I love flowers and foliage everywhere; growing in the garden, on fabrics, on walls, on rugs, and most of all in vases dotted around my home. To this end I grow lots of flowers and foliage for cutting and bringing indoors so that I always have a ready supply. Not being a winter person I must admit there is a dearth of flowers in my garden at the moment (something that needs rectifying for next year) but I can manage a few hellebores and viburnum for a bit of winter cheer and I buy pots of hyacinths to re-pot into pretty containers. Looking back on photos of my flower arrangements there are a few I’m not happy with and I’m sure a florist would have something to say about them but the main thing for me is to enjoy the colours and textures without worrying too much about perfection so here are my 4 tips for flower arranging the novice way.
1. Be creative and don’t worry about rules – rules are made to be broken aren’t they? If you want a riotous bunch of clashing colours go for it! If you prefer a few twigs and leaves then so be it. We all have different tastes and different ideas on what is visually appealing so don’t worry about what others think. Flowers and foliage are to be enjoyed and bring happiness not create stress. Experimenting with different vases and containers helps you to understand which shapes suit best. If the proportion doesn’t look right try adding foliage that gives height and or width. Think about contrast – a simple bowl of tulips interspersed with twigs makes a stunning arrangement.
2. Condition your flowers and foliage by trimming the stems and letting them stand in a big bucket of water for a few hours for a good drink. Add flower food to the water or a dash of bleach and change the water regularly. Remove all leaves below the water line otherwise they will rot and smell. Some flowers like hellebores need the ends of their stems dunked in boiling water for a minute before going in a vase. If necessary use florist foam, marbles or a flower frog to keep flowers in place. Another good way to hold flowers in place in a wide vase is to crisscross washi tape or sellotape across the top in a grid and slot the flowers into it.
3. Add foliage for contrasting texture and colour. Think about the colours and shapes of the flowers and how you can enhance them with added foliage. Ivy is great for trailing down the side of a vase and to add width, and ferns and grasses are wonderful for adding height and some spikiness. Foliage such as fennel and alchemilla mollis makes a fabulous frothy arrangement.
4. A great way to add lusciousness to a vase of flowers is to mix in some faux flowers and foliage. By doing this you get a really luxurious bouquet without spending a fortune. A bunch of flowers can be turned into something really special and eye catching with the addition of a few faux fern sprays or artificial palms and they last for years.
Looking at images on pinterest is a great way to see what it is you like and try copying it so that you get a feel for what works for you. Even a few flower heads in a selection of small containers grouped together makes for an interesting display and is quick to do. Above all enjoy and experiment!
Photography: Amelia Brooks/ Styling: Jacqui & Amelia Brooks
Your comments make us happy!
Please note that all content, including text and images are copyright of Audenza, unless otherwise stated.
If you would like to use content from our site, then we’re very flattered to hear that, but please note its origins on your site or blog, provide a link back to us and kindly let us know where you have used our content.