1 Senior garden editor, Todd Carr, gave a very informative in-house lecture on how to create pretty arrangements using flowers from convenience shops, grocery stores, and even the backyard.
2 During this time of year, stores often sell mums. This collection of mums included spider mums, and button mums in various shades of pink and violet, plus chartreuse and white. These bunches were inexpensive and easy to find in small markets.
3 Todd recommended getting some foliage to help add texture to the arrangement - and to look in the backyard. Here was a collection of hosta leaves, baptisia foliage, evergreens, and cedar.
4 Gathering flowers and foliage from the garden is fun too. This collection of blossoms included hydrangeas, echinops, asparagus ferns, and ribbon grass.
5 Flower markets often have sweet pea blossoms for sale, or they can be grown at home - they're great to use for arrangements because they bloom all summer long.
6 Flower frogs are very helpful. Frogs support the placement of the stems, so the flowers don't fall over. Frogs can be found online, on eBay, and in flower shops. Some are plain, while others are more ornate, and antique.
7 I prefer flower frogs with the large grid pattern, such as the large green one in the middle of this photo. Todd prefers the flower frogs with pins. Floral foam can also be used, and so can floral tape, which is great when used to make a grid over a wide bowl.
8 The large Felco pruners are used for cutting branches, or bigger stems, while smaller scissors are best for finer details.
9 Almost any vessel or container will work. Think creatively - use pitchers, bowls, antique urns. Nearly anything can be used to hold flowers.
10 It can be shallow or deep, large or small. It all depends on the type of arrangement you want to create.
11 It was a very popular topic - many employees attended.
12 I was able to attend the lecture too - here I am sitting with our SVP of compensation and staffing, Rita Christiansen, and our EVP of Merchandising, Patsy Pollack.
13 Todd's mother, Barbara Carr, and her friend, Sandy Vourtsis, also attended the lecture.
14 Interns, Kate Bernhardt and Phoebe Melnick, video department assistant, Blaze Pennington, and Kristen Riebesell from the video program and development team - they were all eager to learn how to make their own arrangements.
15 Members of the human resources team that oversees these employee lectures: Lourdes Rivera, Michelle Moledo, and Rita Christiansen.
16 Todd recommended stripping leaves off the flowers as one of the first steps to creating the arrangement - it's good to keep foliage out of the water to prevent bacteria build up.
18 Todd prefers monochromatic colors, not rainbows. He said to stick with a basic color, and work around it.
20 Next, Todd worked with some blue hydrangeas in a footed urn shaped vessel. He advised everyone to first decide how high the arrangement would be and then build off of the height of that first flower.
21 Here, he cut the stems a bit shorter, to create a smaller, yet full arrangement.
22 For another arrangement, he used simple white carnations in a bowl to create a Japanese inspired floral design. When using a flower frog, I like to secure it to the bottom of the vessel using a bit of floral sticky clay so it doesn't move or tip over.
23 Using a very small pin flower frog, in a sauce bowl, Todd made another arrangement - with sweet pea blossoms.
24 In this enameled pitcher, Todd used yellow roses, white carnations, hosta leaves and asparagus ferns to make this arrangement.
26 Here is the arrangement Todd did in the pitcher - yellow roses, white carnations, and Lysimachia, commonly known as loosestrife. To preserve the arrangement, add 1/4-teaspoon of bleach per quart of water.
27 The urn filled with mums, hydrangeas, globe thistles, and asparagus ferns in a fun palette of pinks, blues and purples.
28 A Chinese bowl of ferns, carnations, mums, and loosestrife. Todd also explained that while this particular arrangement was created for eye level, moss could be used to cover the top of the bowl, so it hides the frog and can be placed on a coffee table or lower surface.
29 Flower arrangements don't have to be big, and they don't have to be overflowing. This small, simple sweet pea blossom arrangement was made more dramatic when placed under a cloche. It is so elegant.
30 Thanks for sharing your expertise, Todd. What's your next arrangement?