My Creative Workbook

Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman

The difference between detailing a sprouting stem for a floral design and pruning a stem

Pruning is a rather controversial issue, just like the conditioning of plant material. But for the purpose of this Tutorial I will focus on the cut and not the finer details of the techniques
Detailing is the process of refining and completing the design, whether it is the composition or snipping off imperfections on the stems to look perfect.

Prune As a rule, we prune plants to give them a better shape and to allow it to grow more vigorously and flower better.

Cutting a stem to prune

Use strong, sharp secateurs that is capable of cutting the stem without crushing it. Angle the cut so that is slopes away from the new bud so that any moisture can drain away.

Detailing a stem for a floral design

The goal is to allow for as little as possible visible cuts to show, making the stems look as natural and unspoiled as possible.

Cut away any stems to disapear.

Ugly stems should be cut short so that they are not visible in the design. Carefully lift the foliage away and cut the stem as short as possible to conceal the cut.

The cut is too high

Because you are cutting closer to the bud as when you are pruning you need to take extra care not to damage the bud. If you cut too high up on the stem, far away from the bud, it will cause the stem to die back leaving a shriveled stem visible which can give the impression that the design is already dying.

Cut at a sharper angle as when pruning so that the bud appears to be at the end of the stem

Cut at a sharper angle as when pruning so that the bud appears to be at the end of the stem

Cutting stems for floral art

Always cut the stem away without crushing it. Use good quality scissors, secateurs or a very sharp knife. (See my Tool bag for suggestions) If you find that you tend to crush the stem when cutting try to figure out where you place the most weight. Angle your stem and scissors so that the side that you crush is the side you plan to discard anyway.

Clean your tools with a wet cloth and lightly oil if needed to prevent rust.

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Tutorials

13 April 2012 A secret trick to conditioning new growth

Conditioning new growth and sprouts are difficult because the little sprouts have not had time to fully develop its cellular structure to survive being cut and taking up water on...

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Salix matsudana "Tortuosa"

Curly Willow, Chinese Willow, Tortured Willow, Globe Willow, Dragon's Claw, Hankow Willow

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