Double Purple Stock suddenly becomes a Violetta corsage when arranged in a circular cluster around a contrasting triangular grouping of Sweetheart Roses. Although the finished appearance seems complex in detail, it is actually simple to fabricate and assemble.
Dark colored Stocks live shorter out of water than do the lighter shades. So, you might submerge the flower heads in water for two to five minutes after the florets have been wired and taped with Floratape ® stem wrap. A sufficient amount of water will be absorbed to keep the flowers crisp for a longer period of time. In general, the more water a flower has in its cells when prepared and assembled, the longer it will last. Commercial flower dips and sprays if used correctly may also prolong freshness.
- One large spike of Double Purple Stock is sufficient for the Violetta corsage. Begin by removing all florets, leaving a small stem on each. Wire florets using a half-length of No. 26 or No. 28 gauge wire. A pierce method is the correct way to affix wire stems (Figure 1). Overwrap all wire stems with Floratape ® stem wrap using the appropriate color. To fix the wire to the floret, pierce through the lower portion of the floret. The short end of the wire is wound around the small stem of the floret leaving the longer wire to be used as the wire stem.
- Three Sweetheart Roses, preferably the pink variety, are wired using again the pierce method through the calyx. Wire with No. 24 gauge wire, and tape the three stems to form one single central grouping.
- Arrange the prepared Stock florets around the central stem grouping in a wheel-like fashion, adding additional rows to increase the size to a desirable proportion. The gathering point of all the stems should be directly behind the three-rose grouping (Figure 2). Remember the Stock florets are added so that the corsage face is slightly up and forward and not straight up, and the stems should be pointing downward (Figure 3). The face of the corsage should be kept quite flat and not too rounded.
- Wire a sufficient number of Geranium leaves or Salal leaves using the generally accepted stitch method. Tape in the usual manner with the correct color Floratape ® stem wrap (Figure 4). If Salal leaves are used, it is necessary that the points be trimmed to a circular pattern. Position the leaves directly underneath the edge of the floret grouping (Figure 5). Cover the back of the corsage with prepared leaves completely, keeping the back flat and neatly formed.
- Bind all stems securely at the hub position immediately underneath the grouping of prepared leaves. Only a thin wire binding is necessary to hold all the stems together. The individual stems are kept as single stems instead of overwrapping the entire grouping of stems. In this particular case, individual stems cut at irregular lengths provide a more attractive and natural effect for the Violetta corsage.
- A ribbon bow is not necessary; however, if the customer desires the addition of a bow, select a suitable color of a narrow width and best quality satin or velvet.
A corsage that wilts before the end of the evening does not speak well of the artist who makes it or the shop that sells it. When each floret or flower head is given a wire stem and taped with florist's Parafilm ® wrap, moisture is sealed in. This will help prolong the life of a corsage. Taping stems with Floratape ® stem wrap also ensures each flower will remain securely in place as designed.
To avoid the possibility of Floratape ® stem wrap coating transferring to dress materials, gloves or suitings, overwrap a portion of the combined stems (the attachment point) with a satin ribbon. Overwrapping stem groupings or bouquet handles may prevent undesirable, embarrassing situations. A prestige or personalized corsage or bouquet will usually have the stems overwrapped with a satin binding.