Bark and Roses

For some reason this is a class title that we see every year in some competition around the country. Yes, we have interesting tree bark and yes, the public does love to see roses, but please, please when you are compiling show schedules, give a thought to having a title that intrigues the competitors. Certainly stipulate that bark and roses must be used but give us a title that encourages our creativity! I’ll get off my soapbox now 😉

As you can see from the background, this was part of a competition at an agricultural show. There was no design style mandated so I chose to be contemporary even though I knew the judge favours more traditional designs. One of the benefits of being a long term competitor is knowing that I can create a design that challenges me rather than something I think will necessarily will an award. Yes, it’s always good to win but it’s also good to challenge your floral design skills and assess the design for yourself.

The base structure for this design is a metal stand with a platform at the top on which is the floral foam to keep the roses hydrated. Woolly bush is placed at the base of the roses to mask the foam and frame the roses. A wreath shape (watch the technique video by clicking here) made from paper drinking straws is resting on the top of the stand to allow bark to be placed in and through. Bark is also placed upright against the stand.

Judges comments: An interesting design. The roses need to extend further down the design for balance.

My thoughts on review: It’s over a year since I did this design so I can look at the image and be somewhat impartial. The wreath shape is not a complementary colour for the design – I should have used either beige, green or yellow straws to help it blend with the other placements. I agree about the roses although my mind is saying rather than extend the existing placements, I should have had a mirror reverse from the base of the stand heading to the left as we look at it.

Always take a photo of your design, wait at least 6 weeks (longer is better), then go back to it and look at it objectively for some ideas of what to do differently.

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