Enhance your home with cut flowers
Cut flowers can enhance the home
in an instant. The interiors of the smallest bedsit through to the largest mansion house are all lifted and improved by adding a few cut flowers. Flowers from the petrol filling station are better than nothing, but should, perhaps be viewed as a last resort. Theres far better effect to be gained by simply picking a few seemingly random bits from the garden or even the verge or hedgerow. Taking care, of course, not to take flowers that have been deliberately grown by others unless they have given permission. These cut flowers and even weeds
can be casually popped into a pot. Voila! Instant appeal.
Look around your garden. Are there flowers that you can cut? Grasses perhaps? Foliage? It's a great thing to do.
Any old or retro pot will do!
A vase doesn't need to be cut glass to be attractive. Many different receptacles will lend themselves to displaying flowers.
of flowers and foliage, or even a nature-filled old tin can, paint pot, egg cup or milk jug, brings a touch of life indoors. Whats more, it takes only a minute and the results are almost instant. Who wouldnt love to see a few stems of Achillea with a sprig of grass
and perhaps a waft of Alchemilla mollis
to tumble over the rim? Lets face it, you do sometimes need to stop certain plants from spreading their seed around the garden, and what better use to put them to?
Alchemilla mollis, or Lady's Mantle. It spreads like mad in the garden so it makes great sense to pick some to enjoy indoors.
If you want to bring out your artistic nature, picking flowers from the garden gives you a great opportunity to be creative. Experiment with different colour combinations
and variation of form. You can make a vase filled with froth or include solid forms which are softened with foliage.
Choose flowers and foliage for their shape, scent, colour and form.
Use umbel blooms (think umbrella-shaped) such as those provided by nerine;
Nerines are a good example of umbel flowers which are shaped rather like an umbrella.
corymb flowers that form a flat-topped cluster similar to Achillea (yarrow) or Sorbus aucuparia
Achillea, also known as yarrow, are good examples of corymb flowers that form a flat-topped cluster. They come in many colours including yellow, pink and magenta.
Then there are flowers formed into spikes such as sage; racemes that include Hebe inflorescences;
Hebe flowers are beautiful long racemes which are great for insects.
composite flowers such as those provided by daisies
and single flowers including poppies. To name but a few. So many flowers, so many opportunities to snip!
You don't need to be a flower arranger to be able to stick a few cut flowers into a vase!
Which flowers to pick for a vase
Which cut flowers can you put together? The answer is: any! But some last better than others and there are certain qualities that make the process of enjoying them much more rewarding. What should you look for in cut flowers? Scent, colour, shape and longevity are the obvious desirable qualities. Flowers from the garden change with the season and youll never have a two pots of identical blooms.
Are two flowers ever exactly the same?
Super sweet peas
Hardy and half-hardy annuals make good candidates for the vase. You can pick them and they will re-grow during the growing season. It really is true that sweet pea flowers make more of themselves the more you pick them.
Sweet peas are the ultimate 'cut and come again' cut flower
Cosmos are great, theres dianthus (pinks), Nigella (love-in-a-mist), Antirrhinum (snapdragons), Dahlias, Helianthus, Scabiosa, cornflowers, Alliums and marguerites. Then there are all the grasses and foliage to add, together with the stalwarts such as roses.
Add some spikes!
And how about some dramatic spiky shapes such as Eryngium and Echinops? Anything goes, and theres fun to be found in looking for unusual combinations.
Eryngium can make a great contribution to a vase full of cut flowers.
Try whatever you have in your own garden and see how it looks and how it lasts. Theres nothing like experimenting to gain experience. You dont need to know names of flowers, all you need to decide is whether or not you like the effect.
Have a go at bringing nature into your own home. Flowers and plants are good for you, enjoy them. Here's our top 10 of the best, to be collected with a smile and enjoyed with pleasure:
Cut flowers in a simple vase. There's no need for a masterclass in flower arranging!
- Sweet peas
- Panicum and other ornamental grasses