Entertain with Flowers and Flair

Entertain with Flowers and Flair

by Karen French


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781482824339
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publication date: 08/04/2014
Pages: 114
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.30(d)

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Entertain with Flowers and Flair

By Karen French


Copyright © 2014 Karen French
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4828-2433-9


A Flowery Welcome

They say that diamonds are a girl's best friend, but over the years colourful flowers have become mine.

Flowers are given to convey special messages and bought to enhance personal spaces. They're lovingly bought for friends, family and loved ones on special occasions to express love, thanks, even as apologies or sympathy. Whatever the occasion, they'll uplift your mood and will never fail to complement interiors and décor.

But why wait for an occasion? By adding flowers to your décor you can instantly rejuvenate the ambience. Add to that soft lighting, candles and a little music to give yourself and your guests a beautiful feast for their senses.

Flipping through these pages, you'll find a list of materials and short practical advice on how to create each arrangement along with lots of colourful photographs. I'm thinking BIG and would like to spark a creative renaissance, to encourage more people to embrace flowers and explore their own creativity. By sharing a few ideas from my creative classes, I'm encouraging you to enjoy the beauty of flowers. I promise you'll feel reenergized and the bonus is that you'll feel a huge sense of achievement.

You'll see I love to use quirky containers and vases that I've collected on my travels. I'm sure you have some interesting ones too. Just follow my simple ideas for your home, office, restaurant or décor and dip into this book like a recipe book. Use it as an inspirational guide to create similar arrangements with flair. Change the colours to suit your own décor. Experiment, but most of all enjoy.

So who was this book written for?

If you own a café or restaurant, work in a boutique hotel or you're an interior stylist looking for some inspiration, then you're sure to find something that appeals. I created the book to inspire and share ideas, most importantly with people like myself who love to entertain. For the Domestic Goddess who loves cooking and owns a plethora of cookery books, I'd like to think this will be added to your personal library to give you simple, stylish, floral ideas to enhance your décor and dining tables.

Lime Green Cymbids

What I Used

Round Glass Vases
Small Glass or Plastic Tubes with Lid
Spanish Moss
Onion Grass

Getting Creative

Make sure you have nice clean glass vases.

Roll some Onion Grass around your hand into a loop and pop it into the vase.

Place some Spanish Moss into the base.

Cut a beautiful Cymbidium Orchid from its stalk and pop it into a glass tube with water.

Place the Cymbidium Orchid into the vase. You can hide the glass tube under the Spanish Moss.

Shabby Chic

What I Used

Glass Jars or Small Vases
Coloured Aluminium Wire & Florist Wire

Getting Creative

Fill vases with fresh, clean water.

Remove all of the foliage from the flower stems.

Take an Orchid stem in your hand, then add a

Chrysanthemum stem, then a stalk of Gypsophila and keep going until you have a small bouquet style arrangement that will sit nicely in the jar. You'll want to keep a high binding point.

Secure the mini bouquet with wire.

As an added touch, spiral some of the aluminum wire around the stalks in a complimentary colour.

Check the height of the stems to make sure that the mini bouquet sits nicely and then cut the stalks to a desired length.

You're ready to place them inside the jar.

Repeat, until you have an array of arrangements to display on your table. Usually 3, 5 or 7 (odd numbers) look best.


This contemporary arrangement in glass can be put together fairly quickly once you have all the materials on hand. There are different techniques for creating it depending on your level of skill and confidence. Choose the way, which would be easiest for you.

What I Used

Round Glass Vase
Dracaena Leaves
Spray Roses

Getting Creative

Cut the hard stem off the end of the Dracaena leaves and one by one, wrap them on the inside of the vase from the base to the top.

Fill vase with clean, fresh water.

I created this display by preparing the flowers in a bouquet style.

Remove all of the foliage from the stems.

When I had enough flowers to fill the vase the next step was to cut the stems to the desired length.

There's no need to secure the stems, as they can be placed directly into the vase of water.

Add 2 Phalaenopsis flowers into the top of the arrangement.

You may prefer to work with a grid to guide your flower placement. (See, Techniques Used In This Book page at the back of this book).

Alternatively you can use floral foam inside the container if you aren't comfortable with making a mini bouquet or placing the flowers in the vase freestyle.


If you do use soaked floral foam, there would be no need to fill the vase with water, as the floral foam becomes the water source for the flowers.


What I Used

Floral Foam Ring
Cymbidium Orchids
Waterproof Florist Tape
Large Decorative Dish

Getting Creative

Start by soaking the floral foam ring in fresh, clean water.

Cut the stems of the Chrysanthemums short and insert them around the outside and inner edges of the floral foam ring to cover the exposed foam.

Tape 3 toothpicks to the base of each candle then insert into the floral foam at equal distances.

Cut small sprigs of Gypsophila and use them to cover the rest of the exposed floral foam ring.

At intervals, you can add in some stems of Astrantia.

Pop in the beautiful Cymbidiums and place the arrangement on a large decorative dish.

Spritz with water and make sure to hydrate the ring frequently with fresh water.

Love & Light

What I Used

Pomelo Leaves, Ornithogalum, Large Ornamental

Non Porous Bowl, Candle, Waterproof Floral Glue, Florist Wire or Waterproof Florist Tape, Cane.

Getting Creative

Measure the desired length of cane according to your bowl. Leave a little extra length.

Soak the cane in a bucket or the sink to soften.

Roll a leaf and skewer onto the cane. Repeat until you have enough rolled leaves to form a circle of leaves that sits comfortably in your bowl.

Add fresh, clean water to your bowl.

Loop the cane into a ring and secure the ends with a little florist wire or waterproof florist tape.

Re-adjust the leaves so there are no visible gaps.

Take single Ornithogalum flowers and fit them in between the leaves. If the stems aren't long enough, you may secure with the tiniest dab of floral glue.

Pop your leaf ring into the bowl and as a finishing touch place the candle centre stage.


Creating Mystery needs a little more skill, but the benefits are definitely worth it.

I've explained this process in two parts. First, Mystery (Structure) and second, Mystery (Flowers).

I love investing the time to create structures because once the flowers start to fade; they can be replaced with new blooms. The structure can also be kept safely for use at a future time and all the hard work already done.

Mystery (Structure)

What I Used

Styrofoam Bowl, Aluminium Foil, Wooden Sticks, Wood Glue, Small Deco Foam, Paper Covered Wire, Florist Pins, Floral Adhesive, Tall Glass Vase, Faux Crystals, Spray Paint.

Getting Creative

To make the structure, line the Styrofoam bowl with foil. Throw in some wooden sticks randomly and drizzle the glue over. Let it set for a bit before adding another layer and repeat the process till you have a concave half circle as your shape.

Once dry you can leave the structure natural or spray it with a colour of your choice. I used black.

Fill the vase with faux crystals and add water, creating the effect of ice.

Position the pre-soaked deco foam on top of the narrow necked vase and attach with wire. I've used paper-covered wire.

Place your structure on top of the deco foam and secure with florist pins to stabilize it.

Mystery (Flowers)

What I Used

Two types of Chrysanthemums for contrast, Veronica, Brunia, Green Hypericum Berries & Gypsophila (optional).

There are two ways to set the flowers. The traditional way is to keep the stems long enough to insert into the underlying deco foam. The flowers will last much longer this way.

The second way is to cut the stems short, place them in a bowl of water for 15 minutes and let them absorb as much water as they can and then use the floral adhesive to attach the flowers to the structure. Remember to spritz with water regularly to keep them hydrated before your dinner party.

Getting Creative

I started with the larger of the two types of Chrysanthemums,

Next, I used the smaller lime green

Chrysanthemums and then added the Brunia baubles.

In between the spaces add in the Veronica and as a final touch the Hypericum Berries and a few sprigs of Gypsophila (optional).

Note I have also skewered some of the berries on the ends of the exposed sticks. A dab of floral adhesive will keep them secure.

Spring Fling

What I Used

Cardboard, Craft Glue, Wooden Sticks, Spray Paint, Florist Pins, Floral Foam, Floral Adhesive, Dish or Bowl.

Viburnum, Cymbidiums, Anthuriums, Chrysanthemums and Palm Nuts.

Getting Creative

To make the collar, cut a donut shaped ring from the cardboard, big enough to cover the bowl and cut out the centre.

Cover the topside of the cardboard with craft glue.

Sprinkle the sticks onto the cardboard randomly and repeat with more layers to cover.

When dry, leave natural or spray the desired colour.

Place the soaked floral foam in your dish or bowl and place the ring on top of the bowl.

Secure the ring onto the foam with florist pins.

In the centre, place some florets of Viburnum and some Chrysanthemums.

Place the Cymbidiums.

Add the next layer of flowers by overlapping them with Anthuriums.

Cut a few more Chrysanthemums very short. Use a dab of floral adhesive on the underside of the flower, to adhere them to the collar.

Add a few of the palm nuts in the same manner.


Unless you live in a tropical climate it is unlikely you'll have palm nuts to hand. But you can choose berries or something similar, available locally to you.

Before using the Chrysanthemums for the collar, cut a few of them short and soak in a bowl of water. This will ensure maximum absorption of water before adhering to the collar.

Ceramic Slippers

Foot binding began in the palaces of China during the 10th century and it was customary for females of the royal households as well as nobility and the wealthy to bind the feet of their young girls so that they resembled lotus buds. By the end of the 17th century, this trend had worked down the social scale and millions of Chinese women adopted the practice.

Lotus shoes varied in style depending on the geographic location, lifestyle, climate and of course fashion. Many were made from silk and had exquisite embroidery on them. Whilst the tradition carried on for generations, it was finally abolished by the Qing Dynasty in 1912. Though some women could still be found with bound feet well into the 1930's.

On these pages you'll see I've used a pair of ornamental, ceramic slippers for this cute display that were picked up on my travels. But I've seen similar ornamental shoes in other countries and they're fun to use for a Baby Shower celebration or parties for children.

I adore Ornithogalum and they fit so well inside these tiny shoes. Sometimes one type of flower and simplicity speaks volumes. You can of course use any type of small flower for this purpose. Remember, small shoes, small flowers.

What I used

A Pair of Ceramic Slippers


Getting Creative

Fill the Ceramic Slippers/Shoes with water

Cut the Ornithogalum flowers and place inside the shoe.

There is no need for both to be exactly equal.

A-symmetrical is more appealing.

Standing Tall

Lilies have large dominant flowers, are fragrant and majestic in appearance.

White lilies have different meanings in different cultures and their symbolism ranges from chastity and virtue to innocence and tranquility.

In some cultures they are associated with funerals, so it's good to remember this if you plan to use white lilies.


Once open, the pollen can be messy. I tend to take the stamens out to avoid any stains on clothes, hands or the petals themselves. The added benefit to this is that it will stop pollen production and extend the life of the cut lilies

If you do happen to get pollen on your clothes, then try to shake the excess off first. Try a piece of sticky tape. Dab it on to the fabric and the sticky surface should lift the pollen off.

What I Used

Ornamental Bowl, Floral Foam, White Curly Sticks, White Single Headed Lilies, Long Stemmed

Ornithogalum, Fatsia Japonica Leaves, Dracaena Massangeana (Iron Leaf), Iris Variegated Leaf (or similar).

Getting Creative

Choose a container or ornamental bowl. Place at least half a block of soaked floral foam into the base.

Place an odd (3, 5 or 7) number of sticks in the centre of the foam and make sure they're pushed into the foam, deep enough to be stable. These will act as a natural support for the tall flowers.

Lay the Fatsia leaves flat, covering the base of the floral foam.

Remove most of the foliage from the Lilies.

Place the Lilies between and on either side of the willow sticks starting with a tall one and then place the rest (one by one) in descending order of height. Insert 2 or 3 short Lilies at the base.

Roll a few Dracaena leaves and secure with a staple. Then add these leaves to one side of the base.

Take the tallest Ornithogalum and insert into the foam. Then one by one insert the rest, in descending height as seen in this photo.

As a final touch, add in some of the Iris variegated leaves to both sides.

Remember to keep the floral foam hydrated and over the next few days watch those Lilies bloom.

Arty Artichokes

What I Used

Tall Square Vase, Gold Curly Sticks, Floral Foam, Florist Pins, Floral Adhesive, Satay Stick, Artichokes, Sunflowers, Anthuriums, Scabiosa Stellata, Oncidium Orchids.

Getting Creative

Use enough floral foam to fill the vase and extend at least one and a half inches above the rim. Cut and soak the foam. Skewer a satay stick or similar through the centre of the foam pieces to stabilize.

Cut some of the curly sticks and insert into the sides of the exposed floral foam.

Place some of the sticks across the top and secure with Florist Pins.

Use fresh or faux Artichokes. Cut short and insert one on the front left and another directly behind.

Cut and place the Anthuriums, covering the middle and front of the floral foam.

Remove the yellow petals of the Sunflowers leaving the green leafy rim exposed. Cut short and insert the stems into the foam. Use the photos to gauge placement.

In the sides, insert some long stems of Oncidium to flow between the sticks.

Insert stems of Scabiosa Stellata to the gaps.

As a final touch, cut a few smaller Scabiosa and decorate the sticks. Use a dab of floral adhesive to attach.

Insert stems of Scabiosa Stellata to the gaps.

As a final touch, cut a few smaller Scabiosa and decorate the sticks. Use a dab of floral adhesive to attach.

By Candle Light

I love to use candles in my arrangements, especially when entertaining. My indulgence is purely to create a warm ambience. Purchase aromatherapy ones for an additional feast for the senses.

What I Used

Long Rectangular Container, Floral Foam, Candles, Wood Picks or Toothpicks, Waterproof Florist Tape, Gypsophila, Cymbidium Orchids, Dendrobium Orchids, Spray Carnations and Chrysanthemums

Getting Creative

Place the soaked floral foam into the container, about half an inch below the rim.

Secure toothpicks or wood picks to the base of each candle with florist tape. This helps to stabilize the candle.

Place the candles at an equal distance from each other and push into the foam.

Cut sprigs of Gypsophila and place along the length of the container to cover the floral foam.

Add in a few Chrysanthemums, and Dendrobium Orchids.

Finally, cut the stems of the Cymbidium Orchids and place into the foam.


Make sure some of the Gypsophila and the Orchids hang over the edge of the container to make it more appealing and interesting.


Excerpted from Entertain with Flowers and Flair by Karen French. Copyright © 2014 Karen French. Excerpted by permission of PartridgeSG.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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