Glass Act: Keith Robinson’s Summery Florals

Keith Robinson of Gloriosa in Atlanta demonstrates a summery floral design using vibrant colors of the season
summer flower arrangements
Keith Robinson of Gloriosa in Atlanta creates a summer flower arrangement incorporating glass, tomatoes, and oranges in bold summer colors.
Keith Robinson of Gloriosa, Atlanta
Keith Robinson of Gloriosa, Atlanta

My inspiration for this design was my collection of turquoise art glass, the color of which just says summertime! Vibrant color is such a strong summer statement, and orange is probably my favorite expression of the season. Varying shades of orange blooms with pops of yellow mimosa are the perfect contrast to the bright blues and greens of the art glass. Because I am also a gardener, I like to incorporate something grown in the vegetable garden. Here I have chosen heirloom tomatoes, whose colors and whimsical shapes lend themselves well to the overall effect.

summer flower arrangementMaterials

  • bicolored ranunculus
  • caramel antique garden roses
  • David Austin ‘Juliet’ roses
  • mimosa
  • orange gerber daisies
  • orange chrysanthemums
  • blood oranges
  • striped German heirloom tomatoes
  • yellow heirloom tomatoes
  • yellow pear tomatoes

summer flower arrangementSupplies

  • a collection of turquoise and green art glass
  • a florist knife
  • shears
  • raffia

Summer Flower Arrangement, Step-by-Step

summer flower arrangment1| Before creating the three hand-tied bouquets for this design, prep the stems of your roses, ranunculus, and mums by removing leaves and thorns as necessary.

summer flower arrangement2| After removing the foliage, take a look at your roses. Most garden roses open well, but sometimes a bit of gentle, manual coaxing helps to create the fullness you want.

summer flower arrangement3| Now it’s time to create your table arrangements. When starting a hand-tied bouquet, I find it helpful to lay out the flowers in groups at the front of my work surface.

summer flower arrangement4| Adding one stem at a time, turn the bouquet in your hand as you work so that the stems spiral around the center.

summer flower arrangement5| The center of the bouquet is your “crown.” Working around as you spiral, make sure the shape of your “crown” is balanced and uniform.

summer flower arrangement6| When adding flowers, include some small buds of the ranunculus last so that they won’t get lost in the mass of the bouquet. Insert them directly into the “crown” of your bouquet, and then pull the stems down gently until the ranunculus buds are right where you want them.

summer flower arrangements7| Then simply tie off the bouquet with raffia underneath the “crown.”

cutting hand tied arrangement8| Next, cut the stems of your bouquet to a uniform length, keeping in mind the height of the vase. A well- constructed bouquet will stand on its own, so give it a try on your work surface. (Repeat steps 1-8 for your two remaining hand-tied bouquets.)

summer flower arrangements9| Once your three finished bouquets are placed in vases, it’s time to add the mimosa. Process the mimosa by separating and snipping small pieces before adding each piece directly into the vase around the “crown” of your bouquet.

summer flower arrangement10| Continue to fill in the mimosa all the way around the edge of each vase to create a collar for each arrangement.

summer flower and fruit arrangement11| Once your collars are complete and your containers are in place, it’s time to add the details. Cut a neat spiral of a blood orange peel, which is easy to do with a very sharp knife.

summer flower and fruit arrangement12| Arrange the tomatoes and oranges to best show colors and contrast, and to create balance in your vessels.

summer flower and fruit arrangement13| And finally, finish the look by adding any remaining pieces of the glass collection. Here, I added a couple of glass orbs for effect.

summer flower and fruit arrangement
The finished centerpiece features three summer flower arrangements in bright oranges and yellows along with bowls of tomatoes and citrus.

“We all collect something! . . . dishes, teapots, pewter, cloches—just to name a few. Any can be the inspiration for a design like this, which shows the collection in a new way.” –Keith Robinson

By Keith Robinson

Photography by Erica George Dines

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