The intensely colored heads of purple irises flare out dramatically over their tall, fresh green stems in a striking, delightful design. This uncomplicated display will liven up any coffee table or circular dining table.
Flowers and Foliage
3 bunches long-stemmed irises
up to 10 green dogwood stems
Consider substituting gerbera daisies or paper white narcissus (paperwhites) for irises, and yellow weeping willow stems for dogwood stems.
fishbowl (10 inches high)
sterilizing tablet or flower food
thick green aluminum wire
Trim any offshoots from the dogwood stems.
Fill the fishbowl with 2–2 1/2 inches of water and add a sterilizing tablet.
Choose fresh dogwood that is sprouting, as the stems will be more malleable. Place the end of a stem in the water and curl the length of the stem up to the widest part of the bowl. Turn the bowl around slightly and arrange another stem, echoing the same curve as the first stem to give definition to the bowl's curved contours. Keep turning the bowl in the same direction and massage and add the rest of the stems in a linear pattern so that they look tidy and deliberate.
Arrange the irises in a hand-tied spiral bouquet with a low binding point. Hold an iris in your hand and add another iris at an angle. Add more stems to create a spiral effect and keep turning the bouquet around in the same direction as you work. Arrange the last flowers a little lower around the edges to create a slightly domed effect.
Tie the bunch with a length of thick green aluminum wire. As the binding point is so low and the bunch is top-heavy, wrap the wire several times around the stems to hold them securely in place (image). Place the bunch in the center of the bowl so that it stands upright; the neck of the bowl should support the stems.
This all-around arrangement should last for a week.
Excerpted from Fresh Flower Arranging
© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2011