This design was staged as a display for the Australian Floral Art Association at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show in March 2018.

As this was a non-competitive design, I will show you exactly how it was constructed with a link to the Pim van den Akker “stocking” technique used to such effect.

Step 1

The colour scheme uses the triad blue, red, yellow.

Step 1. Plastic coated steel garden stakes are fitted into pre-drilled holes in painted solid timber bases.


Step 2Step 2. Irrigation pipe connectors are pushed halfway onto the first rod, then a second rod inserted into the connector. This gives a total heght for the structure of 1.8m. Horizontal wire supports are placed at 3 intervals along the rods.


Step 3Step 3. Bundles of coloured flat cane are wrapped around the rods. The cane is secured in place by cable ties – keeping to the colour scheme to match the base, either blue or yellow.


Step 4Step 4. Continue wrapping with cane until all the rods and cross wires are covered.

The structure should be stable at this point of construction.


Step 5Step 5. Complete all three sections in the same way, remembering to match the cable ties to the base colour for repetition.



Step 6Step 6. Prepare the painted structure for the stockings. In this instance I have used 2 sizes of dowel. Previously I have used perspex as well as branches of trees. You can see the actual technique by clicking here. (Members access only)


Step 7Step 7. Stocking feature structures ready to place in design. Note the cable ties here also match the base of where the structure will be placed.



Step 8Step 8. Place the three sections where you want the finished design for best viewing and join the intersecting horizontal sections with appropriate colour cable ties.

You should be able to physically lift up the complete (joined) structure

Step 9Step 9. Place test tubes (I used blue fabric covered plastic vials to keep the weight manageable) for your plant materleial.

Ensure the placements are balanced throughout the design.

Step 10Step 10. Place remaining plant material and features.

I would have liked much larger sunflowers to really make the yellow pop, however they were not available at the time of this show.

In addition to the sunflowers, there are pink gerberas in the vials. At various horizontal and vertical placements are craspedias glued into blue painted bamboo skewers.

At the top of the design, so your eye doesn’t travel out of it, I have looped single lengths of the pink cane.

The finished design – ShowStopper.

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