Escape to the Tropics With an Exotic Floral Centerpiece

Sculptural-looking exotic flowers and foliage get a natural update from a wooden box container that is reminiscent of the textural bark of coconut trees. If you prefer clean lines and smooth surfaces, use a glass container instead.
Exotic Flowers Arranged in Wooden Box

Exotic Flowers Arranged in Wooden Box

Photo by: DK - Fresh Flower Arranging © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Fresh Flower Arranging, 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Materials

Flowers and Foliage
5 'African King' flamingo flowers
8 orange and yellow protea
1 orange heliconia
3 red ginger lilies
2 umbrella grass
10 black ti leaves

Other Materials
wooden box (14-by-14 inches and 10 inches deep) with a vase inside
craft knife
raffia
florist's scissors
cellophane
seagrass cord

Possible Substitutions
Strelitzia (for ginger lilies); Singapore orchids (for protea)

Flowers and Foliage Needed for Exotics in a Box

Flowers and Foliage Needed for Exotics in a Box

Photo by: DK - Fresh Flower Arranging © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Fresh Flower Arranging, 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

How to Arrange

Take each black ti leaf and make short slashes with a craft knife on either side of the midrib (the central vein running along the length of the leaf blade).

Sort the different flowers and foliage into separate piles. Hold a ginger lily in one hand and add a flamingo flower to it, twisting the stems around slightly in one direction in your hand. Add more stems at the same angle to create a spiral stem effect. Turn the arrangement slightly in the same direction as you work. Leave a few protea stems aside.

Insert the remaining flowers and foliage at a lower angle around the edges of the bunch to create a domed effect. As you add a black ti leaf, pull the tip of the leaf down to the binding point with one hand so the separated sections curl over. Secure the stems and the tips of the black ti leaves together with raffia.

Pack cellophane around the vase in the box to make it secure. Fill the vase with water and place the bunch in it. Add the last few protea around the edges of the vase to echo the square shape of the box and cover the cellophane. Wrap seagrass cord around the box and tie it in a neat knot.

This design will last for seven days or so if you keep the flowers in good condition.

Architectural Leaves

The three separated sections of the slashed black ti leaf create a ribbon-like effect (image 1).

Some leaves are visually striking and add a dramatic element to a display of big, bold flowers. These umbrella grasses and green ti leaves provide strong, clean lines and interest (image 2).

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