The simplest bunch of fresh flowers can transform the mood of a room – how satisfying to pick a few of your very own to fill a case, or to gather together a simple posy for a friend. Here’s an easy guide to arranging blooms.
Flowers Ali Cunningham Huynh. Photography Amanda Reelick
A fresh bouquet
Growing your own flowers means they’ll be at their freshest once picked, so they can be enjoyed for longer, says Good’s florist Ali Cunningham Huyhn.
1. Begin with long, strong-stemmed flowers such as viburnum or snapdragons.
These add height and a base to your bouquet. Build up the profile by adding other flowers such as roses or freesia. Grouping roses adds impact, while freesia adds a gorgeous scent.
2. Layer flowers and thread them through the bouquet for extra shape and texture.
Shorter-stemmed blooms work better towards the front of the bouquet.
3. Once you are ready to tie off your bouquet, cut a length of brown string and secure firmly with a knot.
4. Trim the stems
They should be about a third of the overall length of your bouquet. Cut the stems at a 45-degree angle to increase the flowers’ uptake of water.
A table centrepiece
The flowers you cultivate can be arranged in more ways than one. Think beyond bouquets or posies, says Ali – a table runner centrepiece is something novice florists can easily try for themselves.
1. Choose a container to work from and line it with cellophane to prevent leakage.
Lay out all your flower and foliage materials and have your scissors and some green floral foam to hand. Soak the floral foam, cut it to size and place it inside the container.
2. Start with greenery. Trim stems to size and push them into the foam. The idea is to create a base of foliage, hiding the foam, while the greenery provides a frame for your flowers.
3. Choose some larger, dominant flowers (such as sunflowers) to provide a focal point, and place these at intervals throughout the arrangement.
Then begin to add in smaller blooms such as roses, freesia and hypericum.
4. Add interest by positioning flowers at different heights, but keep the flowers short and compact overall in order to make the arrangement look full.
Top up the foam with water after a few days and mist so the flowers and foliage stay at their freshest.