Slow Flowers Summit – Flower Wall Demo
Hello, hello! Today I want to show you a super cool new way to build a flower wall. We built this beaut as a communal building experience for this year’s Slow Flowers Summit attendees. If you haven’t heard about it, read about it here. Need I tell you that its foam free? No, I do not. Of course it is!
We’ve used this flower wall technique in the past for Seattle’s 2016 Art Fair; where it wowed outside during a hot, sunny August day in Seattle (hot and sunny DO happen in Seattle, we just don’t tell you about them). The point is, it holds up in heat, is pretty easy to construct, and is more sustainable than a van full of foam. This particular construction is strong enough to be stacked into an enormous wall. You can see such enormous wall stacking and construction of this in video from last year’s ART FAIR if you click here!
PS, if you are here looking for FLOWER WALL PRICING AND SPECIFIC INGREDIENTS, we are giving that away to folks who want to be part of our email flower posse. There’s a link at the bottom.
But back to our flower wall demo. About a month ago, I had the privilege to speak at Seattle’s first Slow Flowers Summit. Have you ever had a communal experience where you are surrounded by inspiring people and all you can think is “YASSSS, These are my people.” And suddenly it’s all you can do to NOT throw your arms around complete stranger and babble like you’ve been friends since you were 13? Like you ARE 13?!
This was one of those times. My talk was about Reinvention. But we also were asked to demo this wall. Really THE wall. We got the royal treatment as the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, SUOT farms and Alaskan Peonies donated buckets of flowers. Ehem, did I mention that we got the first cut of Alaskan Peonies, which were then airplaned (is that a verb? … is now.) with their human caretakers. These peonies were larger than my face, and my brother says my face is large.
For Flower walls, we use two methods. This one is the “moss and cage” or the “moss sandwich”. Our other go-to wall is a bioboard wall. We demo that soon. Stay tuned for a DIY video on how we made the Queen Bee’s backdrop, which is equally excellent but is useful in a totally different way. Here’s a breakdown of why you would use each wall..
Now that you get the basics, lets get your materials together! For this moss and cage wall, you will need:
- (3) Lumber 2in x 2in x 8ft
- Drill and bit
- A roll of chicken wire
- Zip ties
- (2) 4 x 6ft display grids, we got ours from Grand and Benedicts but you can find them at any retail display fixture store. If you are in a city, you probably have one.
- (5) bags of moss
- Wire cutters
- Saw (human powered or otherwise)
- Flowers, flowers and more flowers!
- 2 saw horses or a table. This is easier to build horizontally
Step 1: Wrap the Grid
Cover one side of each grid with chicken wire.
To get an idea of how this will look, try imagining the structure like a sandwich. The “condiments” (chicken wire) will be on the inside of the bread (the grid) to hold in the meat (the moss). For us, two long pieces of chicken wire was just the right amount to cover one side.
Starting with one piece of chicken wire, secure it to the grid with bind wire. Make sure you weave around the perimeter and throughout the middle. This keeps it from slipping or bulging. To save some bind wire, I cut a couple 3″ pieces and did little twist ties in random spots.
Step 2: Measure and Cut the Spacers
We are going to use the 2X2s as spacers, this ensures your thickness is uniform. We are going to pack in the moss but the spacers ensure that if there is a thin/ or dryer spot, the face won’t warp. It’s also critical if you are making a wall that is larger than your grid size (like in that video).
Measure the length and width of your grid. Cut your 2X2s to size. Remember to cut your short ends to account for the width of the longer pieces. We will want the shorties to fit inside the long pieces. All spacers should be attached Under the perimeter of your grid.
Step 3: Drill the Spacers and Zip Tie to the Grid
Choose a drill bit that gives enough room for one zip tie to slide through.
Next, drill a hole about two inches from the end and then continue to drill a hole every 4″ or so.
Once they’ve been drilled, attach the wood spacers to the grid by securing a zip tie through every other hole.
Step 4: Repeat on Other Grid
Cover the other grid with chicken wire as you did in Step 1. You won’t need spacers on this one, just the chicken wire. This will be the top piece of ‘bread’ to our sandwich.
Step 5: Moss It Up and Close the Sandwich
We’ll be adding moss to the grid with the spacers, so you may need to switch your setup now.
Grab your 5 bags of moss and get to town! Don’t spread this sparingly; pack as much moss in as you’ve got. Its very important that this is thick. You want your stems to be lodged in the moss and hydrated. Too loose and your stems may stay but they won’t get as much hydration.
Once every area feels full and even, lay the other grid on top of the moss. Grab more zip ties and connect the spacers to the top grid. Try adding one on one side then adding one on the opposite side for an even and super tight grid. Ensure your zip ties are rotated to the outside of the spacer- so your top grid can be cinched down right on top of the spacer.
Step 6: Water and Flower Prep
You’re almost done! Have someone help you move this outside or somewhere you don’t mind getting a lot of water on the floor. “Is it heavy,” you ask? Yes.
Take your hose and drench the whole thing so that every area is dripping water onto the floor. Do it a few more times. You’ll want to give the moss a chance to really absorb as much water as possible. You can also pre-soak your moss before adding to the grid. That way you have full moss absorption but it is messier. We went for the less messy option this time.
Prep your flowers, cutting the stems to about 3″-4″ long.
Step 7: Make it a FLOWER Wall!
Add in those darn flowers and foliage and consider yourself a Flower Wall Extraordinaire! The moss should keep it moist for a full day and probably longer, but I would test it in your neck of the woods to be sure.
Although not necessary, you may want to build a boarder around it as we did with leftover bio-board and some wrapping paper.
Some additional notes:
- Timing: You can make this in advance but I would add a bit of flower glue to each stem to be sure it doesn’t dislodge in transport. I typically add greens in the shop and add all the flowers in on site.
- We’ve done this wall 3 times and I am ALWAYS impressed with how long the flowers last. They typically look great the next day and most of the flowers still look great days later. I include some images of what the flowers look like after two days squished in my hot van after the summit. You will be amazed. I am still conservative in adding flowers too far in advance but . I would urge you to test a patch in your area.
- Super thirsty flowers may not be a good idea for this wall type- though you can always tube your flowers and that works well. Particular species that I don’t use in this wall are Hydrangea, raspberry foliage, sweet pea, or any other herbaceous, soft stemmed flower or foliage.
- How much does this cost? Simply put, lots. Sign up for our Flower posse and we’ll go over that. If you’ve liked this information, you’ll like what you get as a part of our inner circle.
THE FLOWER POSSE!
I think you’re going to love this wall.
Thanks for reading!
A Letter to Spring- From A Restless Moth Fairy- Photoshoot
Dear Springtime and Sunshine,
Not sure if you know, but it’s time to wake up, shake off the rain and get to shining.
These ups and downs of weather have me feeling a little restless. If I’m not able to get outside and play in the sun soon, I may develop a hunchback from all the slouching.
My house is feeling less ‘inspiring nest’ and more ‘bat cave’ by the day. I need to get out of here. Like all the flowers, I am straining my neck toward you, I’m looking for you, and I’m tired.
Springtime? Sun? Are you guys not talking to each other? Did winter not set the clock for you?
Since I saw you last, I planted all my bulbs, read stories to all my bulbs, told them all about you, and now they are waiting for you, too. I’ve dusted my special things, I’ve made this crazy chandelier with all the gifts you gave me from last year.
I arranged flowers, I baked you treats, and still you don’t come.
I sent you an invite to my tea party, yet still you don’t come.
I just want you to know that I’m ready. Bring on the gardening, flower tending, humming under fresh leaved trees, twirling in the grass, let’s do this!
With so much love and affection,
Enjoy these goodies from our recent Moth Fairy Shoot this Spring. This is part of our new endeavor to bring you inspiring (sometimes weird) shoots paired with DIYs for some of the pieces we’ve included. Be inspired, then build your own. You like this concept? Fantastic! Sign up to be sure you get all of them in your inbox:) See the links to the specific DIYs at the bottom.
Hey, We made videos of how to make FOUR items in this photoshoot! Perhaps you’d like to see?
Thank you to all the folks who partnered with us on this shoot!
Hair and Makeup Offwhite Makeup and Beauty
Furnishings: Vintage Ambiance
Photography, Creative Direction, Set and Props, Styling, Floral: Lola Creative for Curious Lola
Gorgeous Local Flowers: Seattle Wholesale Growers Market
DIY Floral Frame Video for Your Wedding or Event
This quick DIY floral frame is a reusable piece that will surprise and delight your clients and their guests. I love this piece because it can be whimsical or romantic. It can be giant, or small and sweet. AAAAND my toddler can’t knock them off the table as he does with every other vase that enters my house.
For events, it will leave your guests blathering on about how clever you are.
Go ahead and watch our video if you’re wanting a more detailed version of this tutorial.
Lets get started!
- measuring tape
- (4) pipe straps
- (4) test tubes or party shot glasses
- wood, fit to the size of the shortest side of frame
- (2) screw eye hooks
All of these items can be found at Home Depot or your local hardware store. One note to add, when hanging this up we used the (2) screw eye hooks and some twine.
To begin, fit a pipe strap around a test tube and place it close to the center of your frame. Drill in two screws to each side. Continue to do this with the other 3 pipe straps and test tubes.
Next, we drill the piece of wood to the opposite side as a spacer so that the frame sits straight on the wall.
Finally, hang up your frame, fill the test tubes with water and throw in those flowers!
Thanks for building this DIY Floral Frame with us. I know it will wow at your next event.
As always, don’t forget to take a picture of your floral frame masterpiece and tag us on Facebook, Instagram (@lola.creative), and Pinterest (LolaCreativeCo)! Stay tuned for more DIY tutorials that we feature in our Subterranean Moth-Fairy photoshoot and SUBSCRIBE!
Here is how we used it in our recent photoshoot.
And this is pretty much how I feel right now if the rain doesn’t stop. Srrrrsly.
Wall of Flowers & My Trusty Sketch Pad
For the last two years I’ve been providing floral arrangements for Seattle University. The best part is, I get to put down my bouquets, throw on my utilikilt (not really), pull out my sketch book, and construct something large. 20 feet long by 10 feet tall to be exact. This time, it is… THE WALL OF FLOWERS! (sorry the photos are a little grainy)
This post is not so much to show you how neat the wall was, but really to bring up a communication medium that should be promoted. Sketching. I use it daily to communicate since words, when spewn from my mouth, take on a kitten-thrashed yarn ball quality. I don’t notice this happening to others as often, and it may just be my own perception. But, many times I find myself staring at a client, mouth ajar, words smacking into each other in my head, but none floating to the top. These are not hard words. I’m talking about words that I had probably used several times that day, like progress, or notify, or discuss…stapler. Luckily, I have a pen, paper, my hand, your napkin, to pick up where my brain checks out. (By the way, this also means I am a champion blind-drawer, and have an uncanny ability to spell backwards during bouts of Cranium… This also means that if you are a person who likes to fill in the blanks, we will probably get along great).
So I’d like to share with you the humble sketch for the Wall of Flowers and its associated gooey verbal description in dialog form.
Seattle University Client: “So what is this going to look like?”
Me: “Kind of this sandwich trellis thing with one side colored another color so when you look at it sideways you get a glimpse of another color with flowers in tubes stuck around in splotches a couple of places that’ll kind of fade out like whoooosh. Maybe they’ll join together but maybe not.” (I want to point out that I am 30 years old, not 5) “I’ll draw something up for you” (ding ding ding)
Seattle University Client: “Ah, I see, you are hired.”
(Thank you trusty sketchbook!)
And then we follow up with a more detailed version…
One exciting bonus: During wind storms, the tent wall behind the Wall of Flowers would smack the backs of the flower tubes and send them flying out of the wall. This resulted in the renaming of the wall to the Suicidal Flower Wall.