I particularly love picotee ranunculus’ painterly petals with their contrasting edges. To really show them off, I chose a wide bowl shape, allowing plenty of space around each flower. The raised bowl is an invitation for a wide, asymmetrically shaped arra
In the first of a new series, Rachel Siegfried creates a romantic flower arrangement for spring
Extract from The Flower Book, by Rachel Siegfried, photographs by Clare West, published by Dorling Kindersley (£30)
3 amelanchier branches (Amelanchier canadensis)
3 spiraea stems (Spiraea x arguta)
7 ranunculus in a variety of pastel colours (Ranunculus asiaticus)
2 Icelandic poppies (Papaver nudicaule)
3–5 parrot tulips (Tulipa Apricot Parrot)
3 heuchera leaves (Heuchera Pewter Moon)
3 snake’s-head fritillary stems (Fritillaria meleagris)
Ceramic, footed bowl
1 Tape a ball of chicken wire into the container. Then pour in water.
2 Cut the three woody, structural branches of the amelanchier to about three times the height of the container. Use these to create the triangular outline of your arrangement.
3 Place the spiraea between the amelanchier stems, allowing some of it to trail downwards.
4 Hold the ranunculus, poppies and tulips up to the arrangement one at a time in order to judge the required position and stem length. Then cut and place them into the arrangement appropriately.
5 Slip a few heuchera leaves between the foliage and container. Finally, dot the snake’s-head fritillary stems in the gaps of the arrangement for a finishing flourish.
Refresh the water every 2 days as the ranunculus cannot tolerate bacterial build-up. The arrangement will last for up to 7 days.