I loved this article on “Matching flowers to vases” in November’s Easy Living magazine (out now). All too often, we spend a fortune on flowers and vases, only to find out we’ve got the wrong type of flowers for the vase and vice versa… These tricks/ tips by leading florist Jane Packer truly are a god-send!!!
1. Cube Vases
Cube vases are the simplest of all vases to use and are great for presenting a bunch of short stems in a clean, modern way – think anemones, tulips or peonies. All flowers can be used in a cube vase, but what’s important is having enough blooms to fill the vase. If you don’t have many flowers, or the stems are very long, try tying them together just below the flower heads to create a massed effect. If your flowers need a little help to stay upright, use a grid of sticky tape across the top (this will work on larger vases too), making sure the spacing is regular. Insert stems through the holes in the grid; but put the water in first, as wet sticky tape does not stick.
2. Very Large Vases
If the flower stems are shorter than the depth of the vase, scrunch up some cellophane and push it into the base of the vase to support the stems. Then use florists’ tape to make a grid across the top of the vase for support. Finally, add the flowers in the vase in colour groups. as they would grow in the garden.
3. Flared Vases
The flared vase is probably the most common vase available, yet it can be the most problematic vase in terms of shape. Use too few flowers and your stems will fall to the side, leaving the centre of the vase empty. Start by placing stems around the edge of the vase, working in a clockwise direction. Continue in this manner, using large blooms towards the centre and smaller flowers or foliage around the edge of the vase. The rule is that stems should be no longer than the height and a half of the vase. You can go shorter than that, but not taller.
4. Bud Vases
How often do you break a flower head off when arranging flowers, yet can’t bring yourself to throw it away? This is when the bud vase come into its own. Bud vases have a narrow neck that’s designed to hold and showcase one perfect bloom. I have been known to use test tubes, tea cups, milk bottles and pretty vintage scent bottles as bud vases – experiment with different vases and see how a single flower can bring them to life. Increase the impact by lining a series of bud vases along a mantelpiece or choose vases of different heights and pop a single bloom in each one before grouping them together in the centre of a table.
Instead of using just one vase, divide your flowers into groups according to variety, height or colour, then arrange them in separate vases of different shapes and heights – it will make more of the flowers you have. Or, if you’ve been given a bouquet with an odd mix of flowers, this idea will make them work together much better.
This month’s edition of Easy Living also features our bestelling Safi bowls in pink! See p.216 on the mirrored dresser next to the Fishtail lamp and small glass vase.
Images & text from Easy Living Magazine November 2008.
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As a big fan of Kelly Hoppen’s style, one of my favourite books is the “Golden Rules of Design”. All the photography (taken by Swiss photographer Vincent Knapp) is beautiful and inspirational and I just love her abundant and creative use of vases and flowers…
Indeed, we should think of vases and flowers as decorative accents in their own right and display them to that effect. I quote from the book: “Vases are like rooms within themselves; they are what houses the flower or objects. If you think of a vase in this way, it frees up the mind to come up with new, creative ways of furnishing it. One of my signature pieces is the globe glass bowl filled with white sand and coral or filled with nothing more than a coil of natural rope…”
In fact, most of Kelly’s arrangements are quite simple so you can easily replicate them. Our Orb vase is perfect for displaying orchids and tulips or for sprinkling rose petals (as in the photos above), whilst lining up many of our Tall Stem vases in a row will create a striking effect, or try our Bullet vase for a stunning architectural centerpiece.
- alcoves, shelves, tabletops and windowsills are perfect for displaying vases and flowers.
- group lots of vases together for an increased wow effect, but don’t mix and match otherwise the result will look cluttered and messy.
- use one type of flower and colour in each vase.
- don’t just stick to flowers – leaves, grass, celery, sand or rope all provide a great visual result.