Helpful Hints

Getting Started

Photography tips for online classes: 

  • Sending feedback for a picture of an arrangement is challenging since what we see in your photo may not be what you see “live”.
  • Put your arrangement in front of a blank surface. A cluttered background makes it very difficult to see and appreciate an arrangement. No blank walls? Try hanging a sheet over a door and placing a small table in front or using a large piece of foam core as a back drop.
  • Take the picture straight on and check to see if branches are crossing or things have moved.
  • Back away from the subject to keep the arrangement within the plain backdrop. Crop out the excess.
  • Can you see the mizugiwa in the front view of a shoka or rikka arrangement?
  • How is the lighting? Sometimes an extra lamp or flashlight can help. Have the shadow fall on the shady (in) side of the arrangement
  • For shoka arrangements please a front, side, and mizugiwa views
  • For jiyuka/freestyle send a front and one side view (to show depth), as well as other views if the arrangement is meant to be seen from different directions



Working With Irises


Conditioning Poinsettias


From Jeanne Holy sensei, Ikenobo Prairie Illinois Chapter:

Poinsettias need to be conditioned in hot water for at least a couple hours and better yet overnight. They are a little finicky so cut extra. Stems will either die or if they condition then then they will stay for a very long time.

From Randi Sandbu, an Edmonton member:

Poinsettias release a milky sap when cut, even at the spots where leaves are removed. The traditional method is to cauterize the cut end of the stem by holding it in a candle flame for a second or two.

A new method is to dip the stem in denatured alcohol (flammable so don’t use next to a candle). You can use a q-tip to dab alcohol on the spots where leaves were removed, too.  They can last as long as two weeks, but it does vary with the variety. The red ones seem to be long lasting.


Tips For Wiring

Preserving Hydrangeas