how to create a rustic spring bouquet

I am delighted to share some tips and tricks I learned at a floral workshop presented by Antonia Georgas of Ruby Slipper Floral Design.  To celebrate the start of spring, and all the lovely flowers available, Antonia taught us "straussing" - the art of making a bunch of flowers in your hand.  I am delighted with how mine turned out and will definitely be using this technique again!  Skip down if you want to find out how or just enjoy the pictures of my lovely bunch on my kitchen bench top.

How to make your own rustic spring bouquet.

Selecting your flowers:
Antonia recommends using 1 primary flower, 2 supporting flowers, and a filler.
In our bunches she selected ranunculas (primary), jonquils and Japanese anenome (supporting), and pieris (filler).
Getting ready:

  • Strip stems of leaves, twigs and older blooms. 
  • Lay the stripped flowers in bunches by type on the table.
  • They need to be ready to use and easy to get to as you will only have one hand free once you begin.

The Straussing technique:

  • Start with a stem of your primary flower and lay it across the palm of your left hand (swap hands if you are left handed).
  • Next select a supporting flower and lay that across the first stem with the flower slightly to the left of the first stem so that its stem crosses the first one from left to right.
  • Continue adding flower stems, alternating the varieties as you go, but make sure each stem is added across the bunch at a slight diagonal from left to right.  This achieves the diagonal stem effect you can see in my photos.
  • Vary the height of the flowers to create a looser look.  It looks a little strange in the beginning but will make sense as the bunch grows.  I raised every 5th or 6th stem I added so that the flower was higher than the previous one.
  • Turn the bouquet in your hand slightly as you go.  Holding all the flowers in one hand feels awkward at first but gets easier as you go.
  • Once you are satisfied with your bunch tie the stems securely with twine and trim the stems to an equal length.
  • I snipped the twine once I had put my bouquet in a vase and made the arrangement slightly looser, personal preference really.

There is really no wrong way, with such a lovely combination of flowers your bunch is sure to turn out just lovely.
If my description doesn't make sense why not do your own workshop with Antonia at her store in Paddington.   I will be back for more, next time I want to learn how to use succulents.  

Top Tip

  • Keep water in vases clean by adding a spoon of sugar to the vase before filling with water.

I have tried to show my bunch from every side so you can see how lovely it looks from every angle.  I think it is one of the prettiest bunches I have ever arranged myself and I will definitely use this technique again.  

Thanks Antonia, it was a lovely way to spend a Saturday morning.  

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