We all agree that cut flowers in vases bring a room to life whether it is a kitchen or a bedroom. But they don’t last long, do they? There’s an easier way (and it’s not fake flowers).
Sometimes it’s best to seek the advice of the experts. Florist Tracy Bell, from Flower Lodge, is used to sharing useful advice and style tips on flower care and design.
You will learn how to create the perfect — and durable — posy table arrangement. And enjoy fresh flowers in your home for longer!
Independent Design Focus: This how-to guide is part of a series that showcase the best local home decor shops and designers. I meet nice indie shop owners/designers and share their best style tips with you. Got an idea? Contact me now to take part.
Why you need more flowers in your life
Plants and flowers are a vital decorative element. They create a welcoming and inviting atmosphere as soon as you walk into a room. We associate greenery and flowers with positive feelings. And whereas potted plants are more of a permanent feature, flowers allow for seasonal variations.
A gorgeous way to enjoy fresh flowers is to create a posy table arrangement. And not just for special events but for everyday life. The choice of flowers, size and design can accommodate every occasion or mood. From romantic decadence to Scandinavian wilderness.
I’ve never created a flower design before, let alone a table arrangement. There’s no need to panic, though. We have Tracy to guide us by the hand — with a pair of scissors in the other one. She introduced me to the wonders of floral foam, such as Oasis.
5 Tips for using floral foam the right way
Oasis is the most popular floral wet foam brand. They come in blocks of many shapes that absorb and keep water for a long time. The foam provides both stability to the arrangement and water to feed the flowers.
It’s a low maintenance solution and, according to Oasis, flowers last longer in foam than in a vase. I’m sold. Plus it makes it so easy to arrange flowers and allow for creative displays. Here are five tips to get it right the first time:
- Soak the foam block in a bucket of water. Never soak it under the tap.
- Make sure the foam is at least one inch higher than the rim of the bowl.
- The bottom of the flower stems should be in contact with the foam.
- Use florist’s tape to fix the block to the bowl as it’s stronger than regular tape.
- Don’t reuse foam. Use only what you need to avoid waste.
How to make a posy table arrangement
Tracy was kind enough to invite me to one of her popular floral design workshops. Today, I’m sharing her best tips and tricks to create a beautiful flower arrangement for your table. This design incorporates unusual flower varieties and wild foliage — think Secret Garden style. Let the botanical feast begin!
You will need the following items:
- Oasis round bowl
- Oasis foam block
- Florist’s tape
- Floral snips
- Assorted flowers
- Assorted foliage
Step 1. Prepare the base
Make sure you are familiar with Tracy’s floral foam tips above. The good news is that you don’t need a whole foam block, just one piece. Cut a third with a knife following the convenient mark on the foam. That’s all you need.
Now it’s time to find a container. Oasis manufactures small round bowls specifically designed for table arrangements. The perfect match. Place the small foam block you cut, so it sits upright on the bowl. Secure it with florist tape taping around it from top to bottom.
Step 2. Green up with foliage
The purpose of foliage is to provide a backdrop for the flowers to stand out, add shape and hide the foam. It’s best to use a selection with various colours, shapes, sizes and textures. For the Secret Garden design, I’m using: leather leaf, pistache, pittosporum, ruscus, eucalyptus (“Baby Blue” variety) and ivy.
Start with the leather leaf and then continue in order. All you need to do is to cut sections of each branch and stick them to the foam. The key is to imagine the foam as a three-storey building. Use bigger and longer leaves in the lower level and reduce the size of the foliage as you go up. Angle the pieces in with a slight spill to create height and disguise the bowl.
Step 3. Introduce the star flowers
This is where it gets interesting. The main flowers in this design are “Fifth Avenue” roses, “Hypnosis” carnations and white oriental lilies. Arrange them in a way so they complement each other instead of fighting for attention. A little trick is to stick them in groups of three following a triangular shape.
STYLE TIP: When creating a floral arrangement consider the colour transitions from one flower to the next. Use different heights and shapes to add depth and interest.
Have a look at the photo above. See how all the flower varieties are in threes? And each group forms a little triangle. The colours of this arrangement play with monochromatic shades of pink and lilac. Think how you place them together to create a cohesive colour scheme. From darker flowers to lighter ones.
Step 4. Layer with filler flowers
The main job is done! — but don’t tap yourself on the back yet. The last step involves filling in the gaps with smaller flowers. I’m using green lisianthus, eryngium, bupleurum and waxflower. Pick different stem heights to add depth and texture. It doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, that loose and wild look is ideal.
Remember the three-storey building analogy? Apply the same principle to arrange the filler flowers, covering all levels to create interest. Aim for “organic asymmetry,” making sure that flowers face all directions. Finally, if you can still see foam, fill the gaps with foliage scraps.
I have a little confession to make. I photographed Tracy’s own posy for the final reveal for two reasons. One, there was still daylight. And two, just look at it! She has the magic touch. All the previous steps show my very own floral arrangement I proudly display on my kitchen table.
How to care for your flower centrepiece
Once your beautiful arrangement is finished and on display, it should last for a week. It’s best to place it in a cool location, away from direct sunlight or heating sources. Otherwise, the flowers may wilt faster.
Don’t forget to water the foam every other day. Pour half a cup of water over the foam block. If the weather is warmer, you may have to do it daily. It must never dry out, or the block will suck water from the flowers.
Visit Flower Lodge of Cardiff
Sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone is what you need to discover a new passion. Maybe you’re like me and thought “oh yeah, flowers, pop them in a vase and that’s that.” Well, now we know a new way to display flowers creatively.
Why don’t you try it yourself? Check Tracy’s workshop calendar and give it a go. Visit Flower Lodge to understand why it’s Cardiff’s most instagrammable shop. Vintage shop front, colourful location and Baxter — the most handsome dog ever.
You’ll find Flower Lodge in 4 Beulah Road, Rhiwbina, Cardiff. Call Tracy on 029 2062 7587 if you have any queries. Tip: check the home accessories range with lovely natural candles and gifts.
Are you ready to add more flowers into your life?
What’s your favourite thing about flowers in the house? Have you tried Oasis floral foam before? Share your tips in the comments below.