6 beautiful blooms
Spring or summer, fall or winter, fresh flowers are a delightful way to add colour and life to your home. Decorate mantlepieces or create centrepieces with these six simple projects.
Pretty in purple
Hydrangeas are back in style. Show them off in round vases of various sizes (available at most florists and dollar stores). For this simple look, snip flower heads, using one per vase. Hydrangeas tend to be very thirsty; keep them well hydrated with just a little water at a time, which will prevent waterlogging.
Styling tip: A trio of flowers in vases has more presence than a single arrangement. Place them in a row on a table or shelf.
Make a big statement with a little bunch of anemones arranged in a large glass vase. Tie stems together with twine and nestle them in some water.
Styling tip: Play with scale by placing small flowers in big vases – you can display them in a large space and the flowers won't get lost.
For a striking silhouette that will look elegant on a table or mantel, fill a tall vase with water (to within two inches of the top) and invert a stem of orchids, leaving the stem partially exposed. A stem of cymbidiums will last for about a week under water and costs around $30. Orchids come in subtle pinks and whites, as well as vibrant chartreuse, fuchsia and spotted yellow.
Styling tip: Pile orchid blooms in a jar and fill with unscented bath oil; use the oil or just display the jar in your bathroom.
Not only do lilies smell beautiful, but they're graceful looking, too. Use flowers that are the same height as your vases; for impact, sit two tall cylinder vases on your dining table.
Styling tip: For an Asian feel, mix lilies with bamboo or ornamental grasses.
Don't limit your creativity to just flowers. Ornamental leaves, which are works of art, are available at floral shops and lend a modern, sophisticated touch to any table. Choose broad leaves from anthuriums, philodendrons, soft shield ferns or tulips (or from any flowers you like), curling one inside each bud vase, then adding water.
Styling tip: Create interest with leaves of varying colours. Some varieties of hostas have contrasting stripes, as well as long narrow leaves.
Mum's the word
Regular chrysanthemums positively blossom when presented in a low tray or vase. If using the ragged fringed type (shown here), choose one colour; if you prefer the regular kind, mix different colours. Snip off stems before filling a tray. Have more fun by arranging mums in rings of colour.
Styling tip: If a flower head accidentally falls off, float it in a bowl and display on a side table or in a room for a hit of colour.