This fun, quirky display will suit a windowsill, hall table or serving table at a children's party. The base can be reused long after the flowers' freshness has faded: simply pull the old blooms out of the floral foam and insert fresh ones.
glavanized metal trough (16 inches long, 6 inches deep), terra-cotta trough or ceramic container
1–2 blocks floral foam
colored decorative thick reel wire
black pebbles, shells or gravel
Trim the flowers' stems a little and stand them in water for an hour or so. If the container isn't watertight, line it with cellophane or a similar material. Place the soaked, trimmed foam blocks in the container.
Trim the stems of four gerberas to similar lengths and press them into the back of the foam so they are equal distances apart. These will be the tallest flowers in the display, so don't cut them too short.
Place another row of gerberas, with their stems cut slightly shorter, immediately in front of the first row.
Add the last row of gerberas at the front of the arrangement, placing each stem directly in front of the other pairs of gerberas. Tie each set of tiered stems together with some brightly colored wire that is preferably the same color as the flower heads. If you want to add an extra decorative touch to the ties, coil some lengths of wire into swirls.
Scatter enough black pebbles over the surface of the container to completely cover the floral foam.
To make the wire swirls, bend a length of wire (about 1 1/2 inches) 90 degrees at one end of the wire and pinch and push it into the shape of a loop. Rotate the loop in your fingers to form a circle of wire around it. The circle should be tight enough so that the wires touch, or almost touch. Keep rotating the wire to form six or so circles that together create a swirl. Attach to the front of the stems using the short end of wire at the back of the swirl.
Excerpted from Fresh Flower Arranging
© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2011