I have just spent a glorious week in Cornwall garden visiting and returned home to find a jungle – not in the Cornish sense of huge gunneras, tree ferns and other hardy exotics, but flowers – flowers everywhere! Amelia was given the huge task of watering and she excelled. My cup runneth over! So I thought I better get picking and enjoy them indoors and why not think up some quirky ideas for arranging the flowers.
This lovely pink vintage teapot was a present from my sister and the girls enjoyed their daily ginger tea from it until I got near it and broke the handle off – a teapot is a very vulnerable object in my hands, as having a spout and a handle protruding it’s twice as likely to suffer. It’s so pretty and now so useless as a teapot that it was my first thought when looking for flower vases and is the first of my 7 quirky ideas for arranging flowers. I let the container shape and colours dictate what flowers I fill them with – usually by standing in the garden, container in one hand, secateurs in the other, like a madwoman, eyes darting about, to see what takes my fancy! For the teapot I used sedum, rose buds and small hydrangea florets, with spikes of veronicastrum, in soft pink and white to give a domed shape which echoes the shape and colours of the teapot.
The copper watering can was really crying out for orange but in small dainty spikes so as not to overwhelm the lovely shape of the watering can so I filled it with pelargonium, crocosmia, and fennel to give a real pop of colour.
Next in my line of vision was this really cute cow creamer by Emma Bridgewater that just had to be filled with a gorgeous dark red pelargonium that echoes the colour of the heart design and then, joy of joys, I spotted this lovely heuchera with its delicious red stripe – how perfect. Again I didn’t want to hide the container so I kept everything small and dainty. I am becoming a big fan of heucheras, for their gorgeous colour range and being evergreen is a huge bonus. Plantagogo is an amazing website for heucheras.
Flask and Glass Bottle
The gorgeous flask was calling out for tall spikes and domes in pink and green – how beautiful it looks with persicaria, briza maxima and ammi majus. I cut the foxglove originally for the flask but it was too purple against the pink, but doesn’t it look stunning in this purpley pink glass water bottle with cosmos and fennel? I wanted to echo the height of the containers but have some volume, so it’s not so tall and thin, and also to loosen up the arrangement with different shapes and give a feeling of fluidity.
Moroccan Tea Glass
I love this scented leaf pelargonium ‘Pink Capricorn’ so much that it just had to be picked and the perfect container is a deep red Moroccan tea glass. I used spikes of salvia in the same colour to extend the dome shape and make it looser and added some sprigs of silver pittosporum for some colour contrast.
In my haste to get through the endless dead heading I accidentally cut off a small bunch of roses so popped them in a wine glass and, with the addition of ivy to soften the edges and give contrast, they look lovely and it gets even better as the roses open and become blowsy.
Using unusual containers for arranging flowers does make you think more about shape and colour. Quite often I just cut a bunch of stuff and stick it in a vase for speed but it is quite therapeutic to think about the shape of the container and how to complement it and, of course, to think about the colours and contrasts of textures. Where to put them all now?!
7 Quirky Ideas for Arranging Flowers by Jacqui Brooks
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