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Updated July 16, 2012, 10:09 am betterhomesgardens
Whether you buy your flowers, or pick them from your own garden, you want them to look beautiful and last as long as possible.
So here you'll find a step-by-step guide for creating a variety of superb arrangements for everyday pleasure and special occasions. Plus there are tips to help you keep your gorgeous blooms fresh for ages. Enjoy!
Create a dramatic sculptural display with ornamental fruits, palms and glossy leaves such as monstera. They're great value as they can last up to a month, provided the water is changed every other day.- Select a tall bottle-shaped vase, fill it with water and submerge a monstera leaf in the bottom.
- Insert a bunch of red chillies, shorter than the palms, in the centre front of the arrangement. Finish with a couple of monstera leaves around the rim of the vase, angling them slightly.
- Put the arrangement in the vase. Insert wired red gerberas, cut to size, between the leucadendrons, aiming for a fan-like shape with an even distribution of colour.
Gather an armful of cottage-garden flowers, such as dahlias, stock and lisianthus, in pale colours for a dreamy arrangement.- Strip lower flower stems of leaves. Scald dahlia and stock ends in boiling water for 30-60 seconds.
- Insert the lisianthus from the top into the gaps where colour is needed. This creates a lush and even colour distribution throughout the bouquet. Keep long stems in the middle and shorter stems around the outside of the arrangement.
Chrysanthemums are long-lasting, hardy flowers that are also extremely easy to work with. So if you are looking for a bouquet you can put together in an instant, pick up 2-3 bunches of chrysanthemums in two colours.- Remove any leaves below the waterline, then cut the chrysanthemum stems to size. Scald the stem ends in boiling water for 30-60 seconds.
- Holding all the stems in both hands, turn the flowers upside down, then twist the stems before placing them in a vase of cold water.
When the perfect vase is not at hand, raid your crystal cabinet for a suitable vessel. When arranging delicate, bruise-prone gardenias, first fill the vase with water to lessen handling. Place the longest gardenia stems in the middle and, turning the vase around as you go, arrange shorter stems around the rim. Is your vase too tall for the flowers you want to display? Simply raise the base by putting clear glass pebbles or scrunched Cellophane in the bottom of the vase.
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