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How to… Make the most of a mixed bunch

October 12, 2012

It’s always lovely to receive flowers but sometimes you get left with a mixed that just don’t look, well quite ‘right’ together.

Maybe you’ve got leftovers from lots of bouquets, or perhaps you’ve picked up a bargain bunch from the market at the end of the day.

Here’s how to easily divide your mismatched blooms to make two lovely arrangements.

We used:

  • A mixed bunch of flowers
  • A block of oasis cut to fit two small plastic trays (can be bought very cheaply from a hobby craft shop)
  • Mixed foliage (we used ivy leaves, some berried ivy and some hebe leaves, all from the garden but you can use any leaves that you find locally).

Divide the bunches, considering the colour, shape and size of the flowers. We had deep pink roses, pale pink roses, small yellow roses, eryngium (blue/grey thistles) and mauve spray chrysanths.

Divided into two bunches they became five small yellow roses with the blue/grey thistles in one bunch and two colours of pink roses and the mauve chrysanths in the other. You can pick different colour themes and adjust the instructions below accordingly.

Sort your flowers into colour schemes

Our first arrangement was for a side-table and we used the small roses and thistles. This arrangement is to be viewed just from the front.

1. Put a block of soaked oasis to fit snugly into the tray. Cut off the four corners so the top is rounded (a top tip for slicing through the oasis is to keep the knife in the oasis and move the oasis rather than putting the knife in and out – a bit like slicing a sponge cake through the middle.

2. Place some large ivy leaves around the bottom of the oasis, overlapping each one slightly and pushing them firmly in. Push a branch of feathery-type leaves (like the hebe) straight down the middle and a shorter one each side of the Oasis. This has now become your outline.

Now build width and height with foliage

3. Remove leaves from the roses as rose leaves wilt very quickly. Take three yellow roses and place them at varying lengths straight down the centre of the arrangement. Place another yellow rose to each side, following the line of the leaves.

Start adding the first flower colour

4. Place the thistles around the roses to complement them and fill in any spaces with ivy leaves and some berried ivy if you can find some in the garden or in the woods. It seems to be very plentiful this year, maybe due to our wet summer!

There you have it! A simple, low-cost arrangement which will look great on a side table.

Remember that the display will be seen from all sides

Now for something a little different, using flowers from the same original bunch – the different colour pink roses together with the mauve chrysanths and the rest of the hebe leaves

1. Prepare the oasis and tray as before. Place the shortened hebe sprays around the bottom of the oasis, starting with the four corners and then filling in around. Place a spray of the leaves in the middle of the oasis and then put smaller sprays of the leaves all over the oasis. We also used a few mauve pebbles around the bottom of the container to match the flowers and add a little more interest. You can use any stones or pebbles you have that match or contrast with the flowers.

Start your arrangement with a foliage foundation

2. Using the deeper pink roses, place one down the middle of the oasis to make the finished height of your arrangement and the other four equal distant around the middle.

Create a base for your arrangement

3.Fill in firstly with the paler pink roses around your arrangement and then the spray chrysanths. Make sure that the chrysanths are pushed well into the oasis to give depth to the arrangement. Fill in any gaps with more leaves ensuring that the oasis doesn’t show. Remember that this is an all-round arrangement as it is going to sit in the middle of a table. We also added a few more pebbles around the bottom of the tray.

Build your arrangement up

You now have a lovely little arrangement to place on a coffee table or in the middle of your dining room table and it’s all your own handiwork!

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