Wednesday, May 27, 2009

10 Floral Design Tips + Design Photos

In my last post, I shared photos from a presentation my neighbor, Marc Bass AIFD did for the Monterey Garden Club. At one point in his young career (he is only in his mid-thirties), Marc co-owned Nashville’s finest floral shop creating beautiful flowers for Nashville’s elite. He has been commissioned to do designs for celebrities such as Garth Brooks, Faith Hill, Natalie Cole, and Donna Sumners (including a show for Garth and a wedding for Natalie). Marc currently is the creative director/floral designer creating trend setting designs for a Chinese company. He travels to China six to eight times a year working with the factories to create his visions. Once a year he assembles a team of European designers meeting in China where they create the trend including design and color for Christmas the following year. Additionally, he travels to Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas where he installs the showroom design he created for the company showrooms showcasing the new products. He usually wins the award for Best Showroom Design at each market.

I am joining Julia’s Hooked on Friday party as I am hooked on learning floral design tips! Click here to go to her party.

Some of Marc’s designs can be found in the Florists’ Review book: 101 Silk & Dried Designs with how-to instructions which is shown further down the page.

10 Floral Tips I learned from Marc in Monterey

1. If you ever place a stem or stick into the oasis and decide you do not like the position or it is broken, do not pull it out, instead cut it off at the top of the oasis. By pulling it out you are weakening the density of the entire piece of oasis.

2. The interior of the buckets in which you place the flowers and foliage for processing as well as the interior of any vase or urn you use should be very clean. You don’t want any bacteria that will get into the stems and shorten the life of the flowers.

3. If you are ever using a feather bird and the bird’s beak breaks off, you can cut a thorn of the stem of a rose and glue it on the bird for a new beak. 

4. There are two types of oasis: a regular one used for hard stems and a Spring Time Oasis used for soft tenders stems such as daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths.

5. When soaking oasis the word OASIS which is stamped on the brick should face upward. Just place the oasis in the water. Do not submerge but instead allow the water to soak upwards. If you submerge you will create dry air pockets with no water in them.

6. Fresh flowers in a vase should have fresh water daily and the stems should be cut on a diagonal every other day. The reason the stem is cut on a diagonal is because a stem cut straight across and standing on the bottom of a vase prevents water from being soaked up the stem. On a diagonal, even if the stem is on the bottom of the vase, there is an opening for water to enter the stem.

7. Add water daily to any floral design using oasis.

8. Crown & Glory is the name of a spray product used to keep flowers fresh. You spray it directly on the bloom.  Do not use on deep colors such as red or burgundy as it will leave a white film on the bloom. It can be purchased at a floral shop or wholesale floral store.

9. If you are creating a large arrangement using oasis, lay poultry mesh/chicken wire across the oasis to give extra support when inserting the flowers and foliage into the oasis. This is especially important if you are transporting the arrangement.

10. Try out the new hybrid colors of carnations. They are no longer considered the funeral flower. Not only are the new colors bright and unique, they are budget friendly and last a long time.

Marc is one of three designers featured in the book below. Some of his designs found in the book are shown below. On the page opposite the floral design is how-to instructions. Unfortunately you probably are unable to read the text but you can see the how-to photos.


















If you are interested in purchasing the book please send me an email at  The book has 204 color pages. It retails for $24.95 special offer is $17.95 including shipping & handling in the U.S.

I forgot to thank Tamara Cobbins for providing almost all of the photos used in the Monterey Garden Club Presentation post. Tamara, who is from Canada, was visiting a relative in Monterey and attended the presentation. She so graciously offered to take photos during the presentation. Thanks Tamara!

My next post will be on paper towel holders.  Blessings.  …susan


Paul Anater said...

Great Tips! Especially the one about leaving the word "Oasis" face up when soaking it. I'd never heard that before, but I know it now. Thank you!

Linda Merrill said...

Those ARE great tips! I didn't know about cutting the stem off oasis - but it totally makes sense.

dana said...

i really want to try out these easy step by step home decor tips. especially enjoyed watchng the geometry vase and the pink poy with roses.

website design said...

this is really great stuff! very useful tips and innovative designs. what a great blog

Rebecca said...

Thanks for the tips. I did not know about putting the word "oasis" up and cutting off the stems.
Marc's work is tops!!

Southern Chateau said...

Thanks for these how-tos. I took a couple of floral classes years ago but my skills are not that great. Step by step photos are so helpful.

Susan said...

Wonderful tips for the DIYers!

Susan S.

Astrid said...

I've always loved floral arranging...and I've got several books on it. I remember when my mom took florist courses. It was so much fun for everyone! Now I just don't have the time to do much....

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

Loved this post! So interesting to hear that he travels to China that often to work with the factories to bring his visions to life. And all the celebrities he has worked with. Wow. I'd love to have a neighbor like that! :-)

I try to keep fresh flowers in my house all the time--especially in my kitchen and on my desk--so I appreciate these tips. I had noticed some really pretty new carnations lately, too, and even bought some last week because I couldn't resist.

Thanks for joining my party, Susan! Hope you have a wonderful weekend. :-)

DesignTies said...

These are super-helpful tips. Thanks so much :-)

I LOVE the Dayglow Panchu!! The bright pink is gorgeous, and the tendrils are texture are fabulous. So pretty!!

Kelly @ DesignTies

Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said...

Ooooh. I LOVED this post. I am a huge flowers (or leaves) inside the house person...Great tips he has!

Thanks are always a wealth of great info!

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

This post is like a breath of fresh spring air!

Laura Casey Interiors said...

Beautiful post with such helpful tricks! thank you!

Marvin said...

Hi Susan! You've provided excellent floral arrangement techniques. I'll surely bear that in mind and share your post to my wife so that she could begin designing the floral piece for our newly constructed DIY build a home project. I'll also share this to our neighbors who are also interested in do it yourself houses. Thanks for this incredible post.