A TALENTED horticulturalist at a magnificent stately home has shared her tips for perfect floral art displays to mark Floral Design Day.
Amy Beach, flower grower and member of the kitchen garden team at Holker Hall and Gardens, near Grange over Sands, helped establish a cut flower garden at the historic property three years ago.
Her stunning displays are created using homegrown blooms and adorn the grand rooms of the 400-year-old Grade II-listed home all year round.
Now, Amy has offered her top tips for creating beautiful displays at home using flowers from the garden.
Her advice ranges from experimenting with different vases and vessels to never dismissing
anything as a weed.
Amy said: “People are often too frightened to have a go at creating their own arrangements
because they assume you need training and that you have to know all about flowers.
“But anyone can give it a go. It’s about experimenting with the colours you love and
remembering to add in foliage as well as stems that offer interesting shape and structure.”
Holker Hall re-opens to the public for the 2020 season on Friday, March 20.
Its famed formal gardens are renowned for their ever evolving seasonal colour, beginning with a magnificent showing of tulips in spring.
Amy added: “Floral Art Day is the perfect time to try flower arranging and to simply enjoy the creative opportunity it provides.
“We grow all year round here at Holker. There’s always something that can be used to create a display.
“I hope more people will look at their own gardens with fresh eyes to see what they can use to bring some colour and scent indoors.”
Amy’s tips for Floral Design Day
Condition your flowers before arranging...
Harvest your flowers early in the morning or the evening avoiding the hottest part of the day and place them into cool water for a few hours before arranging. This gives the stems time to ‘drink’ which prevents them for wilting in the vase and making a longer lasting display, a process known as ‘conditioning’
It's not just colour that counts...
Choose stems that have an interesting shape and structure or texture to make arrangements
stand out. Three or four taller flowers in and amongst a display - or even a selection of grasses or different types of foliage - will give arrangements height and a naturalistic touch.
Experiment with different vases and vessels...
A wild and billowy arrangement of garden flowers can look just as good in a formal vase, as a
rustic. Even a pretty jam jar or upcycled tin can will add interest to a shelf or table.
Have fun trying different colour combinations...
Choose similar tones and hues of your favourite colour or be bold and throw in some striking
contrasts! Oranges and violets can really pop in the evening light but are more subdued by day. The key is to be creative and allow your own personal style to develop.
Don't dismiss anything as a weed...
Forget what you class as a 'flower' and a 'weed' If it looks pretty or has a nice shape, structure or texture, then go with it, particularly out of season. It's amazing what you can create from things growing in the garden or nearby. Hedgerow cow parsley, interesting grasses - even buttercups found a place in the show gardens of Chelsea last year!