When a church is being decorated for a wedding it is a very attractive idea to have flower balls hanging either in arches or from ceilings or below lights. In small churches there may be very little space for pedestals or large vases, and then this form of wedding flower decoration is ideal. Besides using them extensively at flower festivals I have made flower balls for country weddings with just cow parsley and daisies and they were enchanting. They are also excellent for making visitors look up and appreciate a beautiful roof or carvings.

If you get the mechanics right, flower balls are very easy to make.

Cut a brick of Oasis in half .

Cut a piece of chicken wire. Place on it a half brick of Oasis in a polythene bag .

Fold the chicken wire round the half block of Oasis, secure it and with a stub wire make a loop at the top; hang it on a hook, pulling it down once or twice to make sure that it is secure .

Stuff flowers and pieces of foliage of the required length into the ball of Oasis, making sure that you keep a spherical outline and preferably using some trails of ivy, honeysuckle, alchemilla, cow parsley or other suitable material; when the outline is complete fill in gaps in the centre; you will have to turn the ball round continually with one hand and fill with the other . The ball may be out of reach so that you have to stand on a ladder, in which case you will need a friend to pass flowers and pieces of the foliage to you.

If the balls are to be swung from a great height you will have to make them on the ground and haul them into position later. What I do is to find a place where I can stretch out a piece of string, sometimes between two pairs of step ladders, tie the mechanics onto it, and work from there. Afterwards 1 get a strong man with a good head for heights to hang the balls into position.

I was directing a flower festival at Eaton Bray in Bedfordshire where there is a beautiful church with a very high roof, and we wanted string thrown over the very high rafters to hold the flower balls. Believe it or not an archery champion lived locally and he shot the string over with an arrow. We then attached the completed flower balls to the string on the ground and pulled them up into position.

If the balls are going to hang at a great height, remember that it is the under parts which be seen and are important, while the top halves will hardly be visible. These were rather ugly and we wanted to hide them. One of the local people was a macrame expert and she made a string foundation, similar to the kind used to hang flower pots, into which was inserted the half brick of Oasis in its polythene bag. This method can be recommended for churches fortunate enough to have a macrame expert.

Remember that flower balls must be sprayed at least once a day.

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