We are fortunate to have a National Accredited Flower Show Judge and Master Judge to conduct free floral design workshops. Evelyn Warrington inspires, entertains and educates participants with a great variety of floral designs. These workshops are held just prior to our regular meetings for interested club members.

Her September workshop, "Summer Gleanings" demonstrated how to create an abstract design using all dried materials. Abstract means you use a minimum of plant material in your design. The dried Bird of Paradise leaf was placed in an opening. She used a single cattail secured by a pinholder to create the vertical line.

The September assignment was to bring a design illustrating what students had learned last year from the floral design classes. This student used live plant material in an abstract design. She used narrow leaves to create the two sizes of "bows" on the upper right and lower left of the large container. Since she did not have large, dramatic flowers blooming in her garden, she bunched several masses of yellow mums to create strong color spots in the design. The green in the leaves complements the green of the leaf bows and small red blooms add another color to move the eye around the design.

Evelyn's comment was that larger blossoms such as calla lily, iris or amaryllis are often used with this type of container to minimize the amount of plant material. Overall, the use of colors and materials made a nice design.

This miniature design by a student used a little basket for her container. She was careful to leave a portion of the handle showing and using tiny red and yellow flowers with a few green leaves for horizontal mass design. She was curious to know if her doiley was the correct size. Evelyn commented that the size of the blossoms in a minature design are important and the scale used here was correct. The flowers should not overpower the container. The size of the doiley was within the size limit and overall the miniature design was very attractive.

The third September design submitted was a twin container design. Since the containers were the same size the student varied the size of the floral design to give a smaller height to the second container. Plant materials used are miniature pink and white roses, Silver King artemesia for the line and fern leaves as filler material. The original base of a folded rattan placemat was exchanged for the turquoise placemat.

Evelyn commented that the pale brown color of the original placemat was not compatible with the container colors. The new base picks up the turquoise in the container and blends in with the overall design.

Our October 2015 lesson was "A Picture Tells a Story" using flowers in a floral design to compliment a picture. The picture she used orginally had a black frame which was too heavy for the pastel colors so she replaced it with a white frame. Standing next to the picture is a small basket with a minature shovel attached to the side. It is just large enough to place a needle holder inside to hold up the plant material. She used three stems of fountain grass to make the vertical line. To keep the seeds from falling off she suggested using hairspray to hold the dried material onto the stem. A miniature apricot colored rose was inserted to match the color of the woman's apron and a violet-blue stalk of flowers repeated the color in the farmer's jeans. Evelyn said you should try to have repetition in your design.

Our October assignment was to bring an arrangement using dried plant material in an abstract design. This student's design used a small oak tree branch for the vertical line, a dried aloe flower stem for the secondary vertical line and three sweet corn tassels at the bottom for horizontal movement. There is a dried jacaranda seed pot at the base of the design. Evelyn's comment was that the base was too small for the arrangement but that this is an example of an abstract design.

This student's design used only two plant materials - a dried birch branch and dried corn cobs which were attached to the branch with hidden wire. This is a nice horizontal design with good balance. Evelyn suggested it would be enhanced by using something like a place mat for the base.

This student's design used a wooden circle held up by a cavity in the wooden base. She used only one type of dried plant material in two sizes plus a small brown and white bird sitting on the base. Evelyn commented that this is a mass arrangement in the creative design not the abstract design because the plant material looks like a plant. The colors are good and the base is nicely proportioned to the arrangement.

Our March 2015 lesson was "Birds Love Bugs" using a birdhouse with flowers. Evelyn used a twiggy birdhouse with a branch of nandina anchored behind to resemble a tree branch. She used pale yellow flowers behind the birdhouse and a single fern leaf in front of the birdhouse to bring the eye down to the placemat. She placed a few white pebbles on the placemat to repeat the white color in the birdhouse. The pale yellow-green edge of the placemat echoes the color of the flowers.

This student's design used the bright colors of bougainvillea blossoms to carry the eye upward. She filled in the background with fern leaves to enclose the rustic birdhouse in plant material. The design sits on a slab of wood to further enhance the rustic look and gives a starting point for the eye to travel through the design. Evelyn's comment was to snip off a tuft of the fern on the left side and also trim back slightly on the right side to give the design a more vertical appearance. Overall, the use of colors and materials made a nice design.

This student's design also used a rustic bird house with a tiny red bird perched at the entrance. A piece of wood was used to give the design some height. Three tall branches of a sage were used for the line design and small red sage flowers and a red geranium bud repeated the color of the bird. Variegated artemesia and Diamond Frost euphorbia were used as filler.

Evelyn suggested that the three long branches be straight rather than curved over the bird house to give the design a stronger vertical line. The use of a bamboo mat was good for unifying the design.

This student's design used a lovely white Victorian bird house. The white roses repeat the color of the bird house and an ivy vine wanders behind the birdhouse. The water container for the plant material is wrapped with a large green leaf.

Evelyn commented on the good use of plant materials to showcase the birdhouse and the overall design was very good.

Our 2015 February lesson used twin containers to explore a stretch design which was new for the students.
The first design was shown with the "stretch" line on the base. It was corrected by removing the stretch component at the base and replacing with a line that stretched between the containers and moving the containers slightly apart.


Two other student designs were a container tipped on its side with a stretch feature reaching to a smaller container. By tipping the first container on its side the proportion of the two containers was kept in scale.
The second design used a variegated leaf between the two containers and gave the first container some height by placing on a little pedestal.