We are obsessed (repeat obsessed) with foliage at the moment. Big mossy branches, winter berries, catkins, ferns, trailing meadow horsetail – they make homes uber cosy and dramatic, They’re wild, edgy, free, I love.
We packed our AW15 collection with more faux foliage than actual flowers, which was a bit of a big fat risk because no one else is doing them. I remember having a sleepless night before the launch wondering if anyone would like them. Needn’t have worried though because our super-stylish clientele at Heal’s have really taken to them – they’re just a bit more cool and modern, and really feel like part of the next big thing in floristry.
We’re off very soon to look at the how the Spring/Summer collection is shaping up. Apart from the 12 hour flight this is hugely exciting because we’ve pushed it one step further again (don’t expect the typical summery oranges and yellows). I think it’ll be incredible – but let’s not jump the gun haven’t seen the samples yet! We’re also working on AW16 simultaneously, so I’m all over the place – keep waking up getting really confused over which season I’m in and what the hell I’m supposed to be doing.
Enough of my ramblings though, let’s get back to faux foliages. The best thing about decorating with foliage is that it doesn’t require tons of skill to pull off a fabulous arrangement (doing Gem a disservice here I realise!), but it doesn’t. You don’t need the same skill as you would say pulling together a hand tied bouquet. You can actually just plop a bunch of beautiful foliages in a vase, and it’s nailed. That’s just the tip of the iceberg though, so here are Gem’s go-to tips for other ways to decorate with foliages:
1. GROUP IN HUES
The trick to decorating with foliages is to group them according to size and colour. Grey greens look beautiful together as do fiery reds, blues, browns. They come in all sorts of amazing tints and shades, but the easiest way to make an arrangement work is to stick to one colour scheme.
2. KNOW WHAT TO HIDE
Biggest tip for all arrangements is to ditch the transparent vases. For the real pro florists’ look, you should never see the stem. Opaque or ceramic vases hide these, and instead put all the focus on the leaves, branches or blooms themselves, which is just where it should be.
3. CONTRAST TEXTURES
Partner the softer cloudlike puffball flowers like alliums, hydrangea or gelda with feathery ferns or delicate Queen Ann’s lace, and more robust blooms (ranunculus and peonies) with spiky jungle-y single stems. The point is to make a statement.
4. GO IT ALONE
Be brave and forget flowers altogether, and have a mass of foliage on their own. It’s modern, bold and best of all – dead easy.
If you’d like some hands-on advice from Gemma, she’s running Decorating for the Holidays classes just in time for Christmas. All her demonstration classes are now sold out I believe, but we’ve just scheduled another hands-on Christmas workshop which is set to be super exciting. Gemma will be teaching you how to whip up wreaths, table arrangements and arrangements. Best of all you’ll have the opportunity to put it all into practice and create your own hand tied faux bouquet to take away with you as a fab freebie! Perfect for treating yourself or a buddy to an early Christmas prezzie, methinks.