Pictured here is Paula's arrangement of cappucino roses, pink garden roses, dahlias, straw flowers, Queen Anne's lace, echinacea seed heads and clematis seed heads; foliage includes jasmine, crab apples, sloe berries (blackthorn) and English oak with acorns.
Mechanics Before making any natural arrangement I work out the mechanics first. I use two-inch chicken wire moulded and shaped inside the vase and then I gather as many different types of seasonal foliage with a goal of creating a natural effect.
Add Foliage My rule is to use a minimum of three types of foliage, but the more diversity the better. It's best to have some with an upright habit and some trailing. I don't use variegated foliage very often as it dilutes colour. I first add foliage to cover the mechanics and outline the general shape. Foliage also provides structure, which I can use to position my flowers.
Add Flowers Next I add flowers. I usually add one variety at a time at different angles and depths within the arrangement. I also avoid white and cream in a bold arrangement as it neutralizes the colour effect and draws your eye almost creating a distraction. Colour is very important to me but I also pick flowers and foliage for the texture - the clematis seed heads and the echinacea heads have been chosen for that. Tools and Equipment In addition to selecting the right flowers and foliage, having the right equipment is essential for great floral design. Paula recommends the following are in every designer's tool kit; ESSENTIALS: Good sharp knife. Strong sharp pair of scissors. Stem Stripper.. Roll of bind wire. Flower Food. Buckets, cleaners and brushes. Florists tape. Watering can. Variety of vases. EXTRAS: Chicken wire. Water tubes. Zip ties. Wires. Bamboo skewers. Pins. Decorative embellishments (eg raffia, jute, ribbons)