Parkland Garden Club says, ‘You Can Do It’
Parkland Garden Club recently hosted guests for a program called “Floral Design: You Can Do It” at the Parkland Community Library, South Whitehall.
Trieste Blasko of Schnecksville and Barbara Campbell of Lower Macungie, co-chairs for the garden club garden tours, captivated their audience with stunning floral arrangements that made the room smell like spring.
“This was the first time either one of us have done a hands-on presentation like this,” Campbell said.
“The purpose of the program was to help our audience feel more comfortable arranging flowers,” Blasko said.
Both Blasko and Campbell won awards for their floral designs at this past year’s Garden Club Federation of Pennsylvania’s State Convention.
Blasko is a hairdresser for Hair Razors, Schnecksville. Campbell is a retired schoolteacher from Parkway Manor Elementary School, South Whitehall.
“I love flowers and believe you can design an arrangement in absolutely anything,” Blasko said.
“I have been a PGC member for over 40 years, including the role of president at one time, and garden tour co-chair for 19 years” Campbell said. “I have always enjoyed the beauty of flowers.”
Blasko and Campbell prepared several arrangements during their talk which included circular arrangements, potential centerpieces, a “design with nine” (nine plant elements), and a “Topiary” (a tall arrangement with a tree like effect).
They made their arrangements in baskets, glassware, coffee mugs, and even the bottom half of a cup.
At the end of their discussion, each design was raffled off for their audience to take home.
The flowers they used to make the arrangements during the presentation came from “Bonnie’s Flower Boutique” in Allentown.
“When making a flower arrangement, you can use oasis,” Blasko said.
“Oasis is wet foam that soaks up water like a sponge. It helps preserve the flowers and acts as a support to hold them in place. But it can never be reused.”
“Make sure however high your oasis is, the water is going to cover it when it sinks,” Blasko said. “Never try to push your oasis in your base because it can create air bubbles.”
“Smaller flowers should be placed on top and larger flowers on the bottom. When cutting flowers, do it at as sharp an angle as you can because you want them to drink up as much water as possible.”
Campbell then addressed the group.
“When establishing your design try to keep certain elements in mind,” Campbell said.
“These include the texture of the materials you are using, the shape, the form and amount of space, and the line. The line helps create a center and a purpose for the design.
“Try to determine where you want to put your flower in the design before you use it.”
Blasko said conditioning flowers before starting an arrangement is also important.
“Cut off all the leaves off from each flower you plan to use because they can create bacteria in the water,” Blasko said.
“After removing them for conditioning, place the flowers in an area with cooler temperatures, you do not need to refrigerate them. Try to have each flower sit in water for at least a day.”
Campbell said the best time to cut flowers is early in the morning or late afternoon.
“Placing a net over a flower can help prevent it from opening too soon,” Blasko said. “Make sure to remove the net when you start making your arrangement.”
Campbell noted netting is often found on flowers when you buy them.
“Try to save it for future use,” Campbell said.
“When making your arrangement stepping away from it will give you a better perspective for placement of the plant material,” Blasko said.
“You can think outside of the box with flower design,” Campbell said.
“It all depends what you want to do. And if you are having difficulty coming up with an idea, use your resources like a magazine or a floral design book at the Parkland Community Library.”
Blasko said color wheels are great tools to help pick complementary or contrasting colors,”
“When choosing your flowers bring one along,” Blasko said.
To learn more about the garden club, call President Randy Wenhold at 610-366-2008 or go to parklandgardenclub.simplesite.com.