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.
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.
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)
tall clear column vase (16 inches)
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.
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.
Arrange the first three hosta leaves evenly in the vase to provide the base for the foliage.
Add the garden viburnum to build up an all-round framework of stems. Then add the cultivated guelder rose stems.
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.
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.
Excerpted from Fresh Flower Arranging
© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2011