My pick of cutting garden favourites (& ideas for how to style them)

August 1, 2016

DIY Pineapple vase flower arrangement styling interiors

Image: Design Soda

 

It’s the first day of August and right now Mother Nature is putting on quite a show in our garden, flowers are everywhere in abundance. We’ve been celebrating each new bloom by bringing them into the home throughout July and I’ve been watching what thrives best and looks well within our interior style. I’m over the moon to have a garden to grow flowers in, not only are they much cheaper than florists and fresher too but there’s something really pleasing about watching your blooms come from shoots and blossom on top of which I love the smell and they are great for your wellbeing in a space. I’ve been reading Holly Becker’s Decorate with Flowers this month (which  I highly recommend) and last week I was at a brilliant workshop put together by bloomon on modern flower arrangements so I thought I’d put together some of the top tips I’ve learned and some styling ideas for if you fancy growing a cutting garden but don’t know where to start. I’ve had window boxes and front garden pots for years so I have some tried and trusted faves along with new additions that I’m now able to grow in our outdoor space and work really well indoors.

 

Geraniums & Sedum, how to style flowers in the home cutting garden

Image: Design Soda

With so many flowers around it can be quire overwhelming to know where to start with growing your own. I tend to gravitate towards cool colours, with blue and white being predominant favourites, and a few pastels which makes sense as its naturally in tune with my home sensibilities. One of my surprises have been herbs which I’ve only ever had a small selection of in tiny pots on kitchen windowsills before. They produce wonderful flowers, are great foliage, smell beautiful and are pretty well top of my list because they can be grown on window boxes and most varieties dry rather well for winter bouquets. For foliage I love Mimosa, firstly for pretty yellow pompom flowers in winter when you need a shot of bright colour and also because they make fantastic foliage for structure to hold more fragile stems against in arrangements, in fact I’ve used their green feathery leaf structures in pretty much every flower arrangement pictured here. I also recommend eucalyptus but always buy this from the shop so I don’t know how easy it is to grow or where it thrives well. Our garden is reasonably architectural and structural flowers are also a good choice for both outside and indoors, most have the added benefit of drying out nicely for a winter posy, I’m going to do this with my alliums, hydrangeas, thistles and cow parsley. Some are already in the various processes of drying and I’m really pleased with them.

 

Hydrangea Limelight, , how to style flowers in the home cutting garden

Image: Design Soda

So first up on my list of cut garden bouquets is the ubiquitous hydrangea. Hydrangeas are pretty staple in interior styling and I do love a tall stem with large blooms but our green hydrangea is in its first year so it’s not producing huge blooms en mass just yet. But I rather love these delicate smaller blooms and keep picking them before they are full grown, they add a nice delicacy that’s less frothy than other delicate flowers I pick and they last amazingly well in water. If they droop a good tip is to dunk their heads in warm water for 15 minutes or so to revive them. The flowers in this arrangement are:  Limelight Hydrangeas.

 

Peach roses, pink dahias, thistles, vintage tin can vase, , how to style flowers in the home cutting garden

Image: Design Soda

I tend not to gravitate towards vivid or blousey flowers naturally, preferring blues and whites, but I have to say a peach rose amongst an array of fluorescent dahlias can’t help but cheer even a muted pallet like mine. This is an old trick these days but flowers (or succulents/plants) can look really great potted up in an old tin can, I got this tuna in Carluccios (who are great for this kind of packaging) a few years ago and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I didn’t buy it purely for the tin! The flowers in this arrangement are: Dahlias, Roses, Thistles & Mimosa foliage.

 

Cow Parsley, wild flowers, , how to style flowers in the home cutting garden

Image: Design Soda

If you are interested in these things cow parsley is slightly controversial as its an overly hardy weed and grows everywhere. In the countryside this means it’s over expanding to the detriment of other varieties of flower, in your own garden this means it may overtake the section you plant it in, a small breeze is all it takes for its delicate flower heads to drop and scatter their seed. However they are also Monty Dons flower of the year and I am quite happy for them to scatter and sew in my front garden wherever they like. The flowers in this arrangement are: Ammi Majus (Cow parsley) and Mimosa foliage.

 

DIY Pineapple vase flower arrangement styling interiors

Image: Design Soda

I’ve seen this idea on Pinterest and a pineapple for a vase is a great party idea, Mother Nature really excelled herself when creating the pineapple, what a thing of great joy and beauty. This was my first trial, I’d recommend a coaster or greeaseproof paper underneath to catch the inevitable pineapple sap but I’m definitely going to do it again for the table centrepiece at our summer party in a few weeks. I love the verbena and fennel flowers in this bouquet and of course the thistle, I’ve gone a bit thistle mad in my first foray into gardening with 5 different kinds, these are the blue globe thistle, an added bonus to thistles is that they make great dried flowers. The flowers in this arrangement are: Verbena, Fennel flowers, Veronica Spicata, Blue Globe Thistle and Mimosa foliage.

 

Interior design how to style flowers cow parsley, curley leafed parsley, Loddon Royalist, Chive, wild flowers

Image: Design Soda

I love the colour of these flowers in our hallway (though I’m not sure I trust the cat not to ‘accidentally’ knock them off when she’s hungry), the yellow in particular of the curled leaf parsley sets off the shade of Oval Room Blue on the walls beautifully, I’m a big fan of letting herbs go a bit mad in summer so you can reap the rewards of their blooms. The Flowers in this arrangement are: Loddon Royalist, Chive flowers, Curly Leafed Parsley and Cow Parsley.

 

Geraniums & Thundercloud Sedum, how to style flowers in the home

Image: Design Soda

Ah, white geraniums, these are my ulitamate lazy girl flower, they just won’t die! I’ve had some for 4 years, don’t water them or dead head them and they will hold on to survival, however water them regularly and deadhead each time the petals begin to brown and they will repay you with never ending abundance all through the year if you are lucky enough to have them south facing as I am. They last reasonably well indoors and I can’t help bringing them in when I have so many. They are mixed with Sedum Thundercloud which makes great succulent like foliage for structure amongst pretties like geraniums and when they start to bloom in high summer (as they are just beginning to in my garden) they have the most beautiful dappled pink and white cloud-like blooms. The flowers in this arrangement are: White Geraniums & Sedum Thundercloud.

 

Expert tips to get the best out of your blooms:

Sounds counter-intuitive but wash your vases with a little bleach to eliminate bacteria before putting your blooms in.

Use florist scissors (or knife) to cut flowers

Cut stems at 45 degree angle

To open up blooms more quickly (say for a party) place in warm water for a little while

Pick flowers early in the morning or in the evening as this is when they are most hydrated and you will get a bouquet that lasts longer

If your flowers are starting to fade cut their stems again

Change water every two days

Don’t use too much water, roughly 2 inches is what’s needed for most arrangengments and submerging the stems leads to rot and bacteria

Place flowers in warm water for 15 minutes to revive before putting in vase if they have been out of water for more than half an hour

Pink Rose, how to style flowers in the home cutting garden

Image: Design Soda

What do you love to grow in your garden to bring indoors? I’d love to hear your tips.

 

 

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