Flower arranging really isn’t as hard as you may think. All it takes is a bit of creativity, the right ingredients and a touch of confidence. I’m aiming to give you the latter through some of my blog posts or some hands-on guidance in my workshops.
If you are blessed with a garden, you’ll find a wealth of material you can use right there. Fill it with flowers and foliage that you love to have around the house. It’ll save you money, time and is so much better for the environment. Nothing can beat the natural flow of flowers and foliage fresh from the garden with their twists and turns giving wonderful structure to any arrangement. And of course there is the unbeatable, magical aroma of garden flowers and herbs to fill your home.
I grew up in the countryside with an incredible garden full of beautiful flowers and shrubs. My mum would always adorn our hallway with rich pickings from it. Her mantra has always been to arrange flowers leaving enough room for the butterflies. I’ve read that as keeping them in their most natural state. I haven’t always adhered to this. When I was working in London, there was a trend for very tightly packed flowers (we called them ‘domes’). The look was strong and modern and suited the hotels, shops, offices and corporate events that I would decorate. They also lasted longer in that state. However, I found that the beauty of each individual flower was hidden. Of course, there is still a place for ‘domes’ not only for dramatic effect but when flowers are on their last legs. For example, when you think your blousy roses or peonies are nearly finished, you can cut them shorter and tie them together in a tightly packed bunch. This will keep them going for a little while longer.
Foraging is a great way to get some beautiful ingredients. At this time of year, you can find mountains of cow parsley, ferns, ornamental grasses, Alchemilla, wild herbs and loads of wild flowers. But remember to always forage responsibly; never pick endangered or protected plants, dig up from the roots or gather large amounts form one area.
These days, the appeal for a more natural approach to flower arranging seems to be growing in parallel with a increasing respect for the planet. So grow, forage and make is what I say!!
My tips for picking and arranging your own flowers;
Choose to plant the flowers you love to have around the house. My favourites are garden roses, peonies, poppies, sweet peas, delphinium, hydrangea and dahlias
Include ‘fillers’ in your beds. I love ‘Alchemilla’ or ‘Lady’s Mantle’ and ‘Euphorbia’ which not only look great in the flower beds but add wonderful brightness to an arrangement.
Grow shrubs such as ‘Red Robin’, Eucalyptus, Pittosporum, ‘SnowBerry’ and of course Ivy (but avoid the type that takes over everything!)
Include herbs in your garden. Rosemary is wonderful as it lasts all year around and smells as goodl in summer arrangements as it does in Christmas wreaths. Sage and mint have wonderful leaves and smell delicious amongst your favourite flowers.
When arranging, start with greenery to create a frame. The strong, woody stems give the framework for an arrangement on which you can your flowers.
If you want to learn more about how to arrange flowers from your garden join me in one of my workshops https://www.sophiesworld.site/workshops. Over a cup of tea or coffee, I’ll show you some tips and tricks on what to use and how to arrange. The rest comes from you. You'll go home with confidence and a beautiful arrangement of your own making.
Happy arranging!! xx