Library’s Flower Arranging 101 Class Adds A Little ‘Zing’ To Designs

Published: February 23, 2019 at 07:00 am


“Every single leaf, every single flower, should have its own space,” instructor Sandy Motyka said to her Flower Arranging 101 class in the meting room of C.H. Booth Library on February 15.

During the hour-long presentation, Ms Motyka created multiple flower displays and shared her tips and tricks for turning a store-bought bouquet into a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

The first arrangement of the afternoon showcased half a dozen red roses and delicate pieces of baby’s breath.

With Valentine’s Day having recently passed, she said that by inserting whimsical items, like a sparkly red heart, to the oasis, it can add a focal point and a little “zing” to the design.

“There should always be a surprise,” Ms Motyka said as she turned the arrangement around for the class to see.

From there, she placed green eucalyptus, with its seeds intact, intermittently throughout the arrangement for texture.

She added eight red, wispy artificial branches to extend the look of the design and explained that “longer lines are always elegant.”

For the second flower arrangement, Ms Motyka started with an asymmetrical wooden basket from Shakespeare’s Garden that she filled with pussy willows, each individually wrapped in wire.

The wire, she said, is to train the branches into a desirable form when the plant is fresh and malleable. When leaving the wire on overnight or longer, the branches can take on a more natural shape that is less pin-straight.

“You want things to look how they look in nature,” Ms Motyka said as she unwound the wire from each of the pussy willow branches.

She made the formed branches be the backdrop to her flower arrangement and organized them into an L-shape (some branches standing tall, while the others veered to the side). From there, she added bright yellow chrysanthemums of different heights and sizes to draw in the eye’s attention.

As she inserted the chrysanthemum stems into the oasis, she explained that not every flower has to face forward but that the smallest bloomed flower should be featured as the tallest one in the design.

To finish the flower arrangement, she filled in spaces with an assortment of greenery and thin, gray birch branches that she had collected from her yard.

For the final example, Ms Motyka showed the audience a pair of small premade arrangements that she had created using flowers that would typically be thrown away.

She plucked wilted petals off lilies to repurpose the inside contents (the pistil/carpel and stamen) and added pieces of reeds to make circles.

At the end of the class, Ms Motyka had a raffle drawing. Of the more than 20 people who attended, three winners were given the opportunity to take home a flower arrangement of their choice.

Each person in attendance received a handout of Ms Motyka’s helpful advice for supplies, how to prep the materials, specific placement information, and how to add “the pow” to their own flower arrangements.

Her last piece of advice mentioned on the list? It read, “Relax, put on some good music, and enjoy creating!”

For more information about flower arranging, e-mail Sandy Motyka at smotykagc@gmail.com.

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