Flora Foraging

Crafts From the Past | Episode
Jun 7, 2022 | 8 min

Florist Katie Adams not only shows us the techniques behind creating the perfect floral arrangement, she also demonstrates how foraging for your flowers and other objects can bring unique beauty to your project. Follow along with her in the Crafts From the Past episode above where she creates a beautiful arrangement from a variety of foraged flora. Step-by-step instructions, tips and tricks and a little dose of history are below. 

Foraging Basics

Foraging is the wide search for food and provisions to feed, entertain and inspire. Decorative foraging is the art of creating earthy, visually-striking arrangements using various foraged plants or other naturally-occurring objects. Foraged arrangements can be used for the table or hung from a wall or ceiling.

Foraging History

Foraging is largely associated with gathering food, but has also been used as an art form related to floral design since the beginning. Decorative foraging has an extremely long history, from Greeks and Romans using flowers in wreaths for celebrations to Native Americans using foraged items as symbols, gifts and offerings.

Tools and Supplies

  • Permission to forage on your selected property
  • Snips or shears
  • Gloves
  • Bucket
  • Lazy Susan
  • Chicken wire
  • Container or vessel to hold your arrangement
  • Information on protected plant species and noxious or invasive plants in your area (Contact your local extension office and DNR for more information)

Step-By-Step Arranging Instructions

  1. Roll your chicken wire into a tube-like shape to fit inside of your vessel.
  2. Prep your plants by snipping off any foliage from the bottom half of your stem or branch — the foliage should not be inside of the vessel itself.
  3. Add your greens and filler first before moving onto statement pieces.
  4. Slide the stems within the chicken wire for a secure hold.
  5. Keep your piece visually balanced by using various unique pieces with similar underlying elements, such as a type of wood or a specific color palette.

Tips and Tricks

  • Take walks and spend more time outdoors in order to take note of what’s growing near you.
  • Don’t be afraid to mix foraged items with purchased items, if the piece calls for it.
  • Keep your snips sharp and clean.
  • Use clean water in your foraging bucket.
  • Forage for your pre-determined container.
  • Keep texture, color, height and shape in mind when looking for things to forage.

Artist Spotlight

Katie Adams is the owner and florist at Stuart Flowers & Gifts in Stuart, Iowa. She has always had an interest in floral design and loves adding color to peoples’ life events. Katie and her husband Jeremy live outside of Earlham and enjoy weekend rides in their Model T.