A real highlight of the Rice County Horticulture Day Saturday at St. Olaf College was the presentation by Pam Strouth and Cheryl Steinberg of Bloom Floral Design in Faribault. Apparently Pam and Cheryl are TV personalities in Faribault where they host a regular show on floral design on the local cable channel. While both Pam and Cheryl were trained at the Koehler and Dramm Institute of Floristry, the premier floral design program in Minnesota, they have a down-home, relaxed take on using flowers in your home. They combine their expertise with fun. You’ve got to have a light heart to do a floral arrangement that uses a carburetor for a vase, as the Bloom designers once did for a motor-loving client.
For the horticulture day, they did a presentation on how to use flowers, leaves, and branches from your garden for floral displays. They showed a clip from their cable program in which they walked around a friend’s yard, snipping leaves, branches and flowers with abandon. Then, using similar elements to those shown in the program, each designer put together a full, lush arrangement in a few minutes. They conceded that with floral design, you either have the eye or you don’t. (I’m afraid I don’t.) But they also think you can learn and offered a few tips for doing arrangements.
Pam builds the base first–putting in any draping plants, such as these elephant ears, and a base of greens before adding the flowers and colorful elements, in this case a lily, goldenrod, and an iris. Cheryl uses the rule of threes. She started with three tulips for her vase, which then grew to include greens, goldenrod, and branches. Starting with three of your main focus gives your arrangement the right equilibrium and after that you cannot go wrong. Both displays were done in old watering cans, and the designers urged gardeners to use fun and unusual containers for vases. Now, if I could just find a spare carburetor….