It is important to choose the right containers for special. At times when are scarce a coloured can do much to add to the general effect, but make a discreet choice. Make sure that the does not dominate the flowers.
When you are making a special arrangement for a dinner or luncheon party you might be able to take part of the china you intend using and make your arrangement in this. Quite often vegetable or soup tureens will not be needed for the food and they make excellent flower bowls. You can strike a pleasant harmony this way. Failing the actual tureen, use an anonymous container for the flowers, say a plain white bowl, and stand this on a plate from the service so that the pattern shows and is actually a part of the arrangement. It goes without saying that the flowers, china and linen should harmonise. In this respect these others can help you. For instance if you make an arrangement of mainly foliage and introduce just a few flowers into it, see that your candles and napkins match them. You can give the impression of using many more flowers than is actually the case, a useful tip if you have to buy them in times of scarcity.
You can let your imagination run riot at Christmas time and use anything that seems in keeping with the mood of the moment. It is surprising how well junk vessels look once they have evergreens and berries in them, strange ornate urns, chalices, tankards, steins and things of this nature.
Rustic or elegant: Logs can be scooped out and filled with a food tin just large enough for a cylinder of OASIS. False logs can be made from bark or cork curled around tins or perhaps a block of OASIS wrapped in foil if it is to be used with water. Candlesticks and candle cups are ‘naturals’ at this season as are candles themselves. Goblets of coloured glass look well, especially when baubles are used in place of flowers and these opaque or semi-opaque vessels hide any-holder you might have to use. If you have only clear glass goblets consider first lining them with cooking foil. Put the -holder inside this. You can make a good ‘silver’ vase this way.
Trays of polished metal or wood make good base-containers especially foron side tables. A small supplementary container can hold the water, stem-holders and flowers; the other materials can be arranged on the tray itself.
For Easterwhere eggs and possibly chicks are to be used the accent needs to be on the rustic look. Baskets and wickerwork look well with flowers. There are enough shapes in these materials to give one a really wide choice.
Balance scales, metal scoops, wooden measures and various polished boxes suit fruit and flowers and bring a pleasant atmosphere. Place mats made from rush, split cane or coarsely woven linen can be used like the trays as base-containers. They can provide attractive contrasts in textures.
Finally, when planning arrangements for special occasions, consider using cut flowers or foliage and plants together. If you can use a striking pot-plant or two as the main portion of an arrangement you can cover a great deal of ground at one stroke. For parties the accompanying material can be on a vaster scale than you would normally use. For instance, whole branches of silver birch, themselves like tiny trees, can tower above a group of plants lower down.