Curious Lola

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:

 

You’ll 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.
  • Bindwire
  • (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.

CLICK HERE FRIEND, FOR THE GOOD STUFF!   THIS INCLUDES THE PRICING DATA!!!

THE FLOWER POSSE!

I think you’re going to love this wall.

Thanks for reading!

🙂

 

How to Make a Glorious Springtime Bouquet

“Don’t make things ugly.” This is really the only rule we have at Lola Creative, unless we’re going for ugly-pretty or ugly-scary/cool. But when it comes to bouquets for weddings, pretty-pretty is the minimum. What we really try for is more like, “HOLY HANDFUL OF DRIPPING EARTHLY MAGNIFICENCE!” – or something of that nature.

My first bouquets were barely pushing pretty-pretty. Mainly because I learned from the You Tube. My roses weren’t fully open, flower diversity was so-so, and the shape looked like my bouquet had been squeezed through my sweater sleeve. This changed while on a business trip to New York. I snuck out of my then ‘real’ job to take an intro bouquet class at the New York Botanical Garden. I learned a couple of simple tricks to get a full bouquet that looks like each flower could just continue on growing. We’ll go over that at our GARDENESQUE BOUQUET WORKSHOP. Register here.

But today we’ll just breeze over some terms for different types of flowers and how they are working in this bouquet, inspired by St. Patty’s Day.

bouquet

And here are the yummy, American and Lower Left Canadian flowers.

flower spreadOur flower classification is similar to others you may have seen but relate to their job in a bouquet.

Base: These are flowers we start out with, I typically start with three. Their main purpose is to support the other flowers ON TOP OF THEM and be a barrier for flowers around them that want to squeeze into the center. So don’t get too attached to them because you aren’t going to see very much of them. They are back up dancers. Now you could use them also as secondary, but I did not.

Focal: This is the one or two flowers to drool over and often the most expensive. We don’t want too many. These are typically near the middle and typically one is smack on top of my base flower so it has maximum room to stretch out and be fantastic.

Secondary: These are flowers to add color and build your bouquet out. They go all over the dang place. I typically choose one or two types.

Sprouties: These are flowers that are smaller and hover over the other flowers giving it some movement and lightness. For gardeney bouquets I use a lot of these and place them throughout. The stems need to be longer than your base and focal flowers. Sprouties can be flowers, pods, or small, delicate foliage.

Foliage: Here I use a few foliage to get a good garden variety. the rigidity and loveliness varies. For example, the box, which goes a bit unnoticed is rigid and will help keep flowers from squishing in and can help in supporting big floppy flowers. The delicate geranium is used a bit more like a feature because of its graceful arch.

Drapey bits: Not shown in the image above is drapey bits like the pieris, Placed near the outer ring or along the outside, they will make the profile of your bouquet look fab, add grace, and an elegant drippy quality.

Special bits: These are the pieces that I add last, after most everything is secured and I’ve had a chance to inspect the bouquet in a full length mirror. I then decide where these go to bring focus and character to where it needs it.

And THAT, flower friends, is the anatomy of a gardenesque bouquet. sign_up. for our bouquet workshop on March 28th to put all this good stuff to use and play with some of the lushest flowers and foliage our local farmers have to offer.

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