FOR THE HOME
Dr Lisa Cooper says flowers are the freshest way to decorate your home and you don’t have to be a florist to put an arrangement together. Just cut, arrange and put them everywhere, she says “Stick to a mass of one type of flower and focus on the composition until you are more confident in this area, then add a second element,” Cooper says “Buy flowers that you absolutely love en masse and arrange them in a vase one by one, conscious of the placement of each.” Where possible, buy flowers from farms or markets (Flemington Flower Market is her favourite). If you are buying from a supermarket, take a good look. “This seems obvious but I think few people do. Observe them closely for marks, weak petals and leaves; choose the strongest and most vibrant. When you get them home, remove the majority of the leaves so that the water is replenishing the flower and not feeding leaves. Cut the stems and plunge immediately into cold tap water.” Cooper says visiting local flower farms provides great inspiration, and she loves rose farms. “In winter the rose is cut back to a bare stump that by early summer is a heaving mass of undulant, fragrant colour,’’ she says Her favourite seasonal flowers are hellebores for winter, lily of the valley in spring, garden roses in summer and hydrangeas in autumn.