Floristry at home could be much more than plonking supermarket blooms in a pot. Here are a few words of advice on creating striking displays.
Until recently, it has been my preferred flower arranging strategy: go for inexpensive daffodils, roses or tulips from a supermarket. Hack off an inch of stem, and plonk them in a vase.
A untidy bunch of flowers might be better than no flowers after all but I’ve always known that, with direction, my results could be so much better.
So I took myself to a London florist. Here’s what I learned, for attractive results that won’t cost you a lot of money.
Keep it simple
If you’re a newbie, adhere to white flowers. They appear classic and chic, and therefore are difficult to get wrong. When you do insist on colour, choose local and seasonal to avoid glaring colour clashes. At this time of the year, choose from tulips, ranunculus, hyacinths, daffodils and anemones.
Preparation is perhaps all
This seems a little philistine but stripping the flower of every leaf, branch and thorn encourages the water to flow straight to the flower head while increasing its life. Take off any unsightly petals too. If required, you can bulk up the arrangement afterwards with more foliage. And – except for roses or any other flowers that have woody stems – it is fine to cut the flowers in a straight line across instead of at an angle. Cut off at the least an inch.
Learn to spiral
The secret of a perfect hand-tied arrangement is the spiral, where each new stem is slanted resistant to the previous one. Select the right and biggest bloom for the centre and arrange the rest of the flowers at an angle around and slightly under it to generate a wonderful dome of flowers. Fix the bunch using florist twine (wire coated with green paper to safeguard the stems, available online). We crafted four bunches (5 flowers per bunch) after which arranged them in vases. A grouping like this is easy and impressive.
Select the correct container
Along with simple vases such as a straight-sided cylinder for very long stems and a fish bowl for flowers having flexible stems such as for example tulips, tiny bud vases for single stems can be effective running down the centre of a table (old jam jars, milk bottles and tealight holders also do the job, as long as they match). When you’ve finished your arrangement, keep the flowers next to the vase and measure before you cut, creating a polished, professional look. Put your arrangement on a disc or perhaps in front of a mirror.
Make use of candles
I created a table decoration worthy of a special event in about five mins using an Oasis arranging ring – green water-absorbing foam as you are able to pick up in every gardening shop or online for some pounds. We picked White Avalanche roses (a vintage rose with a higher petal count and long vase life) and white hydrangeas. Cut the flowers short and poke them into the foam, covering the green. Place a candle in the middle of the ring and you will have created a thing that wouldn’t watch out of place in a five-star hotel room.