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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. There's 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.
Any old or retro pot will do!
A vase 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. What's more, it takes only a minute and the results are almost instant. Who wouldn't 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? Let's 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?
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.
Sorbus aucuparia (mountain ash).corymb flowers that form a flat-topped cluster similar to Achillea (yarrow) or
Then there are flowers formed into spikes such as sage; racemes that include Hebe inflorescences;
daisies and single flowers including poppies. To name but a few. So many flowers, so many opportunities to snip!composite flowers such as those provided by
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 you'll never have a two pots of identical blooms.
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.
Cosmos are great, there's 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 there's fun to be found in looking for unusual combinations.
Try whatever you have in your own garden and see how it looks and how it lasts. There's nothing like experimenting to gain experience. You don't 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:
- Sweet peas
- Panicum and other ornamental grasses