Flower power

How to create three sublime winter arrangements

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If you’ve ever longed to take a few vivid blooms and turn them into masterful symphonies of colour and texture, this is the guide for you. Take our word for it: Floral arranging isn’t a complex and mysterious art. You can be a beginner and still produce a lush and vibrant bouquet – at a fraction of the cost – and you can do it with complete confidence. Here’s how.

Blooms in a box
You will need:
• One low rectangular ceramic pot
• A length of ribbon long enough to go once around the perimeter
• Double-sided tape to secure the ribbon
• One block of florist foam, available at flower shops and craft stores
• One large bunch of carnations
• One bunch of short-stemmed roses
• One bunch of button chrysanthemums
• One package of moss, available at flower shops and craft stores
1. Soak florist foam overnight and pack into a container. Cut carnations and plant the stem into the foam; eyeball the height so that the bloom will sit just above the rim of the pot. Work from left to right until you have filled one-third of the container. 2. Repeat the process with roses, cutting the stems to the same size as the carnations. Continue filling the next third of the dish. 3. Fill in the last third with chrysanthemums, and finish off the arrangement with decorative moss to close gaps along the edge. Add a length of ribbon taped into place along the edge of the vase.
Loosely lush
You will need:
• One wide-mouth vase
• Two bunches of lilies
• Two bunches of cremons or large chrysanthemums
• One bunch of Queen Anne’s lace
• Two bunches of spray roses
• One bunch of seasonal greens – we used variegated pitisporum
1. Start with your largest, most unruly blooms, lilies in our case. Using a wide-mouth vase will ensure a large, open bouquet. 2. Start to fill in the arrangement with medium-sized blooms – cremons and Queen Anne’s lace – to add colour and texture. Cut to the same size as your lilies. 3. As you add smaller flowers (such as spray roses) and fill in the gaps with greens, the bouquet will start to hold its shape in the vase, rather than seeming to fall out of it.
Low-vase luxury
You will need:
• Waterproof florist tape, available at flower shops and craft stores. (In a pinch, duct tape cut into thin strips will work.)
• Two to three bunches of calla lilies (about 12 total)
• One stem of orchids, cut in two
• Three to four stems of hydrangea
• Two bunches of snapdragons
1. Start by making a one-inch-square grid by taping florist tape across the top of the vase. Start with the largest blooms (orchids here) and place them in several of the squares of the grid. 2. Start filling in the edges with large blooms of hydrangea, which are easy to work with because they come on a single stem. 3. Fill in the gaps and tighten the composition with snapdragons and calla lilies to add colour and texture.