Foliage arrangments with dried plants

A group of foliage in different shades of green or autumn tints can look very fresh and attractive. White is extremely important, both for containers and flowers as it makes the most of all colours both vivid and subtle. But if you are using white alone be careful how much greenery you add – too much greenery can very easily dominate the flowers.

Silver-grey foliage is an essential in-gredient in many arrangements as are the greeny-white flowers and the wonderful yellow-green of Euphorbia, which looks well with so many flowers.

Light

The amount and type of light your flowers will enjoy can be crucial. Blue and mauve flowers look lovely in strong sunlight or against a light wall – but they appear dull and grey-looking when put in a dark corner. If you are arranging flowers for an occasion when they will be under electric light, always draw the curtains and put the light on while you are working. Electric light can do strange things to flower colours. Again, if your flowers will stand on a sunny windowsill, then arrange them there – not on the kitchen table. Sunlight shining through flower stems can be very effective, but it can make an arrangement look straggly if you have not planned it.

Texture

Think about the texture of the flowers and leaves. A shiny leaf could be used with great effect to highlight a group of dull-surfaced leaves. And the texture of leaves always affects the weight and balance of an arrangement. Do not use strongly-textured leaves as outline material unless they are very pale in colour and, therefore, visually light, otherwise your flowers will look top-heavy.

The setting

Think about where you are going to put the flowers. Any flowers will look more attractive and give you greater satisfaction if you make sure that they are in proportion with the room, and the flowers in proportion both with the container and with each other. Whenever possible arrange the flowers at the height at which they will be seen. If you cannot do this, say for example they are to go on a very high shelf, then crouch down from time to time to see how they will look from below. When the flowers will be seen from a distance – down a hall-way, or on a landing to 3 1 = be seen from the foot of the stairs – walk away now and again and look back at them.

The background against which flowers will be seen is also important – it must not dominate too much. A too definite curtain or wallpaper pattern, for example, could make some flowers look faded and insignificant. And for table decorations make sure that table cloth or mats do not clash with the flowers. Always let the flowers be the important thing. Perhaps you might try white, or white and pink, flowers against a dark green wall; orange, yellow and white against grey in a rather cool room; green, mauve and purple against pale blue or white – the combinations and possibilities are endless.

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