Forget the Flowers: A Foliage and Seed Head Display

It's not often that you see vase arrangements constructed almost entirely from foliage, but with the right shapes and textures they look fabulous. This lush display looks stunning in an airy, white sunroom or a hall, on a tall white table.

Lush Green Floral Arrangement

Lush Green Floral Arrangement

2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - Fresh Flower Arranging

DK - Fresh Flower Arranging, 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Materials

Foliage
15 fresh poppy seed heads
10 lady's mantle
3 cultivated guelder rose stems
1 bunch lily grass
1 bunch bear grass
5 large 'Blue Moon' hosta leaves
6 branched garden viburnum stems
1 bunch spear grass
3 smaller variegated hosta leaves
2 monstera leaves

With so many different ingredients in this arrangement, it won’t make much difference to the overall design if you can't find one or two of them.

Possible Substitutions
For a darker colored display use: red robin (for viburnum); copper beech (for guelder rose); leucadendron (for poppy seed heads); St. John's wort (hypericum) (for lady's mantle); black ti leaves (for hosta leaves)

Other Materials
tall clear column vase (16 inches)
florist's scissors
cellophane
rubber bands

Foliage and Seed Heads for Contemporary Space

2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - Fresh Flower Arranging

DK - Fresh Flower Arranging, 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Prepare the Vase

Trim the stalks from the two monstera leaves and use them to line the sides of the vase. Scrunch up a large square or two of cellophane and press it down toward the base of the vase. The cellophane helps to hold the leaves in place and give extra height to the foliage; if the foliage stems are long, pack the cellophane down hard.

Line Vase with Monstera Leaves and Cellophane

2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - Fresh Flower Arranging

DK - Fresh Flower Arranging, 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Prepare the Grasses

Fill two-thirds of the vase with water. Divide the different grasses into bunches of 5 to 6 blades, tie them with small rubber bands and trim the ends.

Tie Different Grasses in Small Bunches

2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - Fresh Flower Arranging

DK - Fresh Flower Arranging, 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Begin to Arrange the Hostas

Arrange the first three hosta leaves evenly in the vase to provide the base for the foliage.

Arrange Hosta Leaves in Vase for Foliage Base

2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - Fresh Flower Arranging

DK - Fresh Flower Arranging, 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Add Some Foliage

Add the garden viburnum to build up an all-round framework of stems. Then add the cultivated guelder rose stems.

Add Garden Viburnum for Framework

Add Garden Viburnum for Framework

2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - Fresh Flower Arranging

DK - Fresh Flower Arranging, 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Add Some Flowers

Add the poppy heads, spacing them evenly through the arrangement. They should sit a little higher than the viburnum heads so they rise above the other foliage.

Poppy and Foliage Centerpiece

Poppy and Foliage Centerpiece

2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - Fresh Flower Arranging

DK - Fresh Flower Arranging, 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Finish the Arrangement

Arrange the lily and bear grass bundles at angles around the sides of the arrangement so they fall at a natural angle. Add bunches of spear grass through the center to create extra height.

Add the lady's mantle next, using them to fill any gaps and seamlessly link the various colors and textures together.

Place the variegated hosta leaves at either side of the arrangement as a final touch; move the foliage heads slightly to make space for them. Top the water up to the rim of the vase.

This arrangement should last for ten days.

Complete Arrangement with Mix of Foliages

Complete Arrangement with Mix of Foliages

2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - Fresh Flower Arranging

DK - Fresh Flower Arranging, 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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