Top table centrepieces
Whether country chic or formal glamour, a table setting is not complete without a floral centrepiece.
As centrepieces are typically used at tables where people sit and eat, they should be low enough for your guests to see over them. They will need to look good from all angles as well – attention to detail is vital.
To consider your design as though it was in situ, it can be helpful to arrange a table centrepiece sitting down. By doing this you can see which are the focal flowers in the arrangement and create or adjust accordingly. A lazy Susan helps to view your arrangement easily from all angles as you're designing. Select a low container so that your flowers do not sit too high, or pedestal containers where flowers sit above eye-level. To cover an entire table, flowers and foliage can be tied together to form a floral garland, but to ensure your flowers last the distance, floral foam blocks, such as Oasis Dekorette Bricks, can be used. These range from 23cm to 46cm in length (they can also be joined together) and come with trays so water does not saturate the table.
FLORAL CHAIR BACK
Flowers attached to the back of a chair add a gorgeous touch to any celebration, but they're most often seen at weddings. You can easily create your own chair back design with a few simple items.
Attach a small, flat foam cage (already moist) to the back of a chair using string or ribbon. The ribbon can be incorporated into your design. Choose a selection of flowers that match your bridal bouquets, and foliage. Start by inserting the foliage at the sides, then insert flowers, also on the sides first, then in the centre.
If you wish to have your flowers hang in a swag-like manner, make a sphagnum moss "rope" (see instructions in Weddings & Events under Circular Arch) and insert your flowers and foliage into this. The moss should be just damp rather than saturated, otherwise water will drip all over the floor, or worse, onto your guests' clothing. Attach string or ribbon to either side of the swag before you start inserting flowers. Use this to hang.
Both these techniques can be used to decorate walls, columns, pillars, posts and church pews.
LOW- KEY LOOK
Displaying flowers in jam jars or cheap and cheerful vases is an easy, adaptable arrangement that suits many themes. Both the flowers and vase are simple – and inserting a mix of short-stemmed garden blooms in a random manner is somehow artfully pleasing. There is no need for armfuls of blooms. Showing off single flowers in several small containers is by no means boring.
These simple arrangements can be juiced up by including rustic wood platters (make your own by cutting “slices” from fallen tree trunks and sanding them back) or vintage silver-plated trays that are found in their hundreds at op shops.
If you’re by the sea, bring in driftwood pieces. Attach succulents or airplants to them, or drill holes into the wood and insert taper candles – but make sure the driftwood is secured to the table (adhesive Velcro is great) so that it doesn’t move, causing the candles to topple.
Wildflower and meadow-style arrangements are right on trend. Pick simple daisy-like flowers, like chamomile and feverfew, and sprigs of English lavender, or pick any small-headed garden flowers and loosely arrange them in vases to conjure up something akin to a wildflower meadow. This style works for soft, harmonious colour palettes as well as palettes with vibrant hues.
SWEET AND SIMPLE
This simple table garland is created by wiring stems of ornamental grasses together to form a long centrepiece. Long-lasting flowers are then pushed into the grass garland to decorate it. Used here are the small daisy-like flowers of chamomile, the larger daisy-like flowers of leucanthemum, red clover ( Trifolium pratense) blossoms and pretty purple-pink sweet williams (dianthus). Grasses are also used to tie the linen napkins.
Make your crown at the last moment or the night before your event. Place it in the vegetable crisper of your fridge, on a piece of damp paper towel.
Choose a selection of hardy flowers, like chrysanthemums and leptospermum, and long-lasting foliage, like eucalyptus.
To make: Cut two pieces of florist's wire to fit around your head. Bend into a circle and wrap floral tape around both pieces of wire to cover it.
Cut flower and foliage stems about 10cm long. Make small "bouquets", like boutonnieres, wrapping the stems with floral tape. Fasten to the crown using floral tape. Each bouquet should overlap the previous one to cover the tape.