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 November 2015 lesson was "Harvest Basket" using vegetables and/or fruit for a fall arrangement. Evelyn started with a green wicker basket laying on its side. A spray of Hawain tree fern was placed first as a base for the large items. It spills out from the inside of the basket onto the wooden placemat. Then she placed a red bell pepper, some persimmons, a mini pumpkin and some grapes arranged to make the green color flow in a waving pattern. A small cluster of apricot mini roses picked up the orange tones of the fruit and vegetables. This arrangement would also look nice on a burlap placemat. A still life arrangement would have very little foilage.

The November assignment was to make a floral design to complement a picture.

This student's design used an old family 1897 tinttype photo of her father and uncle when they were boys. She used some sticks for the line to give the arrangement some height, beige quaking grass to pick up the lighter colors in the photo and a brownish orchid helps brighten the colors.
Evelyn commented that the wooden base is too heavy in appearance for this design but that overall her choices were good.

This student's design uses an 80 year old wooden plaque her mother had enjoyed having as a reminder of a trip taken. The student used baby chrysanthemums in the vase to repeat the yellow tones in the plaque. The greenry is asparagus retrofractus which repeates some of the green tones in the plaque.
Evelyn commented that the figurine on the vase could be smaller because it competes with the image on the plaque. The colors chosen by the student are very nice and gives the design repetition to carry the eye from the plaque to the arrangement.

This student used a picture she won at a raffle. It rests on a wooden stand and she placed her flower holder behind the stand. The stems of lantana give the design a vertical line to carry the eye upward from the picture and then the red and yellow tones of the lantana flowers bring the eye back down to the right of the picture.

A ceramic plaque mounted in a wooden frame was used by this student for her arrangement. A small wicker basket hides a needle point holder for the plant material and picks up the warm wood tones of the frame. The brown tones are repeated in the bamboo placemat base. She used two stems of hummingbird vine to create the vertical line. The dried stem of red sage picks up the colors in the plaque and the small cluster of red and yellow chrysanthemums blend with the wood tones in the design. The hummingbird vine on the lower left should be trimmed back about one third to keep the design focused on the plaque.

Our 2016 January was presented by a class member, Karol Freudenberg. She brought several examples of a tapestry design to demonstrate the "rules of a tapestry design" while she explained the specific features.

A tapestry design is viewed from above to see the combinations of pattern, color and texture. Use plant material in blocks of texture and color. Alllow a little space between the blocks of color Use plant material with the same life span to prolong the use of the design.

Prepare the oasis to be about 1/4 inch above the rim of the container. Chamfer or bevel the sharp edge into a rounded shape. Use the extra height to insert plant material that will spill over the rim of the container. Avoid using blossoms that will open wide and crowd the design.

A design could also be displayed vertically like the arrangement in a glass container with the opening on the side.

One of her containers was a round metal tin. The side were covered with a little fence purchased at a hobby store. The fence had dried plant material tucked into the open spaces to give it a woodland feeling. She used dried moss, a little bird's nest with eggs, pebbles, dried seed pods, etc. to give it a rich, varied texture.

Our January assignment was to arrange fruit and/or vegetables with plant material in a basket or other container. This student used a dark wicker basket lined with a moss green napkin to hold her arrangement. The color of the green is echoed in the green lemon leaves and the warm tones of the citrus fruits are also repeated.

This design uses a dark wicker rectangular basket standing on one end. A sword fern is inserted in the open handle area to lead the eye from the top of the design down to the fern leaf lying from the interior of the basket out toward the edge of the napkin. The orange tones are repeated in the small tangerine and bright colored napkin. A little bird on top repeats the color of the red apple.

This design used three grapefruits decorated with dark green leaves held in place with tiny straight pins. The bright yellow in the golden euonymus leaves in the top of the grape fruits repeats the color of the fruit. The chartruse petals of the little flowers add another tint of green. The white ceramic basket holds the fruit in place while allowing a view of the sides of the design.

The container used here is an orange carved into a little basket with a handle. Small blossoms of the lion's tail leontis leonurus repeat the color of the container and the green asparagus retrofractus adds a contrasting cool color. The base is round to repeat the shape of the orange.

This design was placed in a brick colored stoneware basket. Plant materials included small orange and dark green peppers, scallion tops and napa cabbage leaves. Several shades of green are repeated and the orange peppers echo the color of the container. Evelyn commented that the checkered base is a nice contrast in the design.