I’m rather lucky in that I have a sister in the floristry biz, who can pull together the most amazing bouquets with her eyes closed. Beautiful, structured, but not so uptight that they look stiff. Arrangements that when guests come over they gasp and coo over. There is a skill to creating such masterpieces and this morning I got Gem to spill the beans, just in time for mother’s day!
Before we get down to the nitty-gritty, let me just tell you the best secret. When compiling your bouquet, if you hold the stems much lower down on the arrangement the whole thing will feel a lot looser and relaxed. It’s the quickest way to get that romantic, just picked from the meadow feel. The higher you take your hand up the stems the more formal (as in uptight!) the bouquet will appear. Interesting no?
Select your flowers
When it comes to making a bouquet you need variety so opt for between 3 and 5 different flowers. Like most styling secrets, the trick to floristry is to plump for odd numbers so 3 or 5 varieties work a treat. Then simply use between 3 and 5 stems of each variety. So our Sandown bouquet (below) uses peony, ranunculus and hydrangea. Also you’ll need foliage to bulk it out, we used berries here, but it could be ivy, eucalyptus– take your pick. Lay them all out and you’re ready to start assembling…
Choose a focal flower
Once you’ve picked your blooms, choose a focal flower. This should be something fairly big and fat headed – I love a hydrangea. Bunch all of your focal stems together, remembering to hold the bunch at the point where you will bind with the string. Also (top tip here) insert the stems at an angle, so the flower head is angled away from you slightly. Then add in your foliage, inserting into the bouquet where your thumb rests.
Layers of flowers and foliage
Start adding your second layer of flowers around the bunch you’ve just started. Turn the bouquet clockwise after you have added each bloom, for an easy way to intersperse the flowers. Next, add another circle of foliage. Insert it at an angle again, this time lower down the bunch.
Take a birds eye view
Look at the bouquet from above to see how it’s shaping up. You want to check the colour balance, as well as the positioning of all the flowers. You want to balance the line between too uptight and symmetrical and too wonkily lop-sided!
Add more flowers
Use up your remaining stems. Begin this next sequence slightly lower around the side again (this will give you your lovely domed shape). Finally use up the last ones, angling the stems so they sit even lower around the edges of the bunch.
Tie it all up
Secure with string or raffia, trim the ends and voila. All the florists tricks to nail a beautifully arranged bouquet – just in time for mother’s day!