Country Garden Style

PUBLISHED: 15:07 13 September 2012 | UPDATED: 21:51 20 February 2013

Country Garden Style

Country Garden Style

Casual chic is the in-thing in floristry at the moment. Leading events florist Rose Hamson shows how to give your flowers the 'artlessly casual' look

Country Garden Style

Casual chic is the in-thing in floristry at the moment. Leading events florist Rose Hamson shows how to give your flowers the artlessly casual look

Flowers are widely used by the fashion industry to give mood and character to location photography. This years magazines have featured beautiful, big, blowsy flower displays.

Recreating the look at home can be disappointing, with the artlessly casual look more often turning out as a shapeless muddle. Top floral designer Rose Hamson, says: I love the country garden look, and even my more formal work for contract and corporate clients borrows from the spirit of how flowers grow naturally: using groups and loose bands of colour and form, supported by good foliage. But beneath every successfully informal arrangement there has to be structure based on classic design principles: the art is for the structure not to show.

The indispensable starting point for this type of arrangement is to choose the flowers you love in toning colours, and the right container for them. Seasonal flowers always look best, so look out for shops which supply them. And grow your own: many people who cant bear to cut the best blooms from their garden borders, and are lucky enough to have a bit of extra space, are establishing cutting gardens away from the main garden, where flowers for the house can be grown in rows for easy cutting.

Another tip for casual vases is to throw away all notions of sticking things in floral foam, and old-fashioned rigid triangular or diamond shapes: The look you want is for each stem to be growing naturally from a central point, and having its own space and role in the design, says Rose. Try sticking a grid of sellotape across the vase opening to support your stems.

Use plenty of foliage, advises Rose. But prepare all your stems before you start by stripping off the leaves which will be below the water line. This encourages you to plan your design, identifying flowers with curved stems so you can use them creatively, rather than trying to make them conform.

And finally: Enjoy your flowers! Put them in places where they not only add impact and beauty to a room, but where you get close to them: one of my favourite things is a jug of garden flowers on my kitchen worksurface, under the bright lights and next to where I prepare supper every day.

Rose supplies seasonal flowers to Warners Budgens stores in Bidford on Avon, Moreton in Marsh and Broadway.


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