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“Fall”ing in Love

This glorious spiral hand-tied bouquet sets a sumptuous tone for an autumn wedding.

Floral design and text by Amy Balsters

Photos and video by Hannah Undseth; @hannahu.media

Amy Balster final fall handtied

Floral designer and educator Amy BalstersThe Floral Coach, located in Alexandria, Va., remarks that this sumptuous bridal bouquet is a nod to the fall season, which, she says, evokes warm colors and textural seasonal botanicals including grasses, berries and pods. 

“Using the spiral technique for hand-tying bouquets, I created airy, layered movement with asymmetrical balance by clustering like colors and flowers together,” Balsters says of this design. “Terracing the blooms from low to high and collaring the bouquet with line foliages and grasses create space for each material to be seen and appreciated. Using line materials around the perimeter of the bouquet frames the mass and filler blooms and adds a finished look without creating density. 

“A traditional autumnal color harmony is a warm extended analogous palette of red, orange and yellow,” she continues. “By removing the middle hue, in this case, orange, I created a diadic color harmony [traditionally, two hues separated by one or two hues on a 12-spoke color wheel or by three or four hues on an 18-spoke color wheel], focusing on tints, tones and shades of yellow and red. The harmony feels a bit unexpected and has a rich aesthetic that is perfect for fall.” 

STEP BY STEP

Step 1

Prepare the flowers and foliages by removing any nodules, thorns and/or leaves from the bottom halves of the stems. This step is crucial for creating hand-tied bouquets.

cleaning stems

Step 2

Lay out the botanicals in groups, by type, so you can quickly build the bouquet and easily see the numbers of remaining materials as you progress. Keep flowers that are easily water stressed—or even all flowers—in containers of flower nutrient solution while you design.

Step 3

Begin with mass and filler botanicals, placing the first stem in your left hand and holding the stem 7 to 8 inches down from the flower head. Place the second stem over the top of the first stem, at a 45-degree angle, at the binding point (where you are holding the stems). Head to the left, stem to the right. Rotate the bouquet a half turn.

Step 4

Continue to place stems of mass and filler materials—yarrow, tulips and Ranunculus—over the binding point. Heads to the left, stems to the right, and rotate the bouquet after each stem placement. Group like flowers together. Trim the stems a few inches after placing every 10 to 15 stems, to keep the bouquet light and balanced as you work.

Step 5

Keep your left hand relaxed, and allow the botanicals to spread outward as you design the bouquet. Maintain the spiral by adding stems only in the direction of the spiral. Raise, lower and rotate blooms to create dimension, depth and airy movement. Finish the perimeter of the bouquet by adding stems of linear botanicals like grasses and Eucalyptus.

Step 6

Bind the stems of the finished bouquet, at the binding point, with self-fusing binding tape, stem wrap, raffia, zip ties or other material of your choice. Avoid binding the stems too high or too low because doing so will alter the shape of the bouquet.

MATERIALS

BOTANICALS

• Tulipa spp. (double-flowered tulip)

• Ranunculus spp. Butterfly Series ‘Phytalos’ (butterfly buttercup, butterfly Ranunculus)

• Ranunculus asiaticus (Persian buttercup)

• Zinnia elegans (common Zinnia, youth-and-old-age)

• Achillea millefolium (common yarrow, cottage yarrow, Western yarrow, milfoil)

• Anethum graveolens (dill)

• Eucalyptus stuartiana/E. bridgesiana subsp. malacoxylon (apple box, apple gum, but-but)

• Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Monlo’ (Diabolo® ninebark, purple-leaved Eastern ninebark)

• Grass Genus species (grass common name, grass common name)

• Grass Genus species (grass common name, grass common name)

HARD GOODS

• OASIS BIND-IT Tape (Green)

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