A mass of just one variety of flower can create an eye-catching display. This rose topiary has been made at a small-size, but it can be recreated on a much larger scale. Place this handsome design on a desk, a hall table or a side table.
Flowers and Foliage
1 bundle of birch twigs
15 'Mimi Eden' spray roses open and in bud
If you can't find spray roses, use spray carnations. Bamboo makes a fine substitute for birch twigs.
opaque vase (8 inches high)
1 block floral foam
1 small floral foam ball
Tie the bundle of birch twigs securely with a length of raffia about 4-5 inches up from the base of the bundle. Tie the ends of the twigs with another length of raffia. Cut the branched tips of the birch twigs off just above the top raffia tie. The twigs should be slightly shorter than the vase.
Line the vase with a square of cellophane if it is not waterproof. Place a soaked square of floral foam, cut to fit, inside the vase.
Push the soaked foam ball onto the tied twigs, then push the base of the twigs into the square foam in the vase. Cut off the top raffia binding under the foam ball, but keep the lower binding in place.
Trim the stems of the buds and roses to 2 inches. Group two or three rose heads together and press them into the foam ball. Fill in the gaps around them with buds. Continue until the ball is covered.
Trim the cellophane so that it is level with the rim of the vase, then cover the square foam and cellophane with moss so that they are both hidden.
Keep the blooms and moss fresh by misting them every other day, and this arrangement should last four to five days. If the moss begins to discolor, place it in a bowl, pour boiling water over it to revive it and rearrange it over the floral foam.
If you want to convert the rose ball into a hanging display or pomander, push a length of wire through the center of the ball after you’ve soaked it. Then wrap one end of the wire around a small, short twig to hold the wire securely in place, and fashion the other end into a loop to hang the ball up. Cover the ball in roses or peonies and hang it from an overhanging branch near or above a table set for lunch in the garden.
Excerpted from Fresh Flower Arranging
© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2011