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Underwater Floral Design

Floating flowers have become popular for wedding tables, however an Underwater design is a very specific and defined design in competition. Here is the definition used for judging in Australia – “Some part/s are placed under water to create interest by magnification or distortion. Materials placed under water should be chosen for their long lasting qualities and be anchored so they do not float. Transparent container/s necessary. Water may be coloured, however the water line can become a distraction if unsuitably sited.”


Here I have used a single stem of the floribunda rose “Oranges and Lemons” which is anchored in a heavy pinholder (or kenzan) hidden under the rocks and pebbles at the base of this shaped glass container.  It is very important to have your container as perfectly clean as possible – any marks will be magnified by the water.

For these designs I start with the container about one third filled with water. Next step is to place the floral material in the pinholder – you should be able to pick up the design by the stem without it coming away from the pinholder. Place in the container and allow the water to clear (if necessary) before adding the rocks and pebbles to cover the pinholder.

Add another third of the container of water and allow any debris to float and remove. Keeping the water completely clear is paramount to the success of your design.

The definition allows for “some parts” of the design to be underwater so I have added a trimmed palm leaf as an “umbrella” over the rose. The stem is pushed in to the pinholder already in the container.

This design was placed second with the judge very happy that air bubbles were evident along the rose stem, adding interest to the design. It could have been improved by having the umbrella a little lower (almost touching the top of the container) and matching the size of the opening at the top of the container.

For the record, the winning design was individual orchid flowers suspended at random intervals on a fishing line in a tall, narrow container with the fishing line anchored by a decorative lead weight at the base of the container.


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