Extract from Floristry Now by Paula Pryke, published by Jacqui Small, an imprint of The Quarto Group.
Garden flowers, seasonally arranged, are always in vogue. The heritage of the quintessential English garden means that our flower-arranging tradition is rich with plant material. It is no coincidence that British gardens look their best at the end of May when the Royal Horticultural Society holds the famous annual Chelsea Flower Show in London. It is one of my favourite times of the year, as late spring collides with early summer.
Garden roses have been one of the areas that has seen an enormous change in the last decade. Originally garden roses were hard to get out of season but over time countries such as Kenya in Africa and Colombia in South America have invested in a lot of garden rose production. Many are the famous roses of the breeder David Austin, and the company have also invested more recently in cut-flower production alongside their plant-growing activities.
A pastel watering can is crammed with a selection of spring flowers, including arching Solomon’s seal, magnolia buds, lilac, ‘Antique’carnations, eryngium, rosebuds and Viburnum opulus.
This fine-looking Stachys byzantina is tied to a metal basket with raffia. Floral foam holds ‘Miss Delilah’ phlox, ‘Figaro Lavender’ stocks and purple summer asters. Stems of handsome leafless Solomon’s seal are then drawn across the design to show off their creamy white bells to maximum effect.
It is very fashionable to have collections of vases together, with small arrangements or even single stems in each. This makes the maximum impact out of the fewest flowers, so is perfect for making the most of garden pickings. Sprigs of flowering currant, forsythia, viburnum blossom, primroses, hellebores and dicentra sit in tiny irregular vases.
I love the shape of this enamel jug which, when filled, has a wide enough mouth to create a good spread of flowers. Here it holds Alchemilla mollis, Consolida ajacis, rose-coloured eustoma, two-tone antirrhinum and the wonderful scented garden rose Evelyn.
Floristry Now by Paula Pryke.
Published by Jacqui Small, an imprint of The Quarto Group.