Working With nature, not against it

In flower arranging, it makes sense to look at the form and shape of the flowers and foliage and see which have say, an upright tendency, arching or cascading….and that’s what I mean about working with nature and not against it. In bridal bouquets of the 80s, most of the flowers were wired so they could be extended and then bent to go the right way.

Since then, the trend in flower arranging is all about a natural style, it makes sense to choose flowers and foliage that can create the shape you need without having to contrive it by say, wiring.

So, armed with my secateurs and basket I set off to pick other suitable material for my hall centrepiece and table flowers, it was Halloween so orange is the new black.


I picked anything that looks like Autumn i.e. orange and yellow leaves , peachy statice, peach and orange dahlias, Spirea The Bride, orange achillea, cotton stems and Spirea gold flame.

I chose a large urn as I wanted it to make an impact on a round table for my hallway and then used brown biodegradable foam ( this foam can bio degrade by 50% in its first year in a land fill, i will be making more investigations as to its eco credentials in further blogs) and I added chicken wire over the top as I wanted to add a lot of heavy foliage to the urn.

As you can see in the photos below, the shape was made by the Cotinus and the foliage of the Spirea the Bride. Next I added the dahlias, making sure that they were placed all round the urn as this arrangement would be seen from all angles. The idea is not to have the arrangement too contrived, for example, it doesn’t have to be prescriptive to have all the flowers symmetrically placed. Nature isn’t like that so flowers arrangements don’t either. Although it needs to flow and not have anything jarring, but it doesnt need a formulaic method. You are aiming for a round full shape which looks the same the whole way round the urn.

And lastly I filled in any gaps with the cotton stems and orange Achillea and orangey-red Spirea Goldflame .

I made sure that I added water to the urn as there were so many stems that will drink all the water overnight. The bio degradable oasis can hold a lot of water, more so than the green kind and so it was necessary to top up the vase on a daily basis. The oasis will hold its shape even when sitting in water. I made up three small vases for the table with orange dahlias and Spirea. Et voila! All done!