MATERIALS: 13.5" cylindrical glass vase; 1 bunch deep-pink anemones; 1 bunch roses 1 bunch peach stock ; 2 branches flowering quince; 2 bunches grapes (1 red and 1 green); floral stakes; floral tape; two large rectangular sheets of contrasting paper (one patterned, one plain); 18' thin ribbon
EQUIPMENT: cutting board; heavy-duty pruning shears; scissors; double-sided tape; ruler
The quince shrub is one of the first to bloom and has come to symbolize the start of spring. If you need to force the buds to flower, branches should be cut on a diagonal with pruning shears and placed in clean warm water in a humid place, out of direct sunlight. When you are ready to prepare the arrangement, determine how tall you would like the branches to be (ours are up to 30" high) and make fresh cuts on the diagonal. Fill cylindrical vase halfway with room-temperature water and place branches in the vase.
Choose firm grapes with sturdy stems and cut into small bunches. Wrap 3/8"-thick floral tape around the stem and stake, smoothing the tape with your thumb as you go and continuing to pull it taut so it sticks to itself, binding the two together. You will need to wrap approximately 1" down the stake to ensure the grapes are truly secure.
Keep flowers tall (roses 15"; stock 20") and remove any ragged upper leaves. Add stems randomly to the vase—they should support each other by crisscrossing in the center of the vase.
Taller bunches of grapes (stakes cut to 20") should go in the center and sit up a bit from the rest of the arrangement; shorter bunches (stakes cut to 15") should be placed on the edges of the arrangement and tumble over the sides.
To make the decorative band that wraps around the vase, you need to create two rectangles using the colored papers: One should be 8" tall and the other 10" tall; width on both should match the circumference of the vase. Use double-sided tape to position the smaller rectangle in the center of the larger rectangle. Place tape underneath each corner of the larger piece and wrap the paper horizontally around the center of the vase, ensuring it is straight before affixing.