Ways Of Holding Stems In Flower Arrangements

An enterprising flower arranger will soon discover that other types of stem-holders can be devised, according to the style of arrangement being planned. For example, in glass, so that they can show through prettily and also perhaps add a little extra colour when flowers are scarce, coloured marbles, beads, aquaria stones, small coloured pebbles and seashells can be used for firm stems or they can hide a central column of stem-holding netting or plastic.

Some stem-holders are extremely simple but have to be tailored for the arrangement being planned. These are wedges made of strips of wood or portions of twig stretched across the mouth of a container. They are useful when you want to hold just a single stem in place without its support being obvious. You can also support a few stems, in a Japanese arrangement for example, by using this method.

The Japanese used both crossed and forked sticks which they call kubari. These are always cut from living twigs so that they are pliable. Crossed twigs are merely two pieces fastened cross-wise at the centre with raffia or twine. Naturally the finished kubari of either type should fit tightly into the mouth of the container and it sometimes takes a little time to determine the correct dimensions of theoasis-fix twigs. However, if you place a tiny piece of OASISFIX on the end of each twig you will find that it is much more likely to stay firmly in position. The stem or stems are held in one or other of the angles formed by the cross. Crossed stick kubari are best used if the flowers are to lean or flow out from the container.

The Y-shaped, split or forked kubari are made by splitting a stem just part of the way up its length. As a rule it is necessary to wedge in a little extra piece to force or keep the two arms of the Y apart. And to prevent these from splaying too far it is best to determine the required span and then bind the forked ends with raffia to keep them in place.

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