I was invited to assess some floral art designs for a Garden Club and then provide a demonstration and some feedback for their members. For the most part the members were using their home grown flowers in their designs, so for the demonstration I focused on using minimum materials whilst introducing some ideas for containers and structures that are reusable.
The class titles I assessed were “Minimum Material, Maximum Impact” and “Going Up”
This first design uses a candleholder that I imagine would have been pride of place on a dinner party table in the 1970s. It has very strong lines which allows for plant material that enhances a line design. Here I have placed single eryngium flowers in each of the candle cups with a single gymea lily leaf across the base horizontally in front of two placements and then folded vertically behind the third placement. Going to both sides of the flowers gives some depth to the design.
The benefit of this container is that it can be reused simply by changing the colour with paint or covering with other plant materials etc.
Minimal Material-Maximum Impact AND Going Up
The second design uses stacked corrugated cardboard lengths with water vials attached to the back of the stacking. I chose to use freesias in this design as they have a flower structure that reflects the “stacking” of the cardboard as well as being a minimum size for maximum effect. The ends of the structure have sections of gymea leaf to give some definition/framing to the design.
Minimal Material-Maximum Impact
The final example was to showcase using water to give impact to a design that has a minimum of material. The relative sizes of the plant material under the water, compared to being viewed out of the water, make it obvious how much more “impact” can be given when you have only a small amount of plant material to use.
Doing demonstrations like these immediately after assessing designs is a useful educational exercise, not just for the designers/gardeners but also for me. It makes me think about plant material choices in relation to an overall design, not just focusing on the class title.