Country house look flower arrangements

If you live in town, you usually have to make do with bunches of one or two sorts of flowers and work with a limited palette of colour, texture and shape. But if you’re fortunate enough to have a country garden, then you can build up a much richer mixture of blooms and buds, mixed with leafy herbs or flowering branches.

The country house way of arranging flowers is usually similar to the style for town house, with the same emphasis on carefully planned balance, the same types of vases and containers – altogether more studied than a cottage posy or the modern decorator’s understated bunches.

For a formal room with large pieces of furniture (far right), a group of that most formal of flowers, the Lily; The white petals sparkle against the rich brown background colour and the young, delicate green of the fern adds freshness and life to an arrangement which might otherwise be rather lacking in vitality. This is an example of florists’ flowers combined with country foliage.

Country cottage look

Even in town some homes manage to achieve a nostalgically countrified look – with simple pine furniture, oak chests and homespun curtains. In surroundings like these, formal flower arrangements would strike the wrong note. Cottage garden flowers are a good choice: Marguerites, Lupins, Delphiniums, Cornflowers, Honeysuckle, Anemones, Daffodils, Primroses, Marigolds, Pinks, Stocks, Nasturtiums and the like. Supplement these with wild flowers; and in autumn pick berries from the hedgerows: Bryony, Hawthorn, Elder, Rosehips and Blackberries still greeny-red, to use with trails of Ivy and Old Man’s Beard. In spring, arrange Primroses or Crocuses among moss and ferns.

Containers should be in keeping – simple white pottery, an old blue and white patterned teapot, baskets (with a water pot or tin inside), a child’s mug, even an old pair of scales. A shiny new galvanized bucket would have a certain splendour brimming with pink Peonies and mauve Lilac. For the country cottage look, small arrangements look best as little rounded posies rather than in more contrived pyramids or asymetrical shapes. For large jugs or pots the aim should still be soft and artless, with the stems cut roughly the same length.

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