On a much sunnier afternoon, I happily attended a flower arranging workshop hosted by flower shop owner Alison Westlake of Coriander Girl and urban flower farmer Sarah Nixon of My Luscious Backyard. I’d like to share a few tricks of the trade for creating your own garden-inspired flower arrangements at home.
1. Buy locally grown, in season flowers when it’s possible, and always choose ones that are ethically sourced. The blooms will last longer and they’ll smell SO much better.When you buy formaldehyde-laced flowers that are imported from far away places, such as South America, Africa, China and Europe, they’re lacking in fragrance, charm and garden-grown appeal.
2. Think outside the vase when it comes to vessels for your arrangement. As Alison says, if it holds water, you can use it! Make sure that your container is super squeaky clean – you can even use a half-capful of bleach to reduce bacteria in the water.
3. When working with your flowers, strip off any foliage that will fall below that water’s surface (helps to keep the water clean), and trim the bottom of each stem on an angle to increase the surface area that’ll be in contact with the water.
4. Use lukewarm water in your vase, unless you need your blooms to open quicker, in which case, use warmer water.
5. Think of the greenery as your base – the stems form a handy web that’s helpful for placing (and holding) your blooms.
6. When arranging, take inspiration from your garden. Go natural – think of how plants look in the garden and try to replicate the look; and use a stem’s natural arc rather than cramming it into position.
P.S Sarah and Alison are hosting another series of workshops, using the garden as their classroom. From The Ground Up teaches you how to grow, care for and harvest your own cutting garden! The series culminates in a flower arranging class using beautiful dahlia cultivars. Visit coriandergirl.com for more information.
P.P.S More flower arranging tips from Sarah Nixon HERE.