Aids to Flower Arranging and Basic Arrangers’ Cupboard

ATOMIZER OR FLOWER SPRAY

This is used to spray water onto plant material.

BUCKETS

The most useful buckets are green plastic florists’ buckets, which are light and which stack easily inside one another. They come in two sizes.

STRIPPERS

This is a gadget used to strip off thorns and surplus leaves. It looks rather like a pair of sugar tongs. If placed just above the area which you want to strip, and pulled downwards, it will in a flash remove whatever one wants removed.

STONES

Some heavy stones can be very helpful and it is as well to have a collection of them. Plastic containers are splendid but have the disadvantage that, being light, they are not very stable. Accordingly, before I arrange flowers in one I first — before putting in the chicken wire — place one or two heavy stones at the bottom of the container, which will prevent it from overturning.

WATERING CAN WITH LONG SPOUT

A watering can with a specially long spout is essential for topping up vases and in particular for reaching through flower material in order to fill up cones.

ARRANGERS’ CUPBOARD

The arrangers’ work will be more efficient if an area can be set aside in the church where all their equipment can be stored in safety. Most churches have a corner where a large cupboard or shelves can be made available for the arrangers’ sole use. In some large churches it may be convenient to have a cupboard in one place and to keep the pedestals and large containers in another area. In such a case it is helpful to identify as, for example, ‘Vestry cupboard’ or ‘bell tower’ each place where equipment is kept, and for items always to be returned to the right place. Otherwise time is wasted while church members trip to and fro to various corners of the building in fruitless searches. I have

It is helpful for a flower guild to build up a basic arrangers’ cupboard and I believe that the following list will provide a useful guide.

Contents of cupboard:

A variety of containers suited to the building’s needs A pair of pedestals

At least two old dust sheets

A large sheet of polythene

Roll of 2-inch-mesh chicken wire

Stub scissors

Stub wires

Reel wire

Secateurs (wire cutters)

Dust pan and brush

Large watering can

Small watering can with long spout to top up cones, etc Six cones

Several blocks of Oasis. (If space is available, it is more economical to buy it by the box. Sometimes a local florist will sell it to you, but you may have to buy it from New Covent Garden Market.)

Several buckets (preferably the plastic ones referred to above) A kettle for use in conditioning flowers (and also for restoring arrangers with ‘cuppas’!) A hammer (for use in conditioning)

A knife for cutting Oasis

Two large heavy pin-holders

Atomizer (flower spray)

The items listed above should meet the needs of most churches, except on the occasion of flower festivals, in which case it may be necessary to borrow from neighbouring churches. There is usually a very happy spirit when churches help each other out at various times.

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