For something a bit different, I thought I’d take a minute to write a post on underrated flowers because let’s face it, everyone already appreciates the spectacular blooms!
As a florist, working with different blooms is part of the program. We cannot only work with the blooms we love, because at the end of the day, we aren’t the customer and we need to create what our customers want and love. Aside from that, in order to have a successful business you need to ensure your staff are using the material at the correct retail price and costing arrangements properly, rather than giving away your profits by slipping an extra stem in here and there. Equally as important is ensuring your stock is being carefully rotated. We always try to stick to the first in, first out mindset so you are being mindful of your usage and not leaving stock to the side only to throw it out. You can also be sure that you are not selling stock that is too old when you stick to this method.
Underrated flowers have there place certainly. When you begin your studies as a florist, you are taught about the importance of picking a strong focal flower, but in order to create a cohesive arrangement you also need line flowers and transitional flowers.
Transitional flowers lack the ‘punch’ of a focal flower. That is not to say they are not attractive, because they certainly are. Where a focal flower has (usually) a single, eye catching bloom, a transitional flower generally has clusters of individual flowers on the stem. Transitional flowers are used to fill in spaces between the focal and line flowers.
Transitional flowers are like the chorus line in a show. Without them, the show just would not be complete, but in many ways they are not the ones you are there to see. Their job is to support the stars of the show, to make them look their absolute best. Some examples of transitional flowers include asters, chrysanthemums, babies breath, spray roses, stock, Queen Anne’s lace, Geraldton was, lisianthus, Tea Tree, hellebores.
Focal flowers, the show stoppers, are the ones you pay to see. But let’s be honest, a vaseful of peonies or Columbia’s roses would just cost a crazy amount. Aside from that, without transitional flowers or foliage in an arrangement these expensive, special flowers will not sit beautifully in a vase. They will not be spaced out, each with enough room to garner the attention they deserve. Instead they will be sitting in each other’s space, leaning on one another unsupported.
Focal flowers are spectacular flowers like peonies, disbud chrysanthemums, Columbia’s roses, lilies, gerberas, crab claws.
Line flowers creat movement throughout an arrangement. They guide your eye so that you can appreciate the whole design. Examples of line flowers are liatris, amaranthus, heliconias, orchids. Often you use them to direct the movement within the arrangement, and therefore use their natural shape to guide you in that.
Many flowers that were thought of as pretty drab and uninteresting a few years ago, are being reinvented. Babies breath, which people used to turn their noses up at the suggestion of, is now used as the feature flower of some displays. Entire arrangements are made with it in fact.
So whilst in a traditional arrangement the role of these flowers was to support the star of the show, some are now pulling quite an audience of their own. Check out the following images of so-called transitional flowers holding their own.