Tulips are easy to find in the shops, affordable, come in every colour and suit a wide range of designs. Follow the links for more ideas, and step by step instructions on how to quickly create a beautiful tulip design to suit your home, from cool simplicity to a riot of movement and colour.
If you are having friends round for dinner and want to decorate the table with flowers I find it is best to choose a low compact design. By using a set of vases you can group the flowers to suit the space on your table, whether it is in a line or clustered together. For this design I chose “Sweet Williams” but you could use bloom carnations instead.
How to create
I used 3 glass cube vases only 7cm tall, but you could use any shaped vase providing it is low and open topped or mix a collection of small vases – odd numbers tend to look better. Make sure the vases are clean, cut one of the stems so the flower sits just above the top of the vase – then use this stem as a guide and cut all the others. Remove any remaining leaves. Fill the vases with water and place on your table.
Are a variety of the Dianthus species shared by carnations. Their flat clustered heads lend themselves to this design. They can have quite a traditional cottage garden look, but used on their own in simple vases become contemporary blocks of colour. They have a light clove fragrance.
Each week I will add a simple flower design I have made for my home with tips on how to create for yourself and look after the flowers I have chosen. The flowers will usually be from a supermarket or local market so should be easy to buy and affordable. I try to use seasonal flowers or at least reflect the seasons in the design. If I use something more unusual or from my garden, I will offer alternatives.
This week, Summer finally arrived in the U.K. so I was inspired to buy some vibrant orange LA lilies, I wanted to add some movement and height to the design so picked some ornamental grass from my garden. If you can’t find this you could buy some grasses or palms from a florist, or add some dried accessories, anything to create height. This design looks great on a kitchen island but could also go on the table – anywhere with some space around it.
How to create
I used a tapered square sided vase 30cm high, but you could use a column vase instead. Make sure your vase is clean. I added some stones in the bottom of the vase this helps hold the stems in position and makes the vase more stable. Just put a few in the bottom at first. Remove all the lower leaves on the lily stems – any leaves below the water line create bacteria and reduces how long your flowers will last. Recut each stem on the diagonal before placing it in the vase.
As my design was going to be mainly viewed from the front, I started with the stem with the least open flowers, this I placed centrally towards the back of the design. I then added the other stems at staggered heights finishing with an open flower facing me. (If your vase is also going to be viewed from the back, make sure some of the blooms face out this way too.) I then added some more stones around the stems. Again I removed any lower leaves on the grass and placed these around the lilies pushing into the stones. I diluted the flower food that came with the flowers and poured into the vase.
A little extra…as one of the flower heads had bent over I cut it off and put in a small open vase with some the grass twisted around it. A nice neat centrepiece for the table or maybe a desk. You can enjoy watching the bloom open up.
These lilies are a hybrid of longiflorum lilies and asiatic lilies, they don’t have any fragrance which some people find overpowering in other lilies and have big open flowers. You still need to be careful of the pollen marking fabric – although it adds a lovely contrasting reddish brown if left on the flower – it is best to remove the pollen just as each flower opens. Just pick it off, if the pollen has gone powdery protect your fingers with a tissue to avoid staining.
Remember lilies are toxic if eaten by cats.