### Flowers & Geometry: Spheres & Balls

I recently saw a question about how many carnations would it take to cover a floral foam sphere or ball. Upon ready this question, I thought back to my previous blog post in which I discussed how you come up with how many flowers to cover a round flat surface, like a round table. And then I wondered why I didn’t discuss a sphere as that seems just a common.

So, the nerdy part first …. the formula to figure out the surface area for any sized sphere or ball is **4*Pi*r ^{2}** (Pi = 3.14159). But if you want a short-cut to figure this all out, visit http://www.1728.org/diam.htm (you can calculate the area for a circle, sphere, or a cylinder. All you need to do is enter the diameter and then the calculator will spit out several numbers. You just need the AREA. (If you Google “area of sphere calculator” you will get results for many other calculators as well.)

For this post, let’s say you want to cover a 12” floral foam ball with carnations that are 2” when fully opened. A 12” sphere will have an area of 452.39 inches. Divide that number by 2 which equals 226.195. So you will need about 226 carnations to cover a 12 inch ball.

Pretty cool – right? Who said you weren’t going to use those pesky math skills in real life?