Florist Oasis is one of the most versatile florist tools in existence. Yet despite this, it is often misused.
Failing to use this product correctly can have disastrous effects, however, with the right guidance and a little practice, green-fingered connoisseurs can make it one of their go-to implements.
The secrets to using floral Oasis
First things first, you’ll need to master wetting the foam. With its open-celled structure, this foam is extremely lightweight and fragile in style, and as such, should be handled with care. If not, the tiny cells will become damaged.
Using a capillary action, these cells are designed to pull water in when dry, whilst simultaneously pushing air out the other side. When wetting the foam, avoid trapping air inside any of the cells!
For best results, lay the dry foam block on the surface of a basin of water. This basin should contain water that is as deep as the thickness of the block. Wait a minute or so for the foam block to sink, by pulling water in from the bottom and pushing air out from the top.
One tip involves using an antiseptic solution (as opposed to water alone) to fill the block. Normal water can sometimes encourage bacterial growth, reducing the life of the floral arrangement used in the block.
Fitting the Container
Choose a container and place the floral oasis inside this vessel. You may need to cut it to size. When doing this, remember the foam block will be much heavier when wet. To hold the block in place, use a crisscross of floral adhesive tape.
If using a tall container, it’s important that the foam is sized for a snug fit, without being overly tight. You’ll need to leave a small gap around the edge of the container to add more water at a later date.
If you wish to showcase stems hanging over the edge of the container, you’ll need to allow the foam to extend at least 2 or 3 inches above the rim.
Cutting and Inserting Stems
When using Florists Oasis, it is imperative that that plant stems are securely wedged into the foam. This will guarantee water transfer from foam cells to plant tissues.
Cut all stems at a sharp angle, making a clean cut – this will allow for a smooth transition into the foam. To evade intrusion of air, make all stem cuts under water. If you’re struggling to trim the stems due to thorns, remove these. Asides from being a nuisance, they can damage the floral foam. Another good tip to remember is to never pre-punch holes into the Florist Oasis.
How to insert plants into the Florist Oasis
Measure one to two inches of stem and gently insert the plant into the foam, making sure you’ve placed it in upright. If placing the stem horizontally, place the cut surface on the topside of the stem. This will prevent the bloom from drooping.
Before placing stems into the Florists Oasis, it’s important to estimate their lengths. Use only enough foam to house your chosen number of stems – too much and the design will appear sparse. For example, three to four inches of foam rising above the containers rim would normally hold a total of 30 stems, with each stem enclosed no more than two inches deep!
Prior to placing stems in the Florists Oasis, it’s a good idea to create a plan on paper. Note down where you intend to place the stems and also, what design you intend to create. You don’t want to poke the foam more than once, as this will damage the cells.
In modern-day designs, the foam sometimes appears visible, however, it should never appear distracting. If you can, you should always aim to hide the foam in its entirety, in order to create a neat, aesthetically pleasing design. If this is impossible, trim it efficiently, eradicating any excess foam – making sure it’s not needed for the structure.
It’s important to remember that once the Florists Oasis has been soaked in water, and dried completely, you won’t be able to re-wet it. For ease, and especially if you’re creating a lot of displays, you can store wet, unused foam in the fridge, in a zip-lock bag.
Other uses for florists Oasis
From creating beautiful centrepieces to running wall designs, floral foam can also be used to house fake flowers in DIY flower arrangements. Create a unique design by placing a small piece of floral foam in a goblet or brass wine glass.
Insert an array of fake flowers on wire sticks into the Florists Oasis to create a pretty bedside table ornament – and one that doesn’t have a vase life!