By Oilbhe Belfast
Reflecting the seasons by using flowers from the garden is a wonderful way to bring nature to the table.
The association of specific flowers with festive occasions presents an ideal opportunity to use seasonal blooms when sourcing material for floral displays. Daffodils and tulips are evocative of fresh springtime décor, and complement pastel Easter palettes. Soft stem flowers such as daffodils last longer when placed in a shallow vase, and adding a spoonful of sugar works wonders to keep the blooms nourished.
During the summer months when blooms are bolder and brighter, a little goes a long way. Large colourful displays with plenty of green foliage and ivy look at home on an al fresco table, creating a statement for a summer garden gathering. Flowers that bloom repeatedly throughout the summer allow for a continual supply of fresh features for the table, remove spent blossoms to facilitate continual growth of flowers such as roses. Summer roses not only smell divine, they are also the ideal flower to get creative with – preserving roses with glycerine is one suggestion.
Taking care when cutting blooms can make all the difference for ensuring seasonal flowers last longer when displayed indoors. Using a sharp secateurs is particularly useful for preserving the life of woody flowers, such as hydrangeas, and cutting at a 45 degree angle allows for adequate absorption of water. Changing the vase water every day also prolongs the life of seasonal flowers.
A cutting garden is not necessary in order to make the most of seasonal flowers, foraging for wildflowers is another way to bring the outdoors in. Decorating with wildflowers creates a fresh and whimsical atmosphere for any event, arrange in tall slim vases to create an indoor garden effect. Wildflowers to look out for include elderflower, which can be found in hedgerows from late May, honeysuckle, which arrives late June and July, and fuchsia from July through to August.