This spiral hand-tied bouquet captures many of the rich colors and textures of autumn flowers and foliage. Give it away as a gift, or put it in a rustic container and place it at the center of a table set for Sunday lunch.
Cockscomb flower heads are heavy, so use a high binding point to arrange these flowers and foliage. If you can't find smokebush, the bouquet will still look striking with any variety of green foliage. It will last for at least seven days if you keep the flowers in good condition.
Flowers and Foliage
7 orange spray roses
6 St. John's wort (hypericum)
6 smokebush stems
5 red cockscomb
6 salal stems
raffia or garden string
Trachelium (for cockscomb); roses (for protea); freesias (for spray roses); sea holly (for alstroemeria)
1. Sort the flowers and foliage into individual piles. Hold the stem of one flower, such as a cockscomb, in your hand at the binding point and arrange three to four stems of salal around it. Add another variety of flower at an angle, twisting the stems around slightly in one direction in your hand.
2. Add one of each of all the flowers and foliage at the same angle to create a spiral stem effect, turning the arrangement in the same direction as you go. Look at the top of the bouquet to check that you like the arrangement of blooms, then add the remaining stems. Cut the stems down a little if they become hard to handle. Arrange the last two layers of flowers and foliage a little lower around the edges to create a slightly domed effect. Add a few stems of salal around the edges of the bouquet to frame the flowers.
3. Tie the arrangement with raffia or garden string secured in a knot.
4. Cut the stems straight across with a pair of garden shears so that they are all the same length. If the bouquet is a gift, keep the stems in water until you give it away.
- Smokebush is long-stemmed. The lower half has bigger leaves while the upper part bears small leaves, and both create good texture. It's a shame to waste the lower part, so cut the stems in half and use both parts in arrangements.
- For more details on making a hand-tied bouquet, see our step-by-step instructions.
Exotic flowers are often very bright and striking in appearance, and tend to last well. Exotic varieties, such as these protea, create a strong, sculptural effect when paired with other blooms.
Excerpted from Fresh Flower Arranging
© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2011