Designers & Power Tools

powertools-1Something you might want to know about designers is that they’ll go to almost any length to complete the look they want. So when I had a lovely young woman ask me for 55 feet of garland around the front door of Tryon Palace, I said no problem. That was before I knew that we couldn’t start until 2pm and the wedding was at 6pm. So I knew that the option of putting the garland together on site was impossible. I needed to come up with something that was finished for the most part, off site, and find a way to put it up in a small amount of time.

I’ve designed many garlands mainly of greenery with hidden sources of water for the fresh flowers. When you get off the ground and try to work with something that flimsy, it tends to turn and twist, making it very difficult to handle. I decided we would have to work with something rigid, so I thought back to the time when I was first learning about the mechanics of flowers, studying under Kenneth Turner in London. He did everything with chicken wire! So I decided I would find something rigid, but not too heavy and attach chicken wire stuffed with moss as my base. Once I knew how to construct it we had to figure out how to get it up there.

powertools-2I knew we were working with something large and we didn’t have a lot of time to set it up. There were steps below the area where we intended to hang the garland, so ladders wouldn’t work well on the stairs. Luckily, there’s a wonderful rental place in the next town over, and they said they would rent me a 40 foot lift AND they would deliver it. But then we had to figure out who would operate this thing… of course, our man man, Chester.

At the appropriate time, we drove that thing to the front of the palace and grabbed the first piece of garland. It attached perfectly to the top of the eave and the next two pieces when up without a hitch.

All I can say is measure once, measure twice, and measure again just for fun. And yes, designers and large power tools do mix.