When I lived in Dublin and my life was hectic and filled with our business and a fully blended family of five (!!), I lost some sight of what was actually growing beautifully around me.
With a complete geographical change to Saskatoon in Canada I got time to be still and yearn the simple things like grass in Winter and bulbs popping through the dirt in Spring. I got reprieve and was able to go back to nature.
In my head all Winter I would close my eyes and remember the lanes of Dublin and the wild hedgerows filled with ivy and blackberries, the moss on walls and roofs, and the scent of it all after a heavy dump of rain. All of these things I took for granted, so when Summer came I was like a squirrel gathering. I would go down back roads and fields and hunt and gather- weeds even took on a new meaning to me, as I now saw the beauty in dandelion leaves, wild thistle and grasses. I started to bring nature home, and because of this my world came alive again.
Several years later we find ourselves on beautiful Vancouver Island in Victoria, where we are living amongst nature in all her glory. We are so lucky, here it's like living inside a Dutch master painting. So how do we bring that home with us, to create outside indoors? Here are a few of my tips to help you bring nature home:
Like anything, choosing flowers to style your home can be tricky if you don’t know what to look for. When faced with our store, brimming with every imaginable botanical, overwhelm can set in and it can be tempting to walk out the door empty handed. But here are some simple know-how's so you can choose florals and foliage to fill your vessels at home with confidence.
It may seem obvious, but selecting fresh flowers is a great place to start. How can you tell if flowers are fresh? All flowers are different but as a rule of thumb, choose flowers with strong petals which are not wilting. If there are leaves on the stems, select flowers with leaves which are not yellowing or drooping.
Some flowers with textured petals may look like they are drying out to the everyday person but may have been fresh from market that very morning! For example, roses have an outer layer of guard petals to protect the inner flower which can be plucked off once you get home. Other floral varieties such as stock and tulips might have naturally ruffled or textured petals which are completely normal. If in doubt, ask! We are at your service.
Have a think about where in your home you would like your flowers and what vases suit the space. Would tall vases or short vessels suit better? Clear glass, pottery or a textured finish? This will determine which flowers you select. It may be common sense, but tall vases require tall stems and wide vessels may require multiple bunches or a chunkier style flower. An easy and stylish way to present your flowers is to cluster two different sized vases together and display tall flowers of one type in a taller vase and short flowers of another type in a low vessel.
Choose flowers which suit the colour of your interior styling. You may have a neutral colour palette at home and might want to continue this theme with white and green blooms and foliage. In this case, you can bring in a varying texture to create contrast. Alternatively, you may want to inject a pop of vibrant colour to contrast against a colourless background.
If you have a classic or traditionally styled home you could consider fussier mixed design or prettier seasonal blooms. If your house is modern, you might like to display large structural leaves or impactful feature flowers. One flower variety displayed en masse works well in most spaces regardless of the style, and bud vases in the bathroom or on the bed side table are a wonderful way to use any shorter broken stems.
You may prefer that your flowers last a long time, or you might want your home filled with your favourite flower regardless of its longevity. If you resonate with the former, you may like to consider ‘set and forget’ types such as foliage, native flowers, orchids and even oriental lilies- all of which can last for weeks and sometimes months with little care required! Generally, the ‘prettier’ the flower, the more temperamental it can be and the shorter shelf life it will have. All those lovely Spring blooms such as lilac and snowball viburnum have a shorter lifespan than the varieties mentioned earlier and can also be higher maintenance as they drop their tiny little petals everywhere! But it’s the price we pay for their fleeting gift of beauty.
If you are struggling to know which floral varieties to pair together, simply ask us- we can’t wait to share nature with you. It is our area of expertise after all! We can advise you on what colours work together, what flowers will suit your collection of vases at home and can answer any questions you may have about longevity or flower care. We also have some tricks up our sleeve for the care of individual flowers which will ensure you experience their beauty for longer. This is one of the benefits of selecting your flowers from a florist over a market stand.
When you get your beautiful blooms home, don’t forget to look after them. Generally, you want to re cut the ends of the stems before plunging them into a vase of cool water. Then every second day, wash the vase, refill with fresh water, and recut the stems before adding the flowers. Most importantly, enjoy!
If all this becomes too overwhelming for you don’t despair we offer a floral design home service, where we will call to your home, see your space and vessels and design a floral package to suit you, and all you have to do is place the prearranged hand ties into your vessels every week or fortnight- simple.
If this should interest you, please send us an email with your details and we will be in touch shortly!