This past Sunday I had a chance to attend a free seminar put on by Pear Tree Cottage in Vienna, VA. Amy Strunk, a landscape designer with Merrifield Garden Center, led a very informative, step-by-step class on the principles of arranging greenery. Check out the gorgeous urn the woman next to me in the white shirt/green sweater used as her container. I'm fairly sure it is one she purchased at Pear Tree.
I brought a vintage, aluminum ice bucket to the seminar. Here are some helpful tips from Amy:(1) There are 2 types of floral foam: wet and dry. (we used wet foam for this project)
(2) Wet foam has small holes on one side and those should be placed face down.
(3) Start with your base greenery first, arranging it so it will establish a good background. Keep in mind that odd numbers of branches, etc, work best.
(4) After you establish the base, begin to add the next layer throughout the whole arrangment. I think in the past I focused too much on sections and not enough on the whole arrangement.(5) Ask yourself, "Where will the texture and interest come from in the arrangement?" As you can see in the pic above, I have two layers in and now need to move on to add some layers of color and interest.
Here are pics of three completed arrangements - I think they look great!
One participant brought a second container, this fab turquoise vase from Crate & Barrel. Amy volunteered to create an arrangement for it.
Here it is; simple and stunning. Keeping in mind the mod aesthetic of the vase, Amy used only 3 types of greenery - dark green evergreen, a chartreuse colored green and the third one, with little pinecones, for interest. My ice bucket is off to the right with red berries and a few other things added to it. A huge thanks to Amy for all the great tips and to Frances Brayshaw, the owner of Pear Tree Cottage, for continuing to offer these great design events! Washingtonian magazine ranked Pear Tree Cottage as one of the best shops in Northern Virginina. Agree!
Also, if you live in the DC area, Tudor Place in Georgetown is holding it's annual Holiday Wreath Making workshop Friday Dec. 4th and Dec. 11th, 10 am or 2pm and Saturday Dec. 5th at 10 am or 1 pm. (the Sat. 10 am class may already be booked.) I'm going to the Dec 4th 10 am session this year - pictured above is the boxwood wreath I made last year. All the greenery is freshly cut and the historic setting is wonderful!
 
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