you have a project coming out, I highly recommend them. Beautiful cooler, one of the best coolers I've ever walked through. So Cut Flower Atlanta for these materials. 

But you can see here-- can you see that, Jessie? What I've done is I've taken one piece of oasis and I've cut it into four pieces, but lengthwise. So it's nice little skinny pieces. They fit into this piece of molding from Lowe's hardware perfectly. 

And then the little cup shape of the molding, you can see it just has a little dip here. That catches all the little bits of water under the oasis. So whenever we put this together, I could just tip the water off the edge. 

And that kept it easy for traveling in the car. I didn't have water in my car. And whenever we set it onto the eight foot table with the linens and everything, it stayed nice and clean and dry. So I was really happy with how this piece performed. I liked it a lot. 

I put just this little bit of chicken wire over here. I like to do that with oasis. Just in case, if you're repositioning stems quite a bit, sometimes it can break on you or just pop off. And so I just have just a little piece over the top of it to keep it all together. 

This does take two people to move. It's eight feet in length. If you just have one person that was moving things, I'd recommend just snipping in half and doing four foot sections and working those together. But I loved the convenience. 

If you just have a buddy going with you, you can just grab here and here. And they can grab there and there. Fits perfectly into the back of one of the U-Haul cargo vans. Or I have a Sienna minivan that it fits straight up to the front whenever you take all of the seats out or fold them down, however your car works. 

In terms of ingredients in this piece, this is for like the blushy fall bride. I really love this palette a lot. I have some yarrow in here that I used low for coverage of the oasis. And I also brought a little bit of it out higher for some texture in the arrangement. 

I have a little bit of bunny grass in here. It's what it was labeled as. It's a little bit different than the bunny grass I typically get, so I'm not sure if that's actually-- I'm not sure. 

I'm not completely convinced that's exactly what it is. But it might be just maybe a different variety of that. But some type of grass. I've also seen grass that looks similar to this called foxtail grass. So it might be that. 

I have some like love in a puff foliage down here. This foliage here is called tiny hands. It's from Japan. I have, of course, these big pretty peonies, spray roses. 

A couple of these little-- I think this is-- I want to say this is cappuccino. They were unlabeled. But I have seen something very similar to this labeled and cappuccino is what it was called. So that's what I'm thinking for that. 

These are beautiful tree peonies. These are from Japan as well. So peonies are now becoming available more year around. The tree peonies less frequent than your standard ones here. 

But it's so interesting. They're coming just from different parts of the world throughout all of the growing seasons. And with shipping and just the logistics that they have available to them now, we're able to see and have these different things that are happening in different parts of the world, which is fun. 

So we've got that. I have some of these pretty ranunculus scabiosa. Have a couple little acorns here. And I think I got almost-- I think got it all-- oh, bay leaves. That's what we used for our base coverage there. 

So I'm back with my list. I forgot a couple of things, so I wanted Jessie to add this in at the end. But I missed this ingredient here, just pretty, blushy, real deep, and again nice texture and coverage low. And I'm going to spell it for you H-E-P-T-A-C-O-D-I-U-M, $9.50. 

I also missed the amaranthe that I had pulled out. So this is the rose amaranthe. It's pretty. A lot of local growers have this now. So it's something that you can check around with if you're in an area where you have a couple local growers. 

And then this leptopods-- they're very small, hard. They almost don't look real in a way. And I'm sure they would dry really well. But, yeah, little leptopods. 

And these are porcelina. These and these came from Mayesh in Charlotte on the way down. So I picked those up along the way. And I think that handles all of it. Ranunculus are from Chile, in case you're interested. Yeah, that's all. 

OK, just wanted to make sure you have this. Thanks, so much, for popping in. I hope that this inspires you for one of the projects, and maybe just makes your burden a little bit lighter. Thanks, so much, for watching. Have a great day. 

Video: Using floral mechanics in creative ways

In this video I show how to use netting, foam and a tape grid together to support floral elements in a creative way! Some flowers, containers and designs are best suited for netting/chickenwire. Other flowers work best with tape and yet some others need the firm support of foam.  What happens when you want to use flowers who need different levels of support?  What if you have an idea for a design that needs firm support in one area and loose support in another?


Hey, I'm Kelly. Welcome to "Team Flower." Today, I'm going to create a winter arrangement with you, and I have just five simple ingredients, golden raintree, and I have some of the pieris japonica, foxtail lilies. I have some grass. This is the grocery store grass just from the little field beside the grocery store, and a poinsettia from the grocery store. So all things that-- this is probably if you're going to go out there and practice an arrangement that's similar to this, this is probably going to be the thing that you might have a little bit of trouble finding, but you really don't need this specific type of thing. You just need something that's long and reaching and has a little bit of a bend to it. 

So I'll talk about the purpose of the ingredients. The purpose is really the most important part. You can substitute with anything that fills a similar purpose and recreate a similar look. 

Now, in terms of mechanics for this arrangement, I'm working in, I guess this is what I like to call the sailboat shape. But if you can come around here and just get a close up of how we have this set up. A lot of times I talk about wire, wire foam, and frogs and tape. There's lots of different ways to put together the mechanics for your arrangement. 

And I like to choose those things based on the ingredients that I'm putting in the arrangement, not just what my preference is because I think sometimes people get locked into, well, I only use frogs or I only use foam or those kinds of things. But not all flowers perform really great in foam, but some flowers really need that really strong, stable thing. This container doesn't allow me to have a frog in here, at least not the shape. I just have the round ones in the studio right now. And just the way that it's shaped, it's difficult to really secure a frog in there really well. 

So I thought through, well, how is the end of the design going to look? What are the components for mechanics that I can use to put together so that every flower's need is taken care of? So usually my technique for mechanics is a little bit simpler than this, but for this arrangement, in particular, I think it's important to have these different components. 

So I'm going to fill this up too tall so I can tip and show, but you'll see I have a layer of chicken wire in here deep inside the bowl. And then I have a little piece of foam over here on my right-hand side, and then I have some tape grid over top of that. So this foam is important for the foxtail lily, which is really heavy and has a very thick stem. 

The chicken wire, we can easily handle. The pieris can go in that. And this grass, I didn't put the foam to the edges on both sides because I need a little bit of room for the grass to go right into that chicken wire. 

So I just wanted to share that with you as you're thinking through arrangements that you could be making. You can configure these in any type of way to meet the needs of the flowers, the ingredients, the end place that it's going to really serve your client best and meet their needs. And this one is just going in the house, so I'm not concerned about water sloshing in the car or anything like that. And if I was, I would just tip out water and refill whenever I got to my destination. 

But without any further ado, let's go ahead and get started. I am going to begin with the pieris as the base in my creation here today. And right now, we're establishing the shape and the size of the arrangement. And this ingredient, while I am going to use the foxtail and the grasses are going to play an important role in shape and size as well. 

This is really that low piece that the other flowers can be supported by, but it's also a pretty important shape component as well. So rather than just only using it to cover it down here in the rims, I see it being a pretty prominent piece. 

So before I got started, I surveyed all the ingredients that I had, and I thought in my mind how would I like to go about arranging them, what are their strengths, how can I showcase them the best. And with the pieris, I really love the idea of it being dominant on one side, a little bit heavier on one side, but still having a little touch of it over here because I imagine these foxtail lilies shooting up in this area. So that's going to add some visual weight and balance it out over there. 

So this is what we're looking at over here right now. And I'm designing this. I think if I have extra ingredients, I might go back in and finish up the back side, but I'm imagining this arrangement with what I have available to me just being one sided and being placed up against a wall and show cased in that light. So it's a silhouetted end use is what I have in mind. When we're really focusing on, the lines that are being created here, not as important that we have a finished back in this case. 

So there's the main shape and silhouette that I have going with the pieris, and I'm going to add some of the grasses. The grocery store grass is next. I want those to shoot up and flow out over to the right side. And these are something that necessarily need lots of water right now. They're already pretty dry. 

So what I'm going to do is do a little bit of a measure here, and then I'm going to bind them together so that they stay hanging out as a club whenever they get mixed in here with the rest of the flowers. And if the position isn't quite right and we need to pull the binding apart, that's no biggie. But that's what I think will perform the best, which you don't know until you get going. Every arrangement is different. Every flower group is different. 

So now I've just got those together. Now, they're all one stem as opposed to being many, and that makes it easy to get it situated in here. Drama. Drama. Grass drama. Pretty fun. 

So these foxtail lilies I saw as being really the backbone of this arrangement, so I'm going to add those next, nice and tall and reaching that uppermost point. And I thought it be a fun contrast with these really light grasses. The grasses really give us quite a drama moment too. But these add that touch of stability, and they have so much personality with their little curves. 

And this tall one, if I just only use the tall one and I have a thing. I have naked stems very much. Sometimes they're fine, but for this, I like using the two pieces to work together to keep the flower beds going the whole way down into that base. And I think I'm going to stop with those for now. There could be another one. It depends what suits you, gives it a heavier look. 

See whenever they're here at the same angle, they look like little-- I'm going adjust that a little bit. I don't know what littles they look like, but you just need to adjust the height of them so they don't look like, we'll call them ears. So that gives us a little stair step. 

And the last ingredient, well, we have two more. We've got the raintree yet. And this I thought would be this pretty coming down and spilling out along with the pieris, little accent for that. 

And since these don't need to be in water at all, you can use that pieris to tuck them in. Since some of them have shorter stems, you can touch them in and support them in and among the pieris. And you'll see I do have there is lots of open space in here. The mechanics are totally visible right now. That's something that we'll address. 

But whenever you're doing something that is a little bit more sculptural, you need the negative space deep down inside here. So if you start filling that up too quick, too fast, then you really lose the interesting silhouette of the foxtail lily and things like that. So under here, this is an opportunity where just some light layering of moss can go in, trachelium, things like that that are very flat. 

And in this case, I'm probably going to do a little bit with the poinsettia, just a leaf over top of the mechanics. Very, very subtle. So it's around Christmas time up here in the mountains, so the grocery stores, the poinsettias are out in the masses right now. 

I love to get this poinsettia right in the water, directly in the water. Poinsettia does have the white sap. And so whenever that bleeds out, it will bleed out and will form little scab. The sap will eventually stop coming out of the plant, so it's important when you create an arrangement like this with a flower that has that, some people recommend clipping it, putting in water, letting it all run out and then switching it into a new bucket. So they say cut them at the length that you would want when you go in the arrangement. Well, sometimes when you're making the arrangement, you're not quite sure how long you need it to be. 

So when you're planting, you can clip and let it sit in a little vase beside you and test it out, and then let it drain out and put it back in. What I'm going to do today is I'm going to put it in, I'm going to let it drain, and I'm going to flush the water. Just want to keep the water clean. But all of these plants are being clipped, and they're taking that first drink. So you if did do that, I'd recommend adding this one in a little bit later after they've already had a chance to get some of their water out. 

But I could also just clip and pop them in my little vase here as well. So that is up to you. You can do some experiments and see what kind of difference it makes. 

Now, we're just adding those poinsettias in there. I think I really could have stopped before, but these are that nice little focal point, and by little I mean big. Focal points are big, but I think with this, with the emphasis that we had on the shape and the way that the lilies came up and out, I think it could have easily been done before. 

So we're at that matter of preference point. It's all a matter of preference, actually, but the principles are what help guide us. So we can interpret them a lot of different ways. So my dominant principle before I added the focal point could have just been the line of the foxtail lily. It works both ways. 

All right. So that's what I've landed with and where I'm going to hang out and quit. But I am going to just go back over with some of the poinsettia and the raintree and just do some low coverage in here at the bottom to cover mechanics. But that's all, nothing really interesting to see there with that. 

So here you have it with the poinsettia, and I will pop these out so you can see and get a visual again if the line was going to be the dominant principle, how that would change the overall composition. So there you have it. Thanks for watching. 

Fast Flower Video: How to evaluate your arrangement

In today’s time-lapse I used apple blossoms, carnations, tulips, caladium, nerine, and scabiosa.  I didn’t love the result, but I did love the idea of sharing it with you anyway.  I hope that leading you through the gentle process I use for observing my work will help you be more graceful towards yours.  Your artist’s heart is valuable.  Hidden within the walls is a wellspring of creativity. 

Video: Suspended floral installation

This lesson is about putting together an overhead garland with florals.  If you’ve never put one together before, here’s a behind-the-scenes look at my take from the time.  Please laugh and have fun watching me wrestle with an 18’ piece of monster vine all by myself.


Today we're going to have some fun with hops. You may be wondering, why is Kelly wearing giant gloves? Because Kelly's allergic to hops. That's why.

Taking one for the team today, because hops are a really neat ingredient. You can use them in a lot of different ways, super-super-large-scale the whole way down to little boutonnieres. So today, we're going to do an overhead hanging type of an arrangement using the bar up here. We've got hops, a little bit of lemon leaves, some dahlia, tuberose, cosmos, gomphrena. It'll be fun.

That's the ingredients that we're working with. Let's talk a little bit about the supplies that we have. This is just a simple small board from Lowe's. This type of design that we're about to make is something that you might attach to a beam that already exists in the venue that you're using, or it may be something that you need to hang to be lower from a beam in the venue. So if you're using it, if you need to attach, you can use this method to attach it directly to the beam and just kind of pretend that this is the beam at your venue.

Or you can use the same kind of materials that we're using here. This one is a little bit narrow. It's not a 2 by 4. 2 by 4s are pretty heavy. So I like to keep my mechanics light but still weight-bearing. We're not going to put a ton of weight on this, so this will be adequate for what we're working on today.

If you need to attach this to a beam, you can just simply drill a hole through the board and put a rope through. Tie the rope in a double knot there at the end. Make sure it's nice and secure. And then you can throw that up over your beam and get everything connected that way. So that's an idea, if you need to rig it on something else.

So we'll get started here. I'm going to use some lemon leaf, our salal foliage, as a base. And then we're going to work in our little Oasis pieces. And then we're going to go add in the hops around those.

So do you have to do this exactly like I do it? No. There's more than one way to do things, and I think that's an important distinction to make. So you might see this and think of a way that you can be more efficient or faster or something. This sparks a little node of inspiration, so please feel free to adjust as you need to.

And I also wanted to mention I have just a little delivery box that I'm using. Dad and I put these together, but they flip upside down really wonderfully if you need to use them as little step stool. So this is something that I love to have on event day, because it's multi-functional and it doesn't take up extra room in my car.

So we'll get started by just putting a little bit of this onto our form and I'm going to use zip ties to do this. You could use wire or tape if you wanted to as well. That is up to you. Everybody has their preferences there too.

I'm going to put a little bit above, put a little below. And I'm not that worried about covering the form per se. I just wanted to have a little bit of a base to start out with. The hops are really going to do most of the work for us here. But I think sometimes it's nice to have an alternate leaf shape and shade in designs, so that's why we're going to go with these.

It's also pretty budget-friendly, just another reason why I love it. And it really is a workhorse. The bunches are big so you can use it throughout your event.

It doesn't have a great shape for centerpieces in my opinion, or bouquets. But I think for installation work it's pretty great. And there are ways that you can use it in centerpieces and bouquets too if you needed to. But I prefer something that's a little bit less stiff. But this is great for garland-making as well.

OK. Next we're going to add in the Oasis. And I'm going to show you two different ways that you can do that. The first thing that I have is a little igloo Oasis cage. And it has the little things that you can attach a zip-tie or a wire to put it on the structure.

So I'm just going to space this out evenly. And since this piece is going to be viewed from the ground up, I'm going to focus on putting the flowers low. And these, I kind of like to run them through the actual Oasis pieces, because sometimes these little side pieces can pop off and I just would like to avoid that.

The other option that you can do is a little bit more budget-friendly but also a little bit more labor-intensive. I've taken just a regular cube of Oasis and I cut it into eight sections. And you can use this with a little bit of chicken wire instead of the cage if you need to.

So I have a piece of chicken wire cut here. And I'm just going to wrap it around the Oasis. And this simply keeps the Oasis from breaking into pieces once you get a lot of flowers in there. And then I'm just going to take that and attach it right to the form. You can run it through the wires if you'd like for just a little bit of extra hold.

And I think on this one I'm going to do five pieces. And I'll put the measurement for in the finished product and the recipe for how many flower we use so that if you'd like to create something similar for something that you're doing, you can easily swap out the materials and the quantities and just have a better idea of how to quote the event out.

I have raindrops. Oh. All right.

Let's add in some hops next. Let me get my gloves. These are pretty big. I sort of imagine-- they remind me of Jack and the Beanstalk a little bit or something. I feel like I should yell "bombs away" and just throw it over.

All right. I should also mention that if you haven't had hops before, there is the-- my skin just breaks out in a rash. But there also is an odor associated with hops. They smell a little bit like fish when you open up the box, so just be aware of that. It's not a deal-breaker, but if you're pretty sensitive to smell, it's going to be something that's a little bit unusual, you're going to want to watch out for.

And if you can't flip it over top of your beam, like I did, or if you wanted to have just a little bit more drape or something like that, you could attach the hops with zip-ties, just going along the main vein of the vine. And I apologize. I'm going to have to put my back towards you just for a second, but I want to just kind of assess and trim out some pieces in the hops that are maybe browning or too long, just get the shape of this. This is the shape component for this arrangement, so we just want to get the silhouette looking really nice.

And since these arrangements go so high in the sky and it's going to be dim and dark in the area that you're working, you don't have to obsess over every single little piece. Since these are something that come out of the box out of water, there may be a little bit of wilting and browning, especially if you're trekking them around in the sun. But for the most part, they're pretty sturdy.

And I'll put a source for these out of Oregon that ships in your Notes for those of you that are here in the States. And if you aren't, hop on community and chat with some people that are from your area and see if you guys can come up with a great source to find these where you are.

Now, this would be a fun arrangement that you could-- after you've got all of your flowers and things in, you could add them hanging candles down in here, like little twinkle lights, or you could do actual little electronic twinkle lights. OK. And we may edit that a little bit as we go along, but it's cleaned up and it's in a better place-- in a better place than it was when we initially popped it up there.

The next thing that I'm going to kind of look for is just any obvious areas that are exposed, where mechanics are exposed. And I just want to give those a little bit of attention before I start getting all of my flowers organized and incorporated in there. So I'm going to pop back in there with a little bit of the lemon leaf foliage. And I think we're mostly done handling the hops. I can handle them a little bit, but I don't want to give them a big bear hug.

So this area right in here needs some attention. So I'm actually-- I see a good opportunity here to just adjust the way that this vine is hanging. And that'll help with part of this.

And then I might tuck just a little bit of this in. And now the hops can be used as a base or a way to hold flowers in place as well, which is fabulous, all of those stems that are crossing over, weaving together. Grapevine is a great thing for that as well, maybe if you needed to do a big overhead installation. Grapevine acts as a similar type of thing, creating a net, a natural-looking net for flowers and things to rest in.

And then another thing that I love to have onsite whenever I go places is some moss, because you can just quickly pull off some pieces and fill in. So I'll do a little bit of that now, and then before I wrap up a project like this, I like to squeeze my eyes together just like you would when you're putting Christmas lights on a tree, just to see if there's anything that's standing out. You just kind of squeeze your eyes and look for that board. You'll see if there's any places that need to be covered with a little bit of moss.

Another idea for covering mechanics is to spray paint the piece that you're using, so this board we could have spray painted a green color. And that would have helped as well just to camouflage. So if that's something that you're very sensitive to, that's another little option for you.

Next we're going to add tuberose. I think I may have left this off the ingredients list whenever I first started talking about them. I love tuberose. They smell fantastic. These are so great to have in brides' bouquets and on tables and things like that, where people will pass them.

Up here, their scent is going to be overlooked a little bit, but their shape is important for this type of arrangement. We need a few things that are long and stretching, so I've done such a great job covering up my mechanics that I can't even see where my little Oasis houses are. OK. There's one.

So here we're going to use-- this isn't going to be one of-- the big show-stopper in this arrangement is the cosmos, so we're just going to put a few of the tuberose in there. And I'm using them to mark where my Oasis is hanging out, so one in here.

And today, I'm working on primarily the front side so that you're able to see and experience putting this together. But as you do it for your event, you're going to want to keep walking between all the sides. And you're also going to want to create depth. So for example, you can see how I have a tuberose hanging out back here in this area. And that's to draw the eye back in and through the arrangement. If they were all on the front at the same level, it wouldn't be quite as interesting for the people who are enjoying the flowers.

Next we're going to put the cosmos in. I love how light and airy these are. They're a really fun flower to include in your designs.

Another consideration-- I know I talk a lot about the allergy of hops, but just keep that in mind if you have people that are working for you. You don't want to put somebody in a place where they're feeling really uncomfortable and itchy all day, so take that into mind. If somebody seems like they're sensitive to it, put them on a different task. Just a good thing to know in advance. Keep everybody on your team happy and healthy.

And as far as placement for these, I'm just keeping an eye on evenly spreading them throughout the arrangement. And we have dahlias that we're going to add. And whenever I put those in, I'm going to concentrate on making an interesting line for the eye to follow with those. So these are just kind of little-- I guess you could call it a fill if you wanted to, but this is just our main cover.

In a centerpiece, these would be great as a finishing flower, because of their light and airy quality and just the shape of their stems. But this one can transition in quite a few ways. It's great for, in this situation, a fill as well.

And I've left a few of the cosmos in my little bucket over here, so after I get most of the-- I go through and get all the components in, then I like to just take a quick peek and sometimes there's an area that needs a little bit more so I have a few left over that I can go back in and make those adjustments if needed. But I think it's nice to get through all of the initial placement of all of your ingredients before you perfect. And if you run out of flowers to perfect with and you're kind of moving things around, it just takes a little bit more time. But no worries if you have to do that. Sometimes it happens.

So I've got my pretty white dahlias here. Since they're the largest component here, it's where the eye is going to naturally be drawn to. So we're going to focus on creating a few little focal points within this large, large arrangement using these dahlias. And we're going to do that by grouping them together within different levels and by arranging them in a little bit of a line.

This is called an implied line. It's like a connect-the-dots line. If you were looking up at the stars at night, how all the different constellations you sort of use the stars as your point to form all those different constellations, it's similar here, what we're doing with these flowers.

And if this arrangement is going to go at a point where there is kind of-- it's at an entry point, maybe, where the eye would be drawn up, you could-- at the center of your arrangement, you could focus on taking one of these larger flowers up high. You're going to want to keep an eye especially underneath, though. This is really where guests are going to view and enjoy it, so you're going to want to add some in there at varying levels too.

If you have a bride who's getting married in the fall that just really loves peonies, you can definitely show her dahlias. I call them the peony of fall. And usually once they've seen one, they're excited about them, especially the big dinner plate ones. They're becoming a little bit more well known with the girls. But some people just don't know what they are and haven't seen them before, so a little bit of education goes a long way.

And a word on dahlias. They can be pretty tough if they come wholesale, I think, to keep looking fresh and great. So I recommend finding a local source if you're able to and the Association of Cut Flower Growers is a great place to go for that.

You just really lose a lot of the life of the dahlia, since they are a shorter-lived flower. Their vase life typically you can expect to be from maybe two to four days I would say. So if you think about that they were cut at the farm and then they were shipped and then they came to you, they've already used up quite a bit of their life expectancy, so I think it's a good idea if you're able to get those local.

And if you hop on Community, there's a little discussion going on about wholesale dahlias and some things that people have been trying. I haven't experimented with the wholesale methods, with chemicals and things like that to maintain them. I just didn't want to go there, because I have some great local sources, so it just felt kind of like a waste to me. But they're sharing some possible solutions and things that you can do to keep those alive there.

So next, this is gomphrena. I'm just looking for my Oasis and popping it in there. This is a nice little kind of fun little accent piece. And again, don't forget underneath, and like I mentioned, the other side as well.

And I pulled one more ingredient that I was thinking about putting in this arrangement. And it's just a bit of Queen Anne's Lace as our finishing flower. So after I work in the gomphrena, we'll go there next.

Some of these pieces of gomphrena I'm having a hard time finding my Oasis spot. So you could have on hand-- I like to travel to installs with a few water tubes filled up. So you could have those on hand just to pop your stems in and then you can use the grid of your hops and put your flowers in that way if you have more than you can do with the Oasis, or if you would just prefer to do that instead of Oasis. It's kind of a matter of preference, I think. Oh. Found it there.

All right. Let's move on to our last ingredient, the Queen Anne's Lace. We're just going to use this to sort of finish it off and add a little bit of lightness to the design. So I want this to come out further than all of the other ingredients that I've put in here so far, since it is the last light, airy piece. And again, I'm just spreading these out like I did with the cosmos, pretty evenly. But if you wanted to use them to accent a specific line or grouping, you could pay attention to that as well.

All right. I'm going to step away for a minute and just take a quick peek, see if there's anything that I want to change or edit. And then I'll be back to show you the finished product. We'll be right back.

And I'm back to wrap up. I went ahead and I just did that little squinty eye and looked for any pieces of the mechanics that were sticking out and I covered with a little bit of moss and a few hops up there. And then I just wanted to show you before we sign off for today two little examples of something you might like to use or include in a design like this and the sources for those.

This is a little candle globe from Accent Decor. And then this is from-- I got this in New York at the flower market whenever I was there. So I'll show you-- I'll put links to these things in your Notes.

But I just wanted to show you how I attach them real quick. I just use a simple piece of floral wire to put those together. And I just make a little paper-clip-like piece to attach everything. So if you use a gauge wire maybe like between 16 and 20, you should probably be-- you'll be in good shape with something like that. 16 is a little bit heavier than 20, so just depending on how heavy your piece is that you're using. But I just wrap that up there, find a nice strong piece of the hops vine, and attach it like that.

I like these covered globes just because the flame is completely covered and you don't really have to worry as much about fire and things like that with something that is completely covered on top. These ones are a little bit-- you just have be a little bit careful. Maybe put them a little bit lower in your arrangement or your design.

Candles do generate quite a lot of heat, so even if it doesn't catch on fire, it might cause it to brown or something like that, so just something that you want to keep in mind if you decide that you wanted to put some lighting to this arrangement, you want to keep it pretty low. And just fishing wire is what I like to attach those with, but it's good to prep all those things in advance, because whenever you're doing a big install, oh, time just flies. So if you have all of your fishing wire pre-attached, you can just store them that way and then they're always ready to go and you don't have to rewire each time.

So that is the oversized hanging arrangement. I hope you enjoyed it and I hope that it encourages you in your next design. So we'll be back soon with another project for you to try. Thanks so much for watching and we'll see you soon.

Fast Flower Video: Wisdom begins in wonder

In this video Kelly puts together a purple centerpiece. Watch quickly in a few minutes as this time-lapse of the flower arrangement comes together. Carnations, eucalyptus, parrot tulips, white ranunculus, and more await! Learn how to become a florist and take floral design classes online with Team Flower. Here you can even learn tips on flower gardening for beginners. We'll show you how to do flower arrangements in flower arranging videos.