I've been working on phasing out the use of floral foam at the shop and have been really enjoying the results from using alternative mechanics.
Developed in the 1950's, floral foam revolutionized the floral industry by introducing a product that holds water and supplies it to the cut flowers placed into it, allowing florists to use low or unusual shaped containers.
Unfortunately, however, the foam is made from a chemical mix that does not decompose, so is filling up our landfill sites, and somewhat more alarmingly the foam is believed to be carcinogenic. The foam in its dry form ( which is how it is stored in a flower shop) throws up large amounts of chemical dust into the air and that toxic dust has been strongly associated with types of cancer, especially lung cancer.
So what is a florist to do, when the industry norm is a scary environmental and health issue? well, I've moved back to my floral training and returned to the oldschool mechanics of days gone by- chicken wire and flower frogs!
Another oldschool florist trick is to use a flower frog, the type I use in the shop most often is a pin frog. These are just genius.
I find the shape and flow I can achieve with chicken wire and pin frogs is so much better than with foam, creatively it feels much more organic and artistically challenging, if that makes any sense at all!
There are also ceramic and metal flower frogs that are almost like little pots with holes in, many florists collect them as they come in so many amazing formats....I think I may have found a new obsession to collect myself!.