My Creative Workbook

Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman

Diamond Jubilee Waterfall

To commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee and the 20th Anniversary of Friends of Government House Gardens Society a Horticultural event was hosted in the gardens and Great Hall of Government House in Victoria, Canada entitled British Columbia Blooms.

Floral Art Design Waterfall.

I staged a design in class 1 Waterfall.

Driftwood perched on a river pebble for my waterfall design.

As a mechanic I securely spiked a petrified piece of driftwood to a river pebble to look as if it is precariously perched on the edge of a waterfall.

Floating water stream hanging from a piano wire

To create the illusion of a free flowing and floating water stream the entire design falls from a single, thin but exceptionally strong coiled piano wire threaded through the wood. The piano wire disappears completely next to the bright royal purple sisal fibres, orchids and vines when placed against the grey backdrop. This single wire and driftwood had to carry 1.7 kg of glass, water and plant material!

Floral art design for Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee.

The top part of the design is tumultuous and swirls of rosary vine and passion vines with tendrils curl around the driftwood and up and over Phalaenopsis orchids before peacefully spilling down the front of the design.

Vines and orchids floats down the waterfall in glass seahorses.

Each vine stem and orchid floats in the stream and down the waterfall in its own tiny glass seahorse. I used 68 water filled seahorses in the design. I also added clear beads to some of the flax fibres to reflect light and pick up on the clear glass of the seahorses.

Miniature Phalaenopsis orchids in the water stream top part of the design.

I used miniature Phalaenopsis orchids in the water stream top part of the design to add perspective. The smaller orchids appear to recede further into the background advancing the waterfall part of the design dressed with larger orchids to the front.

Tones of blue and purple also add to the aerial perspective of the design.

Tones of blue and purple also add to the aerial perspective of the design (the further things are away from your eyes, seen in natural light, the more blue-purple they appear to be) and it is the colour associated with royalty and nobility in human colour psychology. To observe the Diamond Jubilee theme I wanted to make sure the entire design appears to be wrapped in a misty haze of royal purple.

Singular threads of royal purple sisal fibers and grey green ripped flax fibers.

I glued hundreds of singular threads of royal purple sisal fibres and grey green ripped flax fibres to curl up, over and around the top of the design and then delicately float down the front to follow the orchids and exactly match the vines.

Royal purple toned rosary vines and flowering passion fruit vines.

The rosary vines were exposed to direct sunlight weeks prior to the show to make sure they have a vivid royal purple tone. I also grew the purple flowering passion fruit vines without a climber support to encourage extra-long blue purple tipped tendrils to add to the movement of the tumbling design.

Royal purple orchids and closed drop shaped passion fruit buds.

Three slightly different tints and tones of purple Phalaenopsis orchids hang down the waterfall part of the arrangement to give the design the illusion of depth. Cooler light tinted blue purple orchids hang from the back strands and appear even more distant than the warmer toned red purple orchids hanging down the front. True royal purple orchids, the same colour as the closed drop shaped passion fruit buds, the rosary vine and sisal fibres hang from the center strands.

BC Blooms poster.

Thank you to the Friends of Government House Gardens Society for the opportunity to design in the historical Government House building in British Columbia’s beautiful capital Victoria.

I received a ribbon award for my design

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Tutorials

28 December 2011 Macramé inspired hanging test tubes

When I hang these delicate glass bubbles I want to make sure they are really secure. By slipping them into Macramé inspired knots they are not only hanging securely but the...

25 August 2011 Placing orchids in test tubes

Cut the Phalaenopsis orchid with a bit of green stem attached. This will make them last longer.

14 January 2011 Ripping Flax

Flax can be ripped into fibres creating long and versatile strips

16 May 2012 Stringing pearls

Long blades of thin grass or ripped flax are ideal for stringing decorative beads

3 January 2011 Syringe with tube

Easy way to fill test tubes and easiest way to remove water from a vase

16 August 2011 Fast way to fill a lot of test tubes in awkward places

I do not believe in arranging flowers without a water source of some kind. I want my flowers to remain as beautiful for as long as possible and I often get quite creative to...

26 June 2012 Berry dye for sisal fibers

Soak sisal fibres in strawberry and black berry juice to stain it purple

26 June 2012 Driftwood precariously perched on the edge of a pebble

Wire and glue the driftwood at an angle to balance on a pebble

Favourite Flowers

Phalaenopsis

Phalaenopsis, Moth orchid

Ceropegia woodii

Rosary vine, Chain of Hearts, Collar of hearts and String of hearts

Passiflora

Granadilla, passionflower, passion vines

Phormium

Flax, New Zealand flax

Related Designs

9 September 2015 Fall Treasures

A sisal mat armature for fall twigs flowers and leaves

23 March 2016 Celebrate!

A closer look at my design at the 20th anniversary of Canada Blooms and The Toronto Flower Show

25 May 2016 Half the Fun

Cut a cabbage to create a design platform

23 November 2016 All things Autumn (by which I mean all things chocolate): Another perspective

This was the third design I did in my "All things Autumn (by which I mean all things chocolate)" floral art demonstration

22 March 2017 Biomimicry

A design demonstration and workshop at the Floral Trends Design group in South Africa exploring how we emulate nature’s best biological ideas to solve our modern day design...

22 March 2017 Biomimicry Demonstration and Workshop at the Floral Trends Design Group, South African Flower Union

Looking at how we emulate nature’s best biological ideas to solve our modern day design problems.

22 March 2017 Biomimicry Demonstration and Workshop video

Looking back at the preparations and my Biomimicry design demonstration and workshop at the Floral Trends Design Group in South Africa

29 March 2017 A Twirl

Suspend a wire chandelier design to twirl

3 May 2017 Oh just...

Braid a few twigs to dance around your flowers

31 May 2017 Let's hang out

Skewer some Eucalyptus to suspend between the orchids

31 January 2018 Rock, don't Roll

Balance the heavy Protea flower head to lean against a rock.

23 May 2018 In Summer!

A contemporary cascade of rosary vine and dried petals.

10 April 2019 Just Like Wisteria Rain

Craft a ethereal design from twigs and wisteria flowers