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Flowers for your festive table

Durban - Creating a floral piece for your Christmas table is easier than you think. We asked Greg Baptie, who heads the School of Floristry in Springfield Park, to show us how.

Christmas wreath

An African flower arrangement. Picture: Gcina NdwalaneRectangular table arrangement step 1. Picture: Gcina NdwalaneRectangular table arrangement step 2. Picture: Gcina NdwalaneRectangular table arrangement step 3. Picture: Gcina NdwalaneRectangular table arrangement step 4. Picture: Gcina NdwalaneChristmas wreath step 1. Picture: Gcina NdwalaneChristmas wreath step 2. Picture: Gcina NdwalaneChristmas wreath step 3. Picture: Gcina NdwalaneChristmas wreath step 4. Picture: Gcina Ndwalane

1. Buy a circular piece of oasis from a florist and place cypress or big ivy leaves around the sides, making sure to hide the inside of the wreath.

2. Cut the stems of the roses at a slant to about 10cm and place at an angle in the top of the oasis. Intersperse fresh flowers with artificial, and add coloured Christmas balls.

3. If you are making an Advent wreath, place candles in the oasis before positioning the flowers.

4. Thread thin, shiny ribbon through the arrangement, securing with wire “hairpins”. You can also add battery-operated fairy lights for an added festive touch.

African Christmas

1. Place oasis to fit into a container that fits inside a pot.

2. Use various seed pods, calabash heads cut in half and painted orange and placed on a skewer, various sticks painted orange (like pine cones and cinnamon sticks).

Rectangular table arrangement

1. Choose a rectangular container or platter. Cover the base of a block of oasis with cellophane so it does not mark the container.

2. Insert the greenery into the sides of the oasis, making sure the cellophane is hidden from view. Place a candle in the top.

3. Cut the stems of the roses, at a slant, to about 10cm and place into the top of the oasis at an angle. The flowers should look as though they are growing out from a central point. Fill in with artificial flowers (below right).

Tips

1. Soak oasis in a bucket of water before arranging. Do not push it into the water as that will create an air pocket in the middle of the oasis. If a stem is placed in the pocket, moisture will be drawn out of the stem into the oasis. Be very careful not to get oasis into your eyes as it will be painful.

2. A table arrangement should not be higher than 30cm.

3. Intersperse artificial flowers with real ones to save on the cost of fresh flowers.

4. Use greenery from your garden.

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