My Creative Workbook

Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman

Well Rooted Sprouting Willow Weave

Willow with roots on it

Place willow stems in deep water so that the roots develop. Choose a few stems that are fairly straight.

Measure and cut the willow stems to fit in a shallow glass container

Measure and cut the willow stems to fit in a shallow glass container

Place five stems in the container

Place five stems in the container. Alternate the side with the roots to distribute.

Choose three more stems that are thinner with well developed new growth

Choose three more stems that are thinner (and more flexible) with well developed new growth

Weave the stem through the rooted stems

Weave the stem through the rooted stems

For more details on weaving follow the Tutorial below

Weave in the next stem

Weave in the next stem

Weave in the third stem

Weave in the third stem

Carefully wiggle the stems closer together

Carefully wiggle the stems closer together in such a way that you do not damage the roots but create a strong weave that will not loosen up when you start to manipulate the longer stems

Make sure the rooted weave fits tightly in the container

Make sure the rooted weave fits tightly in the container. It should be securely kicking against the sides of the vase but not so tightly that it breaks the glass.

Start to manipulate the branches.

Start to manipulate the branches.

For a more detailed Tutorial on manipulating stems look at my links below

First bend the willow branches at a very sharp angle to point straight up

First bend the willow branches at a very sharp angle to point straight up. Go slow so that you do not break the branch. The branch need to still be able to take up water to keep the new growth well hydrated

Then slowly manipulate each branch to flop over to the front of the container

Then slowly manipulate each branch to flop over to the front of the container without breaking the twigs or damaging the fragile new growth

Overlap some of the twigs

Overlap some of the twigs

New growth is very difficult to successfully condition and if you went through all the trouble to develop the roots and grow the new growth make sure to detail the design to show that to its best

Cut away any dead twigs so that the design looks perfect

Cut away any dead twigs so that the design looks perfect. This is especially important if you use new growth in your design because dead twigs or wilted leaves can give the impression that the plant material was not adequately conditioned or that the design is already dying

See the Tutorial below on how to condition new growth and how to detail plant material

Fill the container with water

Fill the container with water

Make sure that each stem has access to the water

Make sure that each stem has access to the water so that it remains hydrated

Scoop out any loose roots or foliage that dropped down in the water

Scoop out any loose roots or foliage that dropped down in the water

Every week I add a new design with related tutorials. Be sure to subscribe to receive an email notification with design inspiration.

Tutorials

8 June 2011 Foliage Weaving

For this tutorial I focus on a simple weave pattern that does not require you to soften or prepare the leaves to be more durable or flexible. This is the starting point in...

28 January 2015 The difference between detailing a sprouting stem for a floral design and pruning a stem

Give the stem a closer cut to detail for floral art

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...

19 February 2013 Manipulating stems: Snapping at an angle, Bending, Spiraling, Curling and Straightening

Most stems, twigs and even sturdier branches can be bend into shapes. It takes practice and more than a bit of patience. The main idea is to slowly manipulate the branch without...

Related Designs

28 January 2015 In a State of Flow

weave some willow to use as an armature

27 January 2016 Well, I'll be

Manipulate fresh willow stems to create a sprouting armature for long tulip stems

22 November 2017 How do squirrels Cache a tree?

Hoard a few acorns in the fork of a twig to show off a single oncidium orchid.

17 January 2018 Flowering Between a Rock and a Hard place

Create a subtle contrast by floating or anchoring some of your design elements.

14 March 2018 Old, new trends

My article and willow birdcage design for wedding rings featured in DIY Weddings Magazine.

4 April 2018 Grow on it

Wedge twigs into a vase to create a grid.

14 November 2018 For just this moment… let’s take a break

Simplicity to showcase the perfection of the Lisianthus buds

16 January 2019 Every. Single. Week.

Stand tulips upright in a shallow container with a suspended twig armature.

13 February 2019 Pick Love

Craft a willow heart to display 12 red roses to celebrate Valentine's Day.