ROCK SPRINGS, Pa. — Displaying flowers in attractive arrangements can seem like a daunting task to some, but Kathy Shumac, a Penn State professor in the Department of Plant Sciences, thinks anyone can do it.
Shumac demonstrated a crescent-shaped flower arrangement on Tuesday during Ag Progress Days.
A crescent layout is what Shumac calls a “line design,” meaning the arrangement has no flowers along the back or top, only along the front.
Such designs work well on a shelf.
To create a crescent arrangement, you will need wet floral foam and a bowl.
“Any container you have will work,” Shumac said.
In her tutorial, Shumac had a plain green bowl, so she arranged her greens to cover most of the bowl. However, she said if you have a nice container, you’ll want to arrange the greens so the bowl is visible.
Shumac said to make sure the moss is damp before placing the flowers.
“If you keep it moist, it’ll last a long time,” she said.
Shumac used ferns as the base for his greens, but said there were plenty of options, including tree leaves and hosta leaves.
Don’t be too particular with the greens, she says. Their main purpose is to cover around 75% of the moss, so spend less time with the greens and more time with the flowers.
The height of the flowers should match the size of the bowl and should be about 1.5-2 times the length of the bowl.
“Make it big and make it beautiful,” Shumac said, adding that it’s important to leave space between flowers so that each flower can be seen.
For the crescent shape, you want to start by placing a flower at each end of the shape, then place one at the center focal point.
Once three dots are established, you can complete the arrangement and connect the dots.
The focal point should have the biggest, brightest flower with the best colors. It should also have more flowers than the two ends and should use what you consider your “best flowers”.
Shumac said to make sure the different flower types and colors are mixed throughout the design, and while working you should choose the arrangement to look at it from all angles.
Once the greens and flowers are placed, you can add filler plants.
Shumac used goldenrod, but another common filler is baby’s breath.
Shumac suggested using button mums, which are green in color. The green flowers will help bring out the colors of any other flowers on display, she said.
Flower arrangement is a matter of personal preference, she said, adding that you should use flowers and designs that you enjoy.
Shumac’s finished arrangement was displayed at the Master Gardener’s stand for the remaining Ag Progress days.