Floral foam. Is it one of the bad guys?

As plastics and polymers become so much a part of our everyday life I have begun to worry that  the earth will eventually become a huge plastic rubbish pile on land and in the oceans. Impossible? What if you knew that a huge percentage of plastics/polymers/resins and their derivatives manufactured  every day are NOT RECYCLABLE! That means they will sit  around for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years.

Does it not follow that each of us has to  either make sure the plastics and polymers we use are the recyclable ones or break down back to their organic origins?

Rumours have been flying around for years that floral foam is one of the bad guys… in other words it does not breakdown and every time you use a block you are adding to the global heap of plastic pollution. So I went searching on one  of the main manufacturer’s  websites. They say,” OASIS® Floral Foam Maxlife will biodegrade 25 percent within 18 months in biologically active landfill conditions 1.”

Notice the 1 at the end. In the footnote it states, “1. This product has been shown by ASTM D5511 to biodegrade 25% within 18 months in biologically active landfill conditions. Appropriate facilities may not exist in your area. The rate and extent shown do not mean that the product will continue to decompose.”

The source is  http://www.smithersoasis.com/2014/12/greening-the-floral-industry-with-oasis-floral-foam-maxlife/

So what about the other 75% still sitting in that landfill? Imagine every florist in the world, using even 5 blocks of floral foam a day. How much floral foam is that polluting the earth EVERY DAY? How many places have the appropriate landfill to de-construct 25% of it? Does anyone know? Do you care? Is it ‘out of sight, out of mind’?

As a responsible florist, editor and keeper of my small piece of the planet I have maintained an active floristry business for the last year and NOT USED ONE SINGLE BIT OF FLORAL FOAM. Over this time I have investigated myriad ways to use other mechanics that are natural, readily available and largely free.

If you  want to also save the planet from becoming one huge layer of plastic but don’t think you could survive in business without your floral foam, I recommend three videos to you to get started. All three show you alternative, effective, easily found mechanics, I have used over the last year.
Their links are:
https://vimeo.com/ondemand/agapanthus
https://vimeo.com/ondemand/newzealandroadtrip
https://vimeo.com/ondemand/events

Please think seriously about joining the quest to use less plastic and polymers in as many ways as you can so we are not leaving our planet a worse place than we found it.

Thank you

How to make amazing wearable wedding flowers

The results of a recent survey we asked our facebook followers, have been both eye opening and reassuring.

Asked what they expected in a flower magazine, those who took the survey replied; “The latest floral design techniques and some instruction on how to make the mechanics as well as an arrangement.”

Weddings Annual 2016/2017

Weddings Annual 2016/2017

“Lots of pictures, new trends and techniques” “New trends for every event with instructions for putting the designs together. “Mechanics that we can use to make new design trends. Suggestions for unusual materials that we can use,” and many more replies came in, in the same vein.

I think our correspondents do that really well as they spend hours to capture the designs from the beginning to the end and of course take those vital close ups we all want. So a HUGE thank you to everyone in our wonderful international team as they bring you the absolute latest in trends, techniques, instructions and materials in this, the annual wedding special for 2016/2017.

How to make amazing wearable flowers

How to make amazing wearable flowers

10 tips to create a bride's perfect bespoke wedding flowers

10 tips to create a bride’s perfect bespoke wedding flowers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another result was a huge surprise. Except for one, everyone who answered the survey wants advertising. We have always prided ourselves that our pages are not littered with adverts- something unique in the publishing world. But it seems we have been wrong for the last 15 years! Those surveyed want them to discover: “New flower design products and their applications”. “Floral design suppliers, up to date information on new plants and flowers. New mechanics for floral designers” “Anything to do with the flower industry and components that can be used”.

And if you are one of those people mentioned on that list contact us at info@floraldesignmagazine.com so we can introduce you, your product and your business to our curious readers.

Rub Shoulders with European Champion Florists

How often do you get the chance to rub shoulders with European Champion florists who have been judged the best in their own countries? It is a once in a lifetime opportunity for most of us, you will agree.

Hot new construction flower arrangement methods

Hot new construction flower arrangement methods

What if you could jump the barriers, linger in sessions closed to the public, and watch every stage as they all competed to become the best florist in Europe? Would that be AMAZING or what! Well here it is, as Pavol Kaššák did just that , running from demonstrations theatres to competition halls and back again to capture all the action in minute detail for you to study. Backed up by the passionate designers, Madeleine Sarradell and Gilles Vial-Caille we are able to bring you the best of the best in this and the June edition.

You will see the unique mechanics close up, the constructions methods all uncovered and exposed- in fact a dream seat in the front row as you are handed the hottest new trends and techniques on a plate!

Each time we have suggested how you can use these pieces in your own flower arranging, because what you are about to see is the future, the exciting emerging trends in floral design.

But ringing in my ears was a criticism about covering these extraordinary events from one of our readers, “But they are not relevant to my situation, so they are not of interest to me”, she wrote. The challenge was thrown down.

6 lessons using European Floral Mechanics

6 lessons using European Floral Mechanics

The result is this month’s companion video . I took 6 of the most interesting mechanics from this issue’s coverage, and used the same methods to create 6 extraordinary floral gifts that could be easily carried out of a flower shop, or into the car to take to a friend. The optional video is a simple and quick way to try out these new ideas for little expense and using equipment you may already have in your home or office.

6 Proven Line Directions

I came across a novice flower arranger when judging the competition within a floral art club recently. Her work was very pretty and perfectly symmetrical which in itself was an amazing achievement as natural plant material is usually not able to be so disciplined.

But there was something missing, a design aspect she had not yet mastered and was completely unaware of. It was that all important concept of ‘line’. ‘Line’ in flower arranging means the plant material is arranged so it leads your eye in a certain direction or directions. Without it you have a bunch of flowers sitting, looking pretty. With it you are able to introduce movement and rhythm. The arrangement becomes more dynamic and far more interesting.

The use of line in floral design

The use of line in floral design

This edition of floral design is therefore, all about line.

Your wonderful floral design
magazine team have been to some of the major flower shows to search out the best examples for you of successful designs with dominating lines. Now that should keep your design juices running for another month!

The Hidden Truths about Texture

While communicating with some of the students currently enrolled in the floral design magazine’s floristry school, it dawned on me that it was time we went back and had a much closer look at the design elements and principles that are the foundation of not only flower arranging but every creative endeavour in the world. Many of our subscribers are also floristry colleges and floral art clubs in many different parts of the globe with hugely varying design styles that they consider ‘normal’ and ‘best’ and yet we all share these cornerstones in common. So in this special edition of floral design we investigate texture, a design element beloved by

Texture in flower arranging with floraldesignmagazine.com

The Hidden truths about Texture

architects, interior designers and the fashion industry as well as all of us. Accomplished American florists Lisa and Jaclyn (That’s Jaclyn’s design on the cover) and  editor of floral design magazine Tricia Legg bring their own cultural and personal styles to your attention as lessons but you will also notice the basic premise they all share, that important design foundation – texture! Using a contrast in texture in a floral arrangement is guaranteed to make your arrangements beautiful, interesting and successful and so here is your chance to  find out more!

Flowers for the Grand Occasion

Watching the grand entrance by Swedish Royalty and winners at the Nobel Prize ceremony and dinner (fast forward the video below to see the flowers)

 once again emphasised to me the added value and sense of occasion that flowers bring to such elaborate affairs. Without them, it was just a huge hall of people dressed up for dinner.

In that case the flowers were sponsored by the growers of San Remo where Alfred Nobel spent his final years which of course leads to the question. How can these events take place without sponsorship unless your client base are millionaires? Perhaps the question leads directly to the answer. Someone has to cater to the fabulously wealthy so why shouldn’t it be you?

Flowers for the grand occasion

Flowers for the grand occasion

Impossible you may think, but you could be wrong. If you have been trained well initially, the key is confidence in your ability, great organisational skills and clever marketing. Deliver top class innovative design every time as the 4 talented florists featured in this edition do, and you too could be become a flower arranger to the rich and famous.

This edition of floral design is your mentor as florists from Sweden and the USA share their successful floral creations for the grand occasion for you to copy.