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Using Floral Foam Effectively Print E-mail
1)     Choose the right foam for the flowers you are using. Generally, green water-retaining foam is for fresh flowers and foliage, whilst the brown stiffer foam is for dried or artificial flowers.

2)     Always soak your foam in a bucket or large bowl - never under the tap as this can leave dry spots inside the foam which can't be detected from the outside. This can cause stems to wilt. Fill your bucket or bowl with fresh water, then drop the foam onto the water. Allow it to take up the water naturally (this takes only around 20 seconds for today's modern foams). Do not push the foam under the water. When the top of the foam is level with the surface of the water, take it out immediately and allow it to drain. Oversoaking can cause the foam to break up in use.

Floral Tips3)     For traditional arrangements, always cut your floral foam so that it is about 1" higher than the rim of your container. This allows plant material to be arranged more naturally, with some stems flowing down to the sides and front of the arrangement. If the foam is level with the rim of the container, then you can only arrange your stems sticking upwards, resulting in a stiff, unnatural look.

4)     When pushing stems into the foam, make sure that the bottom of the stem stays in contact with it. This means that if you push a flower in too far, don’t just pull it up, as this will leave an air-pocket under the stem, causing it to wilt. Always start another hole.

5)     Keep the foam supplied with water daily. Plant material uses the water stored in the foam, and once this has dried out, the flowers will wilt.

6)     When using anchor tape to secure your foam into position, try squeezing it together as it passes over the foam - this will make it narrower and give you more room on the foam. How many times have you tried to insert a stem, only to find tape?

7)     If your floral foam fills the rim of the container, there will be no room to add water without it spilling over the edge of the container. You can get round this by cutting a V shaped notch in the foam before inserting it into the container. It will then be easy to pour water into the notch without it spilling over.

8)     Although it's tempting, never re-use foam. If your foam already has holes from a previous arrangement, then you could be putting your stems into thin air! This will create an air lock under the stem, causing it to wilt.

9)     If you have soaked your foam, but find you have more than you need, then keep any left over foam in a plastic bag until you need it. Once soaked foam has dried out, it becomes very difficult to soak again. If you're really desperate, then soaking the foam in very hot water will help it to take up the water again.

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Florist Tips

Flowers are great for improving ambiance and can be used to create some remarkable decorative effects - especially when used in lieu of traditional home décor items. Instead of curtains, why not try a row of simple vases holding your favourite flower stems? Or, for art, how about hanging a vase of flowers instead of a watercolor? Now you get the picture. Don't just limit yourself to the living room... have some fun!


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