I happily accepted the job of building a massive, branchy bouquet for a tea party recently. I love bouquets like this, I find them to be breathtaking because of their size and their complex display of natural beauty. This bouquet, filled with natural branches and greens really brings the outdoors in and demonstrates the perfectly imperfect elegance of nature. With wedding and anniversary season coming up, maybe you’d like to try your hand at making a massive arrangement for a summer gathering…. I’ll show you how.
These bouquets can actually be quite easy to make and I am sure you can find some of the materials in your back yard. As with all of my other bouquets, I follow a tried and true 3-step method to achieve a lush, elegantly natural look.
To start out, I soaked 4 bricks of oasis in water overnight so that they were very saturated. The bricks fit perfectly into my silver punch bowl, which I use exclusively for flowers. This nice tall branch of gray, fluffy Pussywillows was the perfect anchor to stick right in the center of the oasis form and begin building.
Next, I used branches of veregated boxwood and some nubby branches of apple buds to define the shape of the arrangement. You can see I tried to use a floral tape to secure the oasis, but it really wasn’t needed because the foam bricks were so heavy they were not going anywhere!!
Long branches of Oregonia added another layer of green, a little more texture and further defined the shape of the bouquet. This completes my first step: building a foundation of greens which provides the shape for the bouquet and a support structure for the more delicate flowers.
Step number two is adding flowers. I started filling in open spots with chartreuse Bells of Ireland and Snowball Viburnums. You can see I placed these branches in the up-reaching fan shape that was established by my stiffer branches, but also I started building around the base, filling in the revealed oasis around the perimeter and reaching out around the base.
Blooming apple branches added clouds of white in addition to new twists of textured branches. I filled the bowl with cool, fresh water to keep the fragrant white hyacinths hydrated.
The full hyacinth blooms were heavy and a little droopy so I rested some of them in the branches to keep them upright, with the stems dipping into the water. More greens helped to conceal the oasis around the perimeter of the arrangement.
For my final step I like to add something unexpected, something that makes the bouquet completely unique. So, I tore up a tray of Wheatgrass and stuffed the hunks of soil, seed and grass into the gap between the oasis foam and the punch bowl. I love that fresh cut grass look and the fact that it helped to conceal the oasis. Pinches of Spanish Moss that I had soaking in water added a final touch of whimsy, drooping down the edges of the silver punch bowl. I also used pinches of the moss to fill in any spots where I could see oasis through the branches.
When it was finished the staff helped to hoist it up on a stand and slide it into position on the buffet table.
I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial and that if you decide to try it out, please be sure to share some images!