A casket spray is an oversized floral arrangement set onto the end or center of the coffin for the viewing and funeral. It is placed on the grave after the burial service. A family member, particularly the children or grandchildren, usually orders the casket piece. The spray can be a combination of spring bulbs and perennial flowers from your garden or a bouquet of a few specific kinds of flowers such as large ball chrysanthemums or hydrangea, gladiolus and roses.
Soak the floral blocks in a bucket of water at room temperature for at least an hour. One block of foam will be sufficient if your arrangement will be compact. A large bouquet of flowers with large stalks such as gladiolus will require two blocks of foam.
Place the foam blocks into the casket saddle form. Secure the foam with water-resistant floral adhesive tape or the plastic snap-in holders included with some saddles. Cut greenery to 12-inch pieces with a large knife or garden shears. Push greens into the foam at the bottom, sides and back.
Cut gladiolus stems at 15 inches to 2 feet on an angle and insert two of them into the foam at the sides. Add more at a slight angle at the lower front and back. The glads can extend full length out at the sides for a centerpiece on a closed casket. Stock or lilies can be used in place of gladiolus.
Cut hydrangea stems or chrysanthemum stalks to 8- or 10-inch lengths. Insert one on each side of the foam and one in the center front of the blocks. Continue adding more of these large blossoms to fill in the center of the floral spray. Odd-number displays of these larger blooms have a more uniform appearance.
Add short pieces of evergreen, leather leaf or asparagus fern to fill in areas that need more background color. Step back and check out the entire piece from all sides to make sure that there are no gaps, broken stems or marred blossoms. Add more flowers as needed.
Insert the ribbon or lace bow into the casket spray at the center, center top or side of the piece. Cattails or wheat grass stems can be added in to an autumnal arrangement.