Calla Lily Arrangement
Source: The Martha Stewart Show, April 2008
These tender, herbaceous, and aquatic deciduous perennials are native to South Africa. They can be planted in a greenhouse that has a minimum temperature of 50 degrees or outside where climates are mild. They are mainly grown for their attractive, large flower spathes, which are usually produced in the spring and summer.
Carefully unwrap the calla lilies. Hold each between the forefinger and middle finger of your nondominant hand, and gently pull the fingers of your opposite hand down each stem to shape it into a straight line or an elegant, very slight curve. Stack the shaped flowers as you work so you can see that they will align well with each other.
With stems this long and flexible, it may be nearly impossible to select a strong, straight stem to serve as the starting point of your arrangement, as you normally would with the Hybrid Tabletop Technique. Instead, you may find it easier to adapt your method a bit and begin by shaping four strong stems to start, choosing two that curve naturally to the left and two that lean to the right. Lay them in position on your work surface.
Begin building your arrangement in accordance with the Hybrid Tabletop Technique, carefully adding flowers in a straight, elegant line, placing each according to whether it naturally leans to the right or to the left. Remember, the dome shape of the final bouquet will happen naturally, so there is no need to force them into a round dome.
In a pyramid-like formation, nestle the blossoms in between one another. Once a certain width is established, build a second tier. Keep the flowers symmetrical, tops flat. Keep building. Place the stems in a way so that they fit into the grouping. Don't force them or try to balance them rigidly.
Eyeball the height of the case you intend to use. Holding the stems in place with your nondominant hand, use a florist's knife to cut them all flush. With an arrangement this large, you may find it difficult to twist the stems in your hand. Either enlist a partner to help you with them -- each of you holding the arrangement in both hands -- or simply maneuver them into your vase and coax them into a bit of a twist as they come to rest.
Caring for Calla Lily Arrangements: Put them in a vase half filled with lukewarm water and some flora. Change the water completely and clean the vase every three days. Keep the arrangement away from heat and cold.