Add to the impact of the design by using a scooped-out melon, with its deeply ridged texture, as an unusual container. Watermelons, pumpkins and marrows (squash), or oranges and lemons also make interesting short-term flower holders. You can dry the shells in an oven at a low temperature for a longer-lasting display.
Choose flowers that contrast dramatically with each other in size, shape and texture for this arrangement, such as huge, glossy yellow lilies and tiny, fluffy mimosa flowers, as well as yellow roses, mauve Singapore orchids and carnations. Eucalyptus foliage makes an attractive accompaniment.
- Gather together the materials you will need: a scooped-out melon or other container, a knife, a dessertspoon, a plastic foam-holding saucer, a cylinder of absorbent stem-holding foam, pre-soaked in water, narrow florist’s adhesive tape, scissors and florist’s scissors.
- Cut a thin slice from the top of the melon, and a sliver from the base so that it will stand steadily. Scoop out the melon seeds into a bowl using the spoon. Scoop out the melon flesh into a second howl, taking care not to pierce and damage the shell.
- Press the plastic saucer over the top of the melon and press the soaked foam into the indent. Crisscross 2 lengths of adhesive tape over the foam and saucer and down on to the melon shell. Arrange stems of mimosa to make an irregular shape.
- Arrange the orchids to make a triangular outline, the tallest one in the center and 2 slightly shorter stems at the sides. Position the carnations to give weight to the design at the top and sides. Cut the lily stems and position them at the heart of the design, where the fully opened flowers will be seen head-on.
- Add the cream roses, positioning some at the back so that they will he viewed through the more prominent flowers, and one low at the right. Complete the design with light sprays of foliage, placing some on the left of the arrangement to balance the rose. Keep the foam permanently moist, adding water at least once a day.
Other Container Ideas
You can use all kinds of baskets, pots, jugs, teapots and even decorated food cans as unusual holders for flowers. Rustic baskets always look attractive, either left plain or painted to harmonize with a particular colour scheme. If you are using soaked absorbent stem-holding foam in a basket, line the basket with a sheer of plastic, or fit a plastic container inside.
Fixing a Saucer of Stem-Holding Foam
Preparing a container in this way allows you to use a tall vase, carafe or jug as a pedestal, positioning flower and foliage stems to slant both downwards and horizontally, or in any direction you choose. You will need a tall container, a strip of florist’s adhesive clay, a plastic foam-holding saucer, a cylinder of stem-holding foam (either absorbent or dry according to the materials to be arranged), narrow florist’s adhesive tape and scissors.
- Cut small lengths of adhesive clay and press them on to the underside of the plastic saucer, where they will come into contact with the top of the container. Press the saucer firmly in place to hold it securely.
- Soak the foam if it is to hold fresh flowers and foliage. Press the foam cylinder into the indent in the saucer. Cut 2 lengths of adhesive tape long enough to go over the foam, across the saucer and down on to the container rim. Stick them in place, crisscrossing them on top of the foam.