This arrangement brings a fresh, vibrant optical illusion to any kitchen table, windowsill or even bathroom. It may look complicated and fully floral but the barely-seen glass vase makes its creation a snap.
Flowers and Foliage
3 small pots 'Tête à Tête' daffodil bulbs
2 bunches dogwood stems
If you can't find 'Tête à Tête' daffodil bulbs, you can substitute any other miniature daffodil bulb, or even any bulb in season. Bamboo makes a good alternative to dogwood stems.
rectangular clear glass vase (7 1/2 inches high, 9 1/2 inches long)
good-quality, multi-purpose potting soil
Line the vase with a large square of cellophane. It doesn’t need to be smooth and crease-free, because it will be completely hidden. Fill two-thirds of the vase with potting soil and press it down firmly. Remove side shoots from the dogwood stems and trim the base of each stem so its end is flat. Push the stems in between the soil-filled cellophane and the side of the vase so that they butt up next to each other in a straight line. The pressure of the soil will hold them in place.
Check that the dogwood stems are all straight and butt right up against one another. Use a pair of scissors to trim the dogwood stems down to just about the same level as the rim of the vase. Continue to place more stems in a line around the remaining sides of the vase, straighten them and trim each of them down. Give them a final trim them across the top, to create a line that is more-or-less consistent and flush to the rim of the vase. Don’t worry if the trimmed stems look a little uneven when you’ve cut them; they can always be covered with moss at the end.
Remove the bulbs from their pots and arrange them on top of the soil. Fill the gaps around the bulbs with more soil and press it down gently with your fingers. Moisten the flowers and soil with a misting of water.
Carefully cut the excess cellophane away with the scissors so that it can’t be seen above the trimmed dogwood stems. Arrange moss over the soil so that it is completely hidden, and give the flowers another misting.
When you buy spring bulbs in pots, avoid any pot-bound plants with roots that have spread out from the base of the pot; they usually experience reduced growth. Instead, look for plants with good green foliage and no brown or yellow leaf tips.
To get the maximum pleasure from an arrangement like this, keep it in a cool room away from heat sources such as radiators and out of direct sunshine so that the buds open slowly and the flowers stay alive longer. The flowers should last up to two weeks if you buy bulbs with their flowers still in bud. An occasional misting of the flowers and soil — perhaps every two to three days — ensures that the display will remain in good condition for as long as possible.
Excerpted from Fresh Flower Arranging
© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2011