Using Wire Netting In Floral Arrangements

It is always wise to measure the netting correctly because this saves one from having to begin all over again which can sometimes be the case if the stems are not being held as efficiently as they should be. Generally the netting is cut only to the size of the area of a container in which water is held. When cutting netting for a tall pedestal vase cut it twice the depth of the bowl-shaped portion; usually it is safest to allow one and a half times the width. Remember that it is always better to have a little too much netting than too little, for some can easily be taken away.

Bend the netting into a U and then squash it so that it will go into the container from floor to rim. Stems are inserted through it at all angles. Pull up some of the cut ends because these can be used for several purposes. They can anchor the netting in a highly-glazed container in which it tends to slip. Or if a tall and heavy stem has to be pulled from the vertical to get the effect you want it can well be secured by these cut ends, which can be hooked around it at the point where it rises above rim level. Sometimes three or four of the cut ends are required in slightly different areas; it is surprising how effectively these will hold a really heavy stem.

Where you hope to arrange several tall, heavy stems it helps to cut a larger piece of netting than usual and to bring it above rim level at the back of the

vase. The stems are then inserted through this protruding netting before they actually enter the container. They pass on down into it and are held really firmly. Other materials arranged in front of them later will hide this little piece of simple engineering.

Let the cut ends help: A similar method can be employed when the opposite types of materials, soft, floppy stems, are to be used. In this case cut a little more netting than is necessary and bring it or flute it out over the rim of the container at the front and sides. The stems can then be directed into the container but actually supported on the netting. Not a great deal of overlap is necessary, sometimes no more than I in., but naturally it depends upon the size of the arrangement and the materials in use. Any cut ends near the rim of the container can be used also to pin certain stems in place. They will pass without harm into the thick mid-rib of a leaf. They can be used to coax stems to hang low and to keep other pendant stems just where they are wanted. But if there seems to be no real reason to use them, just ignore them.

Once you have used netting you will grow to appreciate the many ways it can be employed to overcome certain problems. At Christmas time the same netting can be used to make foundations for garlands, swags, Christmas trees and many other topical decorations.

So far as glass containers are concerned wire netting is an essential. If a small piece of netting—a sphere or an egg, according to the shape of the aperture—is inserted into the neck of the container, it will hold a mass of stems quite well, whatever the shape and size of the container. Once again cut ends can be hooked over the rim to keep the netting well anchored. Some can be extended upwards at the back or over the sides as seen earlier.

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