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Flower arrangements not that hard

PROCTORVILLE — It doesn’t take a degree in art or horticulture to create floral arrangements for any occasion. It just takes the simple act of doing.

That’s what participants at the lecture on flower arranging at the Briggs Lawrence Library Eastern Branch learned on Wednesday. Conducting the one-time seminar was John Allman, current owner of Village Floral in the village.

Allman, who recently started his current career after working at the pharmacy at St. Mary’s Medical Center, learned much of his craft from his parents who had a floral shop in Sebring.

“This is stuff anyone can do,” he told the group. “You can go out in your garden and pick.”

For any arrangement the first step is to place the greenery first. That can be done using the synthetic foam available at craft or flower shops and simply covering it up with the greenery. Then comes adding flowers, but Allman cautioned that a unique approach makes the better arrangement.

“You don’t want to make it uniform. You don’t want five roses in a row,” he said. “You don’t want it to look like it’s from a factory. I want my work to speak for me.”

What should be coordinated is the floral arrangement with its setting, such as matching the colors of the centerpiece with table linens or china if the arrangements is for a dinner party or luncheon.

“A centerpiece is to enhance your table and your décor,” Allman said.

In the arrangement Allman made for his demonstration he used yellow and white daisies, red roses, pale green mini carnations, bright purple mini carnations and white spider mums. He likes to spray spider mums with paints available at craft shops for extra detail, just as he will dip the tips of roses, carnations and daisies in paints as well.

“I like to put in all shapes, colors and sizes. That gives it a look that you don’t see anywhere,” he said.

Allman also shared some tips of the trade with the group. Lukewarm tap water, instead of cold, in a vase will keep the flowers longer. Using flowers at different stages from tight buds to full blossoms will make the arrangement last.

And after the arrangements has had its day, grinding up the synthetic sponge and putting it in flower beds will mean less watering as the spongy substance holds water longer.