You might be thinking… January… British flowers? Isn’t that an oxymoron? Not at all! We are fortunate enough to have some beautiful flowers & a plentiful supply of gorgeous foliage at this time of year. It’s helpful to keep in mind when planning flower designs, that you will not have the same choice from the bounty of summer flowers, however, you do have choice.
The following are a few ideas on working with January’s finest:
1. It may sound obvious, but work with what you have. You can’t force a square peg into a round hole. You may not have flowers with large heads, or bright colours, but look at what you do have & use that to its fullest advantage.
2. Green & white: always a classic & a timeless combination, so work it. Use different tones, textures & shades of green to add interest, for example, fern, variegated pittosporum, sarcoccoa.
3. Consider adding twigs/branches, such as catkin, to your designs for interest, movement & additional shape.
4. Creating designs with one colour will give a sense of harmony & aesthetic unity.
5. Make a focal point of one flower using containers that add appeal. We used anemone & hellebore under a cloche.
6. Repetition in design is an easy way of making a statement. Either by using the same flower, or same container, you can create a visually interesting display.
7. If you’d like your tulips to retain their straighter stems, wrap them in newspaper after you have conditioned them whilst letting them drink water. Otherwise, embrace the tulips natural curvy stem & allow them to weave & wind their way with your design. Also, keep in mind that tulips will continue to grow even after they’ve been cut.
8. Succulents such as echeveria, add a focal point, as well as texture, pattern & colour to a bouquet or arrangement.
9. Alstromeria have a vase life of up to 3 weeks. Keep this in mind when buying – once they are fully open they are at their most beautiful, so use in designs accordingly.
10. One of the huge advantages of using locally sourced rather than imported flowers is scent. Incorporate rosemary & viburnum for a fresh & invigorating fragrance.
Personally, I love the limitations of designing with January’s British grown flowers: having a small colour palette, or smaller variety of botanical ingredients to work with. It means my creative juices have to get flowing & I might stumble on an otherwise intriguing creation that wouldn’t otherwise have materialised. Enjoy delving into working with the possibilities of some distinctive flowers & foliage & you might just surprise yourself.