Floral designer shares tips with garden club

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Courtesy of Allyson Johnson
Katie Chirgotis offered tips on floral arrangements to members of the Garden Club of Los Altos at their March 23 meeting. Chirgotis owns a flower shop and apothecary in Santa Cruz.

Floral designer Katie Chirgotis appeared at the Garden Club of Los Altos’ March 23 Zoom meeting to offer tips for those making their own arrangements.

Chirgotis, an event planner who owns a flower shop and apothecary, Eothen Circle in Santa Cruz, said she prefers airy, open arrangements. In the arrangements she showed Garden Club members, she used sweet peas, various poppies, protea, yellow Banksia rose branches, narcissus, ranunculus, hellebores, sour grass oxalis (Bermuda buttercup) and wild radish flowers.

She cut each stem to a different length, and directed the “faces” of the flowers in different directions. She suggested cutting hellebores after the pollen is off the stamens – otherwise they will wilt. Many flowers take up to a week to open fully, Chirgotis said, including roses, ranunculus and tulips.

Chirgotis never uses floral foam because it is not biodegradable. Instead, she uses chicken wire – coated or not – and cuts a piece large enough to curl extra wire under so that there is more than one level of wire holes available to hold the flowers, place into the container and use clear floral tape to crisscross the top of the container holding down the chicken wire. She suggested also taping around the top of the container to hold down the four edges of tape if the arrangement will be transported. Don’t add water until the tape has set for a while, Chirgotis advised. When using a shallow container, she recommended using a pin frog stuck down with floral adhesive.

New officers

The club installed incoming officers at the meeting. The new slate includes Nancy Shardell, president; Grace Tsang, vice president; Barbara Capron, treasurer; Allyson Johnson, recording secretary; and Lynne McCord, corresponding secretary.

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