In floral design, an “armature” EXCEPTIONAL is defined as a decorative and/or supportive framework for a floral composition that is typically constructed from natural materials, such as branches, or nonbotanical materials, such as a decorative wire. For this modern compact vase arrangement, floral designer Erik Witcraft, AIFD, CFD, designed a wire armature that is both decorative and functional: It adds a touch of glamour to the composition while supporting the placement of the flowers’ stems. And, illustrating a popular trend in modern floral design today, Witcraft incorporated permanent botanicals (hellebores and string-of-pearls) among the stems of fresh ‘Tsumugi’ Wabara Garden Roses and selected ferns.

Step 1

Using 12-gauge silver aluminum wire, create a flat, disk-shaped armature by winding and coiling the aluminum wire to create a free-form pattern of circles and swirls.

Step 2

Wind lengths of white and iridescent beaded wire randomly but artfully into the aluminum wire armature.

Step 3

Place the decorative wire armature atop the opening of a tall mint-julep-cup-shaped vase. Lay two stems of permanent string-of-pearls clusters atop the wire armature. For stability and security, wire each stem end, in one or two places, to the armature. Next, arrange stems of fresh plumosa fern into the vase, atop the permanent string-of-pearls.

Step 4

Arrange stems of ‘Tsumugi’ Wabara Garden Roses through the wire armature and into the vase. Next, fill in with stems of permanent hellebores, followed by stems of rabbit’s-foot fern. Finally, layer strands of white and iridescent beaded wire among and over the tops of the botanicals—and an additional stem or two of plumosa fern, if desired.