Impress friends and family! Create your own hand-tied bouquets using the simple but effective spiral technique.
No dinner party, festivity or large gathering is complete without flowers! Create your own tied posy to give to friends or dinner hosts. Flowers and foliage are arranged spirally and the stems trimmed to one length. If balanced perfectly, the bouquet should stand upright on its own, on a table or flat surface. The beauty of this arrangement is that it arrives at its destination perfectly designed with no further arranging needed by the recipient.
1. Choose a selection of flowers. Remove foliage from the lower stems. 2. Begin by grouping a few stems in in your left hand, holding them with your thumb and forefinger. Start with three flowers of the same variety. Then, turning the bouquet as you go, add more stems (different flowers), inserting them at an angle, where your thumb rests, so that the stems at the bottom do not meet up – they splay out. This provides a domed effect to your bouquet. 3. Continue adding flowers and foliage on an angle, either to the outside of the bouquet, or within it to create a balanced effect. 4. When full, tie the stems together with string, then cut the stem ends to the same length.
Use foliage and exotic stems in bouquets as fillers or as a focal point. Here, silver-leafed tillandsias are mixed with green foliage and the globe-shaped seedheads of Scabiosa stellata. The latter is easy to grow, producing soft blue flowers and funky, everlasting seedheads, which look terrific in arrangements.
For a beautiful finish, tie a silky ribbon to your hand-tied bouquet. Once your design is complete and the stems tied with string (see instructions, left), simply cover the secured binding point with a ribbon that matches the flowers.
Adding foliage to arrangements doesn't just fill it out – it creates shape, texture and proportion as well as height, if necessary. Foliage can also be used for colour when including stems like red-leafed cotinus, evergreen magnolia with their velvety-bronze undersides, and silver-leafed dusty miller (senecio). Eucalyptus leaves, seen here in both round and narrow forms, have a pleasant aroma, as do the leaves of scented geraniums. Alchemilla mollis is an excellent filler, too, with its lime-green foliage, as is the red-leafed and red-stemmed Photinia 'Red Robin', which is often used as a hedging plant.
With its enormous dome-shaped form and absence of leaves, this stunning bouquet draws the eye to its fabulous riot of colour. The spiralled technique is used here (see previous page for instructions). The bottom of the stems may need gentle squeezing in order to be inserted into the vase, but the bouquet needs no further arranging. The patterned vase complements this mixed bouquet perfectly. Flowers include roses, carnations, ranunculus, freesias and gerberas.