Out of the Ordinary Orchids

This delicate, mesmerizing design, in which wired orchids appear to flutter like butterfly wings, is an ideal way to display flower heads that are just past their prime.

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Wired Maroon Orchid PetalsEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - Fresh Flower Arranging © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited This front-facing display will look stunning in a modern kitchen, bathroom or hallway, or on a back-lit shelf.

Materials

Flowers
2 pink phalaenopsis or Singapore orchid stems

Other Materials
thin, clear column glass vase (15 inches high and 2 1/2 inches wide) or fishbowl or square cube (with the flowers facing outward)
sterilizing tablet or flower food
florist's scissors
colored decorative reel wire (pink, to match)

Pink Phalaenopsis Orchid StemsEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - Fresh Flower Arranging © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

How to Arrange

Fill the vase with about 4 inches of water. Add a sterilizing tablet or flower food.

Cut the orchid flowers off the main stem so that just a short stalk remains at the base of each flower. Cut a length of wire, about 8 inches long. Make a small hook at one end and place the hook against the side of one of the flower stalks. Wind the length of wire gently two or three times around the stalk, taking care not to slice through it accidentally. Handle the orchids carefully so that you don't bruise the petals.

When you have wired all the orchids, cut several more lengths of colored wire and individually wrap them around two of your fingers. Pull them out slightly to create a loose spiral effect. These spiral wires create a framework for the orchids to sit on to prevent them falling to the bottom of the vase.

Place a few spirals of wire in the vase and add some orchids on top: place the orchid head in the vase first so that it faces outward, and position the attached wire behind it. Use a clean stick to reposition any flowers that move. Build up layers of orchids and spiral wires in a random pattern to the top of the vase. Add water as you go, to the top of each layer, then fill the vase to the rim with water.

The orchids should last for three days before they become waterlogged.

Wired Stalks

Orchid stalks are very fragile, which is why you need to place the wire hook against the stem, rather than around it. Use a stick to reposition any flowers that may have moved during the life of the display.

Wired Stalks Protect Fragile Orchid StemsEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - Fresh Flower Arranging © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Excerpted from Fresh Flower Arranging

© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2011

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