Create an elegant French twist in about 20 minutes

The secret: keep turning the bouquet to make it fuller
Jill Slater and Lauren Bonar Swezey

TIME: 20 minutes

COST: $20 to $35 (depending on the number of flowers purchased or picked from the garden), plus bowl

NOTE: Use flowers with long, strong stems, and mix blooms of different colors for a carefree, country-garden look.

Add green foliage for accent and texture. Supplement garden flowers with florist's blooms as needed.

MATERIALS AND TOOLS

  • Flowers, about 55 stems (we used yellow 'Peace' roses, peach spray roses, feverfew, orange-red bouvardias, blue brodiaeas, and others)
  • Foliage or grasses (we used hypericum, oregano, zebra grass)
  • Shears
  • 2 yards of waxed floral string or raffia
  • Scissors
  •  2 yards of decorative ribbon
  • Low, round bowl

DIRECTIONS

  1. Separate flowers and foliage into piles by variety; lay each pile flat on a table.
  2. Gather and twist the stems as shown in the photos below.
  3.  Using sharp shears, cut all the stems to the same length.
  4.  Recut the center stems about 1 inch shorter than the outer ones (this helps to ensure that the bouquet will stand up easily).
  5. Tie all stems together with string or raffia, just below flower heads, then tie a decorative ribbon around the bouquet to cover string. Spread the stems with your fingers so the bouquet will stand up.
  6.  Place the spiral bouquet in a low, wide bowl filled with water.