One of the most important considerations when selecting flowers is their availability during each season. Although numerous flowers are able to be sourced, buying seasonally means they’ll look better, last longer and be better value for money. In the autumn and winter months, I tend to sway towards my favourite flowers: garden roses, dahlias and hydrangeas.
There is no written rule about colour; I love to play with contrasting colours to make a statement with flowers. Complement dark interiors with more intense, rich flowers; earthier tones with neutral, warmer colours and a brighter, vivid room with cherry reds, ochre or magenta hues.
Of course, the style of the room is an important factor when deciding on flowers. Beautifully scented flowers fill the living room or hallway with a fragrant, delightful aroma – beautiful enough to lift your mood. Refrain from using scented flowers on a dining table however, as they can overpower the taste of the food.
Besides inspiration from the flowers themselves and the different seasons, I am heavily influenced by art, architecture, long walks in the country with my five rescue dogs, film and fashion as points of reference. Also, I often take the interior of a client’s home or a venue, or surrounding area, as inspiration for floral installations.
Stems should be cut on a 45°angle to promote water absorption and any leaves below the water line should be removed to prevent the flowers fading too fast. If using foliage, start with that – if not, start with the largest flowers. Arrange stem by stem, spiralling them into the vase and make sure the arrangement looks good from each angle. I love vases that are a statement in themselves, the vase should look beautiful even without flowers in it.
As mentioned, I love roses – particularly in autumn and winter as they exude romance, love and luxury. Display roses by grouping vases along mantelpieces and windowsills. Play with different heights but still ensure that the flowers complement the shapes. Smaller rose bouquets also create a beautiful statement. Concentrate on mixing different colours and scents together, using foliage to add texture and variety.
Keep your arrangement looking its best by placing it away from heat and direct sunlight. Most flowers will perform, and last best kept in temperatures between 10°-15°C. Refresh the vase with water every couple of days and, preferably, recut the stems.