Sometimes the sad-looking lilies at Sainsbo's just won’t cut it. Flowers that look natural and wild aren’t easy to come by, so we asked Katy from Bloom Collective for help making our own bouquet at home. All you need is scissors, a container and the following words. Oh and flowers! You'll need flowers.
1. The materials
The flower market is good, but often flowers come in 'wraps' of 10s, 20s and even 50s. If you just want enough to make one bouquet, it's best to visit a good local florist and pick up some bits to experiment with. The rule of thumb Bloom follow when choosing flowers is season. If you use seasonal ingredients, everything will naturally be of a higher quality and at it's very best.
Use half foliage and half flowers as a general rule of thumb. In this arrangement, Katy used Eucalyptus 'baby blue', two different varieties of Dahlia, Peonies in 'Coral Sunset' and 'Flame', Soft Ruscus, Love in a Mist (AKA Nigella), Asparagus Fern, Delphiniums and Nectaroscordum Siculum (a variety of Alium). Clean the stems of foliage to 3/4 of the way up. This allows the flowers to drink and ensures the bloom itself gets the majority of the goodness so they stay fresher for longer.
After you've laid out your ingredients and cleaned all of the stems off, have a look for the most stand out piece of material - this will be the star of the arrangement. Once you've chosen your focal piece, hold it in your dominant hand and work around it, adding stems and loosely creating a spiral with your materials. The flowers are held in position with the thumb and forefinger; the other fingers grip in and release as more flowers are added.
Once you feel you have achieved a nice shape, drop the blooms into your container. If you want to create a tied bouquet, use exactly the same approach but hold the flowers tightly in your dominant hand and wrap a piece of string around them with the other hand at the binding point - the place where you removed all of the foliage up to. Tie the string quite firmly but be careful not to cut the stems with the string. Tidy up the stems by cutting them all to the same length.
5. And finally
After you've put the blooms into the container, take a step back and have a look at the finished result. Add more materials at this stage if necessary. As for the container itself, don't be afraid to use an unusual shape - or play with scale and colour. At every stage of the process, Katy is an advocate of breaking the rules - if it looks good then go for it. Sometimes clashing colours are good - follow your instincts.