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What is a Flower Frog?

Art Pottery Frog-shaped Flower Frog

photo credit – ceramic flower frog at RubyLane

If you’re not into floral arranging or antiquing you may have never seen a flower frog.  Flower frogs, or floral frogs, aren’t amphibians that hang out in flower pots, they’re actually a floral arranging tool that secures the stems of flowers in the base of your vase or other display vessel.  Flower frogs can be very utilitarian contraptions of wire, usually brass, ceramic, glass or iron so that they carry enough weight to sit firmly on the base of the vase or they can be fanciful and, literally, shaped like frogs. Either way, they come in handy if you like to experiment with floral arranging on your own, and they can look cute (frog-shaped) or incite questions (spiny torture device looking ones) if you display them around the house.  I’ve started a collection of utilitarian flower frogs to use with my amateur attempts with florals, and snap pictures of the more fanciful ones when I’m out shopping in antique stores or floral shops.

Flower Frog Basics:

  • Wide variety of materials – weighted to stay in place
  • Utilitarian floral frogs have pins or holes secure hold stems
  • Fanciful flower frogs may really look like a cute frog
  • Wire mesh flower frogs may attach to the top of the vase (Mason jars are common)

Why do you need them?  Floral frogs come in particularly handy when you’re arranging flowers in a low vase, since the flower heads are likely to weigh more than the short stems so there’s no counter-balance to hold them in the vessel.  (Think long stem roses vs. a 1″ stem rose.)  Flower frogs can also be useful when creating modern or minimal floral arrangements – when you don’t have the bulk of stems to crowd the vase and hold things steady, a flower frog in the base can secure individual stems and keep your desired spacing between flowers.  Floral foam and floral tape can serve the same purpose, and often do, but a flower frog is far more recyclable… and they’re fun.

antique flower frog collection on display stand

photo credit: Vintage Indie – antique flower frogs on display

Finding Antique Flower Frogs

When you’re antique shopping, unless you shop at a garden-themed antique store like Sister’s Garden & Bloom near Kalona (my favorite place to add to my collection), you’re probably going to find floral frogs hidden among the kitchen accessories, bath accessories, or ladies’ dressing table items.  Sometimes they’ll show up in the hardware section or with other statues if they’re the literal frog-shaped variety.  Since many people don’t know what they are, or when they’d ever use one, you can start to collect antique flower frogs for less than $5 each.  Hit some garage sales and you could probably find them for less.

Do you have a fun flower frog story?  Or maybe hints on where I should shop in Iowa to find cool ones?

Sidenote: this article was written primarily as an example for a presentation that I did for Iowa Tech Chicks last night as an introduction to WordPress SEO.  You can see the Prezi that went with it here.

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