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Bart Hassam: Designing with Foliage

Australian floral designer Bart Hassam was Interflora World Cup winner in 2019, triumphing at the competition in Philadelphia. He was back once more in 2023, not to compete but to present two demonstrations and a masterclass, showcasing his distinctive style or as he describes it ‘creating beauty through plant material with elegance and style’.


Getting the Bart Hassam Look.

Bart’s designs are characterised by clean lines and plenty of green, a bonus in the winter months when fresh flowers are at a premium. His work epitomises the expression ‘less is more’; this pared-back approach means that it takes perhaps just one or two choice flowers to add the final, finishing flourish.


Sleek containers and a limited colour palette are also essential to achieve this very individual look and we are so excited to be able to share with you some before and after pictures of Bart Hassam’s designs from the World Cup in Manchester.



Australian Natives

Bart also brought with him a selection of native Australian foliage, manipulated versions of which formed the base of his structural style. The Floristry Trade Club just had to find out what they were!


Koala Fern (Caustis blakei)

A sedge in the Cyprus family, found exclusively in Australia with vibrant green, dense fluffy foliage. It is exported both fresh and dried, all over the world.


Nearest UK equivalent: Ming fern (Asparagus umbellatus)


Emu Feather (Caustis flexuosa)

Also in the same family, Emu feather has long, straight stems and feather-like green foliage with bronze flecks. A useful filler foliage, especially where bulk is required.


Nearest UK equivalent: Tree fern (Asparagus virgatus)


Goanna Claw (Caustis recuvata)

The third in this Australian trio, Goanna claw has light green curled foliage. It is very robust and can be used to support other foliage and flowers in garlands and large structures.


Nearest UK equivalent: Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus)


Didgery Stick (Baloskion pallens)

An upright reed, green with brown banding, Didgery stick is ideal for structured designs, it can also be woven or cut into smaller pieces and can be wired or glued.


Nearest UK equivalent: Snake/Horse grass (Equisetum hyemale) How to care for sedges and grasses:

  • They dry out quickly, so leave in their protective plastic packaging before storing in a cool room or fridge.

  • Change water weekly and clean buckets.

  • Re-cut stems before use.

  • Can last up to four weeks in storage.

  • Once the package has been opened, mist to maintain humidity.

Images Alex Choi, Su Whale, Lauren Hackett

 
Su Whale

Su Whale is a florist and freelance writer with over twenty-five years' experience in the floristry industry. She is the author and publisher of three best-selling books: Cut Flowers, 4th edition (2020) Cut Foliage, 2nd Edition, (2021) and Houseplants (2019), all bookshelf essentials for the professional florist.


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