Flower Arranging

I have to confess that I’ve never been quite sure how to properly arrange cut flowers. If I make an effort, it looks forced and not quite right, and if I simply dump a supermarket bouquet in a tall glass vase they tend to look underwhelming.  Last year when I was in Chicago, my friend Heather (whose lovely home you may remember here) taught me a very handy little secret.

She explained that people tend to keep the stems far too long when arranging flowers in a vase. Just because flowers come from the grocery store/ florist/ your loved one, with long stems, doesn’t mean you can’t chop them shorter. I know – the shock! the horror! The poor little plants, they had to work hard to grow those long stems only to have them thrown away? In short (no pun intended) the answer is simply YES!

A short bouquet of densely packed blooms pouring over the top of a vase can look much better than seeing lots of straggly stems and leaves.

So, generally released from my previous hang up about chopping long stemmed flowers down to size,here is my attempt at that approach on our garden roses…which I also used here earlier in the spring when our poenies came out.

Rather than the more traditional looking long step rose flower arrangement (ie a single bud rose in a slim glass vase), I am much happier with this more relaxed, informal look.  I also let the roses open so they were fuller and looked a bit less precious.  For the vase I used my white porcelain milk creamer jug which I purchased years ago when I visited Copenhagen. The jug is from the Black is Blue range from Danish ceramicist Anne Black.   Job done!

More flower arranging tips here (where all the examples given don’t show any stems), and here from Martha Stewart (again, flowers all positioned directly above the top of the vase).


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