We all know that decorating our home with flowers is the easiest way to add colour and brighten a room. Philippa Craddock, the official royal wedding florist, knows more than most about how to do it properly, from creating the perfect arrangement to which colour pairings go best. Here, she gives us a masterclass on how to make your flowers looks truly beautiful regardless of where you live.
1. Consider fragrance first and foremost
"Opt for flowers with incredible scent, steering away from the less beautifully scented varieties such as alliums, which are from the onion family - not such a lovely fragrance! Also consider just greenery, which is so beautiful in its own right and tends to last longer than blooms."
2. White and green make the best pairings
"Those colours are so elegant and straightforward, working pretty much anywhere. But there is also no right or wrong; have fun and play around to test what you love yourself and what feels right in your own home."
3. Flower arranging has three key steps
"Start with the greenery. If you have a wider bowl/vase add a scrunched up section of chicken wire first to help support the stems. The greenery will create the basis for the arrangement. Then add your larger, bolder flowers, such as roses, dahlias and hydrangea, followed by smaller filler flowers such as forget-met-nots, alchemilla mollis and orlaya. We teach these skills in most of our flower workshops, particularly A Taste of Floristry and Flowers In The Home."
4. Don't forget to prepare your stems
"Remove the leaves from the bottom of the stem (any part that lies below the water line in the vase), cut the stem at a angle - to increase the surface area for maximum water absorption - and plunge into fresh water to rest."
5. You can salvage drooping flower heads
"If the flowers have been out of water for a while, you might find their heads may have drooped slightly - simply recut the stem (a good couple of centimetres) and plunge into fresh water. If you have a withered hydrangea, you can place all of it (stem and head together) into a large basin of water and it should come back to life again within a few hours."
6. Change the water every day
"Change the water ideally every day, if not then every second day. Adding flower food or a tiny touch of bleach to the water will help the water stay clear and the flowers last longer."
7. Look for vases with a longer neck
"Vases with narrower necks make flower arranging so much easier as the stems are gently supported and you won’t need as many blooms to create a big impact."
8. Display them somewhere cool
"Keep the flowers away from direct sunlight and heat."
9. Consider unconventional arrangements for real impact
For example, I love huge branches, oversized and fabulous - we have low ceilings in our Sussex home, so the branches will often touch the ceilings, which I love!"
10. Don't reserve flowers only to dining tables
"I always keep flowers in the kitchen and occasionally in the downstairs loo and sitting room."