photos by Mary Fowler
After our March General Meeting, about a dozen members, led by Bonnie Grenney and Martha Veldkamp, gathered in the charming brick house where Plum Sage Flowers resides. Owner Erin Hornstein gave us a short history of her business, told us about her resolution to keep up on continuing education, and then gave us a fun recap of her recent trip to England with her crew of assistants. There they had a fascinating workshop with Philippa Craddock, the designer of the opulent and beautiful flower arches at Prince Harry’s wedding.
Erin showed us Philippa’s new technique for supporting copious quantities of plant materials on vertical surfaces with a sturdy metal framework and support devices Philippa has dubbed “mossages,” as in “moss sausages”! These devices are vertical columns made from rolls of chicken wire loosely stuffed full of sphagnum moss. They are zip-tied to the metal frameworks, along with some large buckets of water, and then all the plant material is installed onsite.
The most notable aspect of these supports is that they are completely reusable and sustainable. Oasis floral foam, which we now realize is incredibly persistent in landfills and harmful to groundwater, was not used at all in these beautiful flower-laden arches. The large bunches of greenery were inserted through holes in the chicken wire and kept in place by the moss. Flowers were inserted in reusable flower tubes (and taped firmly to the tubes,) then also firmly supported in the “mossages.” After all is disassembled, the metal frames and the “mossages” can be reused. “Mossages” can also be placed in shallow water trays and used horizontally for lush tabletop displays. What a great way for us to go green and reuse our materials for multiple arrangements!