At Longwood Gardens in our Advanced 1 class we have a lesson on structures and create a flower column with orchids.
Equipment to create the wire structure includes: glass vase, 4” plastic tubes, uGlu dashes, bind wire, floral cold glue, and water wash bottle for filling tubes (optional).
The structure is made by folding Oasis floral mesh into a cylinder shape. It is then attached to a vase with bind wire and supported with thin wooden dowels.
Tubes to hold flowers are attached to wire mesh with uGlu dashes and then reinforced with bind wire.
Properly prepared cymbidium orchids* are glued to the cylinder both inside and out. Dendrobium orchids are placed with stems inside the vase, but blooms on the outside. One stem of dendrobium extends the line by being placed in a tube.
Flowers are placed so that the eye moves from front to back with space between flower placements creating transparency in the overall design.
Movement is added to the vertical column with midollino spirals wrapping around and through the column.
*To prepare orchids to be used without water, cut the bloom from the stem and place a dab of glue at the stem end. Mist lightly and cover with plastic. Let sit in a cool place for four-six hours or more.
The same flower column may be used with spring flowers. Tulip stems wind through the wire column and benefit from the support.