Your tutor Paula Pryke

Paula Pryke lives in London, England. She trained as a teacher and brings an innovative style to flower arranging. Her work has featured in all leading magazines and her talents are in constant demand. Paula is a successful author of floral art books and also operates a flower school.
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Paula calls this her "New Home Topiary" and with her permission and that of her publishers, it is reproduced here from the Special Occasions section of her wonderful book "Flowers, Flowers, Inspired Arrangements for All Occasions"

İOctopus Publishing Group/Kevin Summers
This topiary tree has an edible theme and makes an ideal gift for the kitchen.

"First assemble your material," Paula writes,"You will need a large sturdy terra-cotta pot as a base, a large dry florist's foam ball (gray or brown), florist's dry-hard clay and some lengths of florists stub wire for wiring some of the ingredients so they can be inserted into the foam and held securely.
Place a lump of dry-hard clay inside the terra-cotta pot, making sure that you fill the pot to approximately 2" (5 cm) below the rim so that the base of the topiary tree is stable. Because of the height of the arrangement, it will topple over if it is not bottom heavy.

Take some giant cinnamon sticks to form the 'trunk' of the topiary tree.Insert the sticks deep into the dry-hard clay while it is still soft and wedge them firmly. The clay will harden quite quickly.
Then wedge a large dry foam ball onto the exposed ends of the cinnamon sticks.I advise using dry-hard clay as it does not expand and there is little risk of the terra-cotta pot cracking.

İOctopus Publishing Group/Kevin Summers

İOctopus Publishing Group/Kevin Summers
İOctopus Publishing Group/Kevin Summers
 Snip the stems of the sunflowers and place them directly into the foam ball so the heads are raised approximately 2" (5 cm) above the surface of the ball. Group flower heads  together so they have more of an impact when viewed from a distance. Add one large dried hydrangea head and some dried poppy seeds. If the natural stems do not hold the flower heads on the foam then you should wire the short stems in order to strengthen them.

Group together bunches of sage, dried copper beech leaves and marjoram or oregano by binding the short stems with wire and inserting into the foam. Take some dried maize, wire one end with heavy gauge wire and insert. wire balls of green tagliatelle and insert (this has to done with care as the pasta may break. Cut the stems of the thistles short and insert them directly into the ball.

Tie some sticks of liquorice into a bundle using a length of stick. Carefully wire balls of pink tagliatelle and add them to the foam. Wire and add bunches of millet.

Continue to cover the surface of the foam, keeping an even all-round covering of decorative material. Infill any gaps- no part of the ball should be visible.If you prefer you can first cover the entire ball with moss pinning it with U shaped pins, this ensures all the foam is covered.

Fill the pot with pistachio nuts and star shaped dried aniseed so the dry-hard clay is concealed."

For details of the techniques used in this design , Paula's book is available here

In Paula's book, Festive Flowers, she adds another idea to her topiary tree technique.The photo on the right, is from this inspiring  and beautiful book 

She says,"This  delicate topiary tree would make a wonderful gift. A cluster of cinnamon sticks has been placed in a weathered treeacotta pot, then a ball of floral foam has been taped on top of the sticks and decorated with hypericum berries, holly leaves, gilded pine cones and roses."

"The general shortage of raw material in winter makes this an excellent time for using long lasting flowers , such as chrysanthemum, carnations, and Dendrobium orchids, You can also gild gold and silver seed heads and twigs which retain their shape in warm rooms as they are already dehydrated, and use ribbon and rope decoratively to make up for any lack in floral colour."
This stunning book is available for purchase here

İOctopus Publishing Group/Jonathan Lovekin

A Wedding topiary

DVD : Sue Speirs, a New Zealand wedding florist will show you how to create large outdoor topiaries as well as all the flowers you need for a fantastic marquee wedding! Review...


DVD:Eileen Gill comes from the Isle of Man in the uk and is an award winning designer and demonstrator. She has put together lessons on the English style of flower arranging so you will learn how to create the traditional oval, hogarth, symmetrical, vertical, assymetrical and crescent designs
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