A wall bracket arrangement is one of the most attractive and safe ways of showing off, for the and branches are clearly defined against the solid background, and are well out of of the way of being knocked over.
There are various kinds of these, but the principle in most cases is the same — a small amount of material only is needed. Perhaps it would be a good idea to go through the different types of wall brackets or wall vase one by one.
The console or bracket is often made of wood and painted with gilt. Although its top is flat it usually has a carved leg bracket which curves back underneath the console and against the wall. The bowl of flowers is placed on the flat top against the wall.
Sometimes a bracket such as this is fixed to a mirror, in which case the flowers will be seen partly in reflection. It is important when fixing the bracket on the wall, with a flower arrangement in mind (after all these are often used to hold a special piece of porcelain or a bronze) to think of the height in relation to one’s eye level. If it is too high on the wall the whole arrangement will have to be seen from below. This entails curvingcoming forward over the , otherwise only the base of the vase will be noticeable. I think that it is almost better to be too near to the ground (at least one can see into the flowers from above) than too far away. An ideal for a bracket is at the foot of a staircase. In this way whether one is coming down or going up the stairs one is always looking down into the arrangement.
The vase or container for the flowers is most important. First of all it must show the flowers to their best advantage, and, secondly, it must be in keeping with the bracket as some of it is likely to be visible. A flat cake dish with a low pedestal is one of the most successful containers that I have ever tried. It allows for some height and at the same time makes it possible for flowers to come forward and perhaps curve slightly over the edge of the bracket.
Next, the porcelain bracket to hang on the wall. It seems that some of the earliestwere done in this type of wall bracket. The Leeds factory in 1745 designed and made ones which can now be seen in the porcelain department of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. This type of bracket is not easy to find these days. One’s best hope of coming across one lies in an antique shop or a junk stall in one of London’s markets.
If you do find one guard it jealously. This bracket is especially suitable for a ‘line’ arrangement, and, as I have already mentioned, like most brackets this one will only need a little material. A few branches of cherry, quince or apple in the spring will go a long way towards making a decoration of some charm. In the winter a dried group is ideal, (in a bracket one need no longer be worried about the arrangement being easily knocked over, especially as dried flowers are so light) where the soft colouring of the material is shown off so well, especially if it stands against a light background.
When fresh flowers are used, there is one big problem about a porcelain wall vase. This is the supply of water. The natural shape of such a vase is wider at the mouth, narrowing in width towards the tip, and since there must be a hole cut in the porcelain at the back of the vase to allow it to be hung up on a nail or hook, the water level cannot be above this hole. Unfortunately some manufacturers have not realised the importance of this hole, from the practical point of view, and it may easily be at least an inch from the brim of the vase. So watch the water supply very carefully indeed.
Again, when hanging a wall vase one must think of it in connection with the nearby decorations, curtains and pictures (this, I must emphasise, applies equally to any vase in any room and is not something extra to consider).
Sometimes a pottery will make twin wall vases and these can be most attractive. I have a friend who has two small ones, which she keeps filled even during the winter months with material that she brings back from the country. I have seen these vases looking most charming with sprays of ivy and branches of hazel and alder with their first catkins. Later on she arranges a few woodand primroses with wild arum .
An old fashioned silver tureen lid cut in half and backed with metal, then hung upside down with the handle at the base (when in use over a meat dish it would have the handle at the top) is a most capacious wall bracket and this is fixed to the wall with solid screws. Although it can look delightful with a few branches it does, unlike the porcelain vase and the console, hold a large quantity of material if required. The lid itself is big enough to conceal two or three jam jars holding water, or to take one jam jar for flowers and branches and one or two pot plants which help to spin out the cut material during winter time. You can also fill this wall bracket with dried materials such as hydrangeas and teasels and only a few of these will make an arrangement of some size.
Bracket holders made in metal or wood are often to be seen nowadays. They are primarily designed to hold pot plants. The metal ones can be most decorative on the white washed (or pink washed) brick walls of a conservatory or small. (I have also seen them filled with trailing ivy plants, used at intervals on the walls of a steep staircase going up at least three flights. The ivy was trained so that one pot connected with another, and a large bare area of rather ugly walls was completely transformed.)
Of course, these brackets can be converted so that they hold containers for water and this way they are especially useful when extra decorations are needed, like a party or wedding or at Christmas. A festive appearance can be given quickly and by the use of a relatively small amount of material. Garlands or bundles of ribbon, evergreens, smilax, ivy, etc. may be hung from one to the next. The brackets can be bought quite cheaply (there are extravagantly priced ones, beautifully made, probably by hand), since they are made in numbers by machines. The metal ones usually come in black but they can be painted white or any other colour to match the wall.
This type of bracket can also be used for church decorations at a harvest festival—if the stone pillar will not take a nail it can be held in position with a strong wire, though if used on a wooden pulpit or choir stall a nail might perhaps be possible.