How to make the floral basket seen on BBC2’s The Big Allotment Challenge
PUBLISHED: 11:20 09 February 2015 | UPDATED: 11:20 09 February 2015
Derbyshire floral designer Jonathan Moseley is a floral expert on TV’s The Big Allotment Challenge. Here he shows how to create a floral basket using a romantic blend of colours perfect for any celebration – wedding, anniversary or even Valentine’s Day
The floral arrangement Jonathan shows us how to make was the one the nine contestants were challenged to create in the first episode of BBC2’s Big Allotment Challenge after they had grown their first flowers of the series, Zinnias. It’s a country-style informal arrangement in a basket. This lovely natural style of arranging dates back to the first half of the 20th century (up to the 1950s), before floral foam became popular. The design uses chicken wire which was widely used to create all sorts of designs for anything from a wedding to a funeral.
• A lined basket or line a basket with a sheet of polythene or a black bin bag
Step-by-step guide floral basket
As you finish the arrangement, ensure that no chicken wire is visible and make sure you fill the lined basket with water, remembering to add in some flower food.
1. Securing the chicken wire in the basket. To create a base for the flower stems to be held in place, scrunch up the chicken wire and fill out the inside of the basket with it and then secure it to the edge of the basket with support wire.
2. Building it up. Create the outline of the design by covering the chicken wire with filler type foliage.
3. Repeat the overall shape by adding in further ‘filler style’ flowers such as the Astrantia. Cut a few flowers shorter, placing them deeper within the design to create depth. Make sure some flowers are spilling over the edge of the basket to ‘harmonise’ the basket with the flowers.
4. Complete the design by adding in your feature flowers like the wonderful spray roses which are perfect for a naturalistic country wedding. This design is excellent for use in springtime when most bulb flowers are not particularly happy arranged in floral foam, and will live much longer with their stem ends placed in water
5. For a final flourish, add a few stems of delicate grass or frothy Gypsophila
• Chicken wire
• Wire cutters
• Support wire and reel wire
• Florist’s scissors or secateurs and a knife
• Aster (September flower)
• Spray Rose ‘Little Silver’
• Spray Rose ‘Porcelina’
• Foliage – Bupleurum, Carex ‘Sparkler’, Fountain Grass
Jonathan teaches all aspects of floral design at his ever-popular flower school in Derbyshire. Gift vouchers for his courses are available on his website – www.jonathan-moseley.com and he can also be found on Twitter (@jpmoseley) and on Facebook.
The second series of the Big Allotment Challenge started on Friday 2nd January and ran for six weeks on Fridays, BBC2 at 9pm, with the grand final on Friday 6th February – all episodes are available to download on BBC iPlayer.