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 My first work of floral art!
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Check the table behind the front
counter to see these vases!

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Flowers serve no purpose in our lives. The natural world needs them and they are used to ensure the survival of their species, but they are of no use to us. Still we have managed to create a significance and a need for flowers. They symbolize not only beauty, but also a multitude of other meanings.

If you’ve been to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, I’m sure you’ve noticed several of the arrangements in the Visitor Center. At the Gardens, we value our appearance and want to portray beauty throughout our whole premises. The floral arrangements are one way of doing that. Flowers brighten up any room; they bring life to a dull space and add a touch of art where there was none. You can create beautiful floral arrangements by putting cuttings in plain water or by using a product called oasis. Oasis is also called floral foam and can be either wet or dry. At the Gardens we use wet floral foam. It soaks up water like a sponge and has a structure that is similar to that of plants so that the plants are able to absorb the water from them.

I’ve always seen vases and floral arrangements, but I’ve never actually created one. Diane, one of the staff horticulturalists, revealed to fellow-intern Montana and me that we would be in charge of all the floral arrangements inside the building. Montana wasn’t as thrilled about this opportunity as I was. I was pretty excited. I’ve always been a pretty creative person and finally got the chance to see if I have what it takes. In choosing flowers and foliage, we must choose plants that have abundance or will not show thinning. Montana and I walked through the gardens and just cut random plants. We really had no plan when we were collecting, we just kind of saw something cool and cut a small amount to try it out. When cutting to better preserve the flower, it’s best to immediately put it in water and then sometime re-cut the stem under the water. 

After you collect the cuttings, you then arrange them in the most creative design possible. You will typically need some amount of height to offset the vase size. You can create a fuller effect by adding foliage as well as cut flowers. Some people like simple designs, while others like outrageous ones; the choice is all yours.

-Kristin Neill, Horticulture Intern (July 29, 2013)