Sexy you say!? Yes, yes it is!
The use of chicken wire in floristry seems to have gone out of fashion somewhat of late. But I am on a one woman mission to correct it.
I do realise that chicken wire is not really a sexy topic, but it really is the most wonderful tool, and one that we are fools not to use more. It aids in the creation of those beautiful, loosely gathered, country style arrangments, that look so effortless, yet which many find it a struggle to achieve, and allows you to be more sparing with both flowers and foliage as it supports a shape immediately. It is also great for all those spring and summer flowers that drink heavily, and those with soft stems, like tulips, and sweet peas.
My little sister is a bit of an Eco Warrior and I do realise that those of you who share her sentiments may be harbouring some concerns that the use of chicken wire isn’t green. All I can say to you fabulous folk is that, yes in a sense you are right, the making of chicken wire is not a green process, nor is the final product if it is used frivolously, as like so many things. However, it is the most sustainable of all the other options out there. Unlike floral foam chicken wire can be re-used again and again, and allows the flowers to drink naturally. In my opinion it should always be your first option when a basic structure is needed for an arrangment.
Chose a sheet of wire with generous holes in it, 2.5 to 5.0cm is best. The amount you will need depends entirely on the size of your container. Too little and the shape will wobble about giving little support, too much and it will be hard to fit your stems through, which could damage them. Take you’re time over finding the right size and securing it, as you only need do it once, although I tend to leave my wire in containers I use repeatedly. Be careful of you’re fingers while fiddling about, and once you’re done tuck the sharp ends under, this will also prevent damage being done both to your container and yourself.
Once you’re done you’ll need to tape it in place. I use a little floral pot tape, which is truly incredible stuff capable of holding pretty much everything, and securing your wire in four places around the edge of your container. Then fill your container with water, and you’re ready to start your arrangment.
Sweet Peas are a perfect example of a flower that loves to be arranged this way. The chicken wire holds their stems in a structured shape while giving the arrangment a majestic elegance. It doesn’t feel clustered, but free and graceful. This arrangement is so easy, but the results are utterly breath taking, and can be done on any scale.
(Images – By Bethany)