Brighten up the Day With a Sunflower Vase

The strong, textural look of these loosely arranged sunflowers give a sense of organic growth, as if they are still growing in a field.

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Rustic Sunflower Floral ArrangementEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - Fresh Flower Arranging © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Materials

Flowers
11 giant sunflowers
9 ‘Teddy Bear’ sunflowers
9 black sunflowers

Substitute large-headed chrysanthemums for any sunflower variety you can't find.

Other Materials
column vase (16 inches)
burlap fabric or sacking material (approximately 4 feet x 20 inches)
seagrass cord
florist's scissors

Three Varieties of Sunflowers Used in ArrangementEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - Fresh Flower Arranging © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

How to Arrange

Place the burlap fabric on a table and lay the vase on its side on the fabric. Fold the fabric around the vase, then secure a double length of seagrass around the vase and tie it in a knot. Stand the vase upright, rearrange the burlap folds and bind them against the sides of the vase with as many diagonal double lengths of seagrass as you think you need.

Half-fill the vase with water. Strip all the leaves from the sunflower stems so the flower heads don’t droop.

Hold a sunflower in one hand. Add a few blooms to it, twisting the stems around slightly in one direction in your hand as you do so to create a rough spiral effect. Add a few more stems, then trim them to approximately the same length. Instead of tying the stems together at this point, drop them straight into the vase. This loose spiral arrangement provides a criss-cross framework to support the remaining stems.

Add some taller stems at the back and shorter stems at the front and sides to hide the neck of the vase and any visible stems. Aim to achieve an organic look. Nip off any extra leaves beneath the flower heads. Use your judgement to create a basic domed shape with added height and shorter flowers that hide any unsightly stems from view. Top off the vase almost to the rim with water.

This arrangement should last for ten days.

Rich Texture

This mass of sunflower varieties butting up to each other creates a gloriously rich textural tapestry: their variation in shape and the configuration of their petals make for a compelling display.

Three Varieties of Sunflowers Create Rich TextureEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - Fresh Flower Arranging © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Excerpted from Fresh Flower Arranging

© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2011

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