In bloom: 5 ways to decorate with fresh flowers

by Jo Walker
Photo Credit: Natalie Jeffcott

In bloom: 5 ways to decorate with fresh flowers

Whether you're lucky enough to have someone give you flowers, or you buy them as a treat for yourself (or maybe you're a talented person who grows your own in the garden), there's nothing like having fresh blooms around the place.

Here are five ideas for decorating with cut flowers, plus some practical inspiration for keeping them fresh and happy as long as possible.

The Classic Solo Glass Vase

A Simple Large Glass Vase Can Show Off Pretty Much Any Kind Of Foilage

It's a classic for a reason - a simple large glass vase can show off pretty much any kind of foliage, and looks great in any style of home. This type of vase is the go-to for a good old mixed bunch. But don't just fill up the water and stick it in there. Let's stick it in there with finesse.

First, separate your bunch and strip away any plant material that will sit below the water line, then trim stems at an angle (you can trim again every three or four days to keep them fresh for longer). Grab your greenery first (leaves, ferns or other foliage) and place in the vase, criss-crossing stems to create structure.

Decide which bloom will be your 'feature' flower (maybe a particularly big or colourful one) and place it in the middle, then bulk out with other 'supporting' flowers. Keep turning the vase around as you go and fill in any blank spots. Then top up with water and step back and admire your handiwork!

The Eclectic Collection

The Eclectic Collection

Most of us acquire our homewares over time and we might end up with a bit of a mismatched collection. Maybe you inherited some cut crystal from your nanna, or an old housemate left behind a vessel or two. Maybe you've splashed out and bought yourself some new vases more recently. Well - they all tell a story. Why not group them together and embrace the eclectic vibe?

This approach works best when a single bunch won't fit in a single vase. Or just when you have too many flowers to enjoy at once! Experiment with different colours, sizes, shapes and materials when it comes to the vases - complement or clash, it's up to you - and keep it simple when it comes to the blooms. Arrange just one or two types of flower in each vase, and group by colour.

The Mason Jar Approach

The Mason Jar Approach

Not all of us have a collection of vases to hand. (They're not something you tend to use every day, after all.) But even if you do, there's something charming and casual about a floral arrangement in a mason jar. Whether it's upcycled, swiped from the canning cupboard or bought especially, mason jars are still a cheery option for flower display.

As with all cut flowers, these ones will be thirsty. If your posy came from the florist with flower food, add some to the water in each jar. If not, you can whip up a DIY batch by mixing one litre of water with two tablespoons of lemon juice, one tablespoon of sugar and half a teaspoon of bleach. Change the water every two or three days to keep your blooms fresh for longer.

The Mini Arrangement

The Mini Arrangement

Here's a tip: if you have a big vase, you need a big arrangement of flowers to fill it up. If you have a small vase, you only need a small amount of foliage to create a cheery scene. And if you go for mini bottles, well, throw in a couple of leaves or a single little sprig and you're done.

Mini glass bottles are a chic way to bring some tiny, delicate foliage into your home - they're easily available and can also be collected over time. (Try upcycling old perfume bottles and miniature jars to mix in with newer vessels.) Look out for interesting leaves around the garden that can be displayed in the mini bottles. Or tiny feminine blooms like baby's breath or wattle.

The Box Of Blooms

The Box Of Blooms

Got badly mismatched flower vessels? Or maybe you're just sticking blooms into drinking glasses and mugs because everything else is full? Pop them all in a box and no-one will ever know.

A charming wooden crate or box is great to house flowers for a dining table centrepiece (at least you can see over it!) Or just for regular placement on a mantel, desk or coffee table. It's modern and casual, and makes the most of shorter mixed blooms.

Plus, when it's not holding flowers, the box can do double duty as general storage around the house. Because everyone needs an extra place to shove magazines, remote controls and other random stuff.

Relaxed and eclectic is the go here, so use a mix of foliage and don't worry too much if it looks a bit messy. If you're really concerned about seeing the clashing vases inside, you could even line the crate with fabric for extra camouflage. Or just embrace that mixed-up look!

Classic solo vase photo shows: Bouclair Chic Bloom Large Glass Vase 36cm in clear

Eclectic collection photo shows: (L-R) Bouclair Calm Moment Cement Table Vase in grey, Bouclair Chic Bloom Large Glass Vase 36cm in clear, Ombre Home Classic Chic Speckle Small Vase in white, Ombre Home Mediterranean Summer Vase #2 in royal blue, Bouclair Fall Blush Glass Vase in smokey grey

Mason jar approach photo shows: Mason Preserving Jars in various sizes

Mini arrangement photo shows: Shamrock Naturals Mini Glass Bottles in clear

Box of blooms photo shows: Francheville Small Wood Crate Storage Box in natural

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