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Episode 122: Imelda Ramos                                  

Botanical Brouhaha Expert Discussion Panel: No. 55

The Question:

I have very small hands and struggle when making bouquets. I find it very frustrating as my fingers just don’t reach far enough around the stems and I end up making a mess. Are there any small handed florists on your panel that have some advice for me? I tend to give the bouquet duties to my colleagues but this is rather disheartening, I want to find a way to get better.

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The Answers:

I have big hands so I am afraid I am out on this. My only suggestion would be that she might try bouquet holders. I also know some people design in vases and then gather the bouquet by pulling the flowers out of the vase.

Holly Chapple (Holly Heider Chapple Flowers)

I don’t have especially small hands… but I love creating huge bouquets so I have two little tricks to share with you. The first consists of making intermediate binds. This means that you start the bouquet, then bind it several times along the way. The second trick is to use a carafe-holder (pictured below). Well, even if this is a wine accessory, it did move to my design studio since a long time! Here is how I use it: I create a basis of the bouquet with foliage and some large focus flowers, then i bind it and place it on the carafe-holder. I then add flowers where I want them between the stems and when I am happy with my creation, I bind it for good. You might need to practice a bit, but after some time I am sure you will master it.


Laetitia Mayor (Floresie)

I have small hands myself, so I know exactly what you are talking about! I’ve had cramps in my hands many times due to big or heavy bouquets…

Every floral designer has their own style or signature look. One part of my signature look is that my bouquets are slightly smaller than “normal” bouquets. I love huge, wild bouquets but I’ve realized that they are just not for me. But if you want to make big bouquets my tips are:

* Tie several smaller bouquets and then tie them all together as one big bouquet. (I use this technique mostly for tulips. In Sweden it’s very popular with just tulips + foliage as gift bouquets in the spring – but this season is kind of a nightmare for my small hands… For the biggest and heaviest bouquet (100 tulips + lots of foliage) I’ve ever made, I used this technique.

* Use paper covered wire such as I find this wire very useful as it allows me to make a bouquet and then quickly tie it with a twist when my hands are tired. I rest a little and then I can easily adjust flowers, add more, etc.

* Wire and tape the bouquet. Wires instead of stems make the whole difference when you have small hands! It may sound time consuming to wire and tape all the materials, but once it’s done and you start to “build” the bouquet it actually saves some time. This way it’s much easier to adjust flowers and I don’t have the mess I use to make with lots of flowers in my small hands.

* Use bouquet holders Some say that bouquet holders are plastic and ugly and yes, they are – you have to decorate them with ribbons or á la Francoise Weeks.

Emelie Ekborg (Svenska Blomsterbloggar and Flora Inspiro)

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Flowers: Laura Miller Design




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