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How to Create Patriotic Arrangements for Summer Gatherings

Well, summer is officially here, and for those who love summer gatherings, July 4th is at the top of the list for flag waving.  So my decision to show you how to create two red, white, and blue patriotic arrangements in two different containers is a slam dunk!

I decided to work with classic carnations in red and white and bring in blue with accessories.  There were no natural blue flowers available, and I couldn’t bear the thought of using blue dyed chrysanthemums!

For those of you who have some experience in working with flowers already know that the ends of the stems need to have a fresh cut underwater with a pair of sharp flower clippers.  Warm water is best because it moves up the stems faster.  Hydrating the flowers for a minimum of 30 minutes is considered to be a must!  The carnations will be fully hydrated before I start the designs.

My container choices for patriotic arrangements are a glass pedestal about 9″ tall and 7.5″ wide.  The actual opening is about 5″ wide and 6″ deep.  The classic white ceramic pot is 6.5″ tall with a 6″ diameter.

The tools needed include a pair of sharp floral clippers and a pair of sharp scissors for cutting ribbon.  Accessories that will be needed include narrow clear tape to secure the Oasis inside a 4″x4″ deli container, 1/3 block of Oasis, 1″ wide red, white, and blue grosgrain ribbon, 1.5″ red satin ribbon, a small 5″x4″ American flag on a 10″ stick, and a flag lapel pin to secure the grosgrain ribbon around the pedestal container.  Please also note that the blue table has also doubled as an accessory.

Flowers, containers, tools, and accessories are at the ready so its time to get patriotic!  Let’s start with the glass pedestal.  I never use Oasis in clear glass containers because it shows the mechanics.  However it is possible to use several strips of narrow clear Oasis brand tape to create a grid across the opening of a clear container.  My preference is to use stems of greenery and flowers to build a natural grid…almost a teepee effect.  This patriotic arrangement will have 16 carnations (8 red and 8 white) plus 4 stems of greenery.

Floral design is usually done with darker colors at the base to avoid having it look top heavy.  Darker colors have more visual weight.  In the glass pedestal, note that there are several red carnations at the base of the arrangement which anchors it to the container.  As usual, I began with an outline of carnations starting at the top, then moved to the two sides to finish the outline. Next I filled in the arrangement with all 16 carnations and 4 pieces of greenery.  The last step was to add the red, white, and blue ribbon at the base of the pedestal and secure it with a small American flag lapel pin.

So on to the white ceramic crackle pot.  The pot holds a clear 4″plastic deli container filled with 1/3 block of Oasis.  This may be an easier design to create because the Oasis gives much more stem control.  The design also uses all 16 carnations and 4 stems of greenery.  A 1.5″ red satin ribbon looks festive tied around the base of the pot, especially when topped with a small American flag.

The finished height of the glass pedestal container with the arrangement is 15″; the finished width is 12″.  The finished height of the ceramic pot arrangement is 10″.  The small flag extends the finished height to 14″.

I hope that you will create a patriotic arrangement for this Independence Day…but please remember that there are other patriotic gatherings throughout the year that would be enhanced with red, white, and blue!

by Evelyn Kinville, Behnke’s Garden Blogger

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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