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A How To Guide On Making Your Own Bouquet

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These are testing times for the flower market. As UK florists and wholesalers are forced to close due to Covid-19, the Dutch markets are taking a big hit. A recent video of Dutch growers throwing away all their flowers was a distressing sight. 80% of the flowers grown in Holland are being destroyed. Sadly this is starting to happen in the UK too. 

This is the time then to look to your garden, and the plants that you have close to hand, for bouquets to add a pop of colour and joy to your homes. Georgie Jack, a florist extraordinaire, is going to show you in a step by step guide how to make a gorgeous bouquet of flowers that are seasonal and can be foraged or even found in your garden. This is an example of some flowers you can use but the joy is in creating your own unique bouquet! 

Take it away Georgie,

Step 1 : Tools you will need

A bouquet that you can buy from a florist tends to be slightly different from flowers arranged in a vase, as the flowers are positioned and tied so that they won’t lose their structure if moved etc. That doesn’t mean that it’s not possible to make one at home, the only tools you will need are sharp scissors or secateurs and twine or string. 

Should be able to cobble these from around the house

Step 2: What to put in your bouquet 

Even without flowers from a florist, it is possible to create a beautiful bouquet from British seasonal garden flowers. Examples of flowers in season in the UK are:

From L-R : Daffodil, Hyacinth, Narcissi, Blossom, Helleborus, Rununculus.

To make a beautiful bouquet I would recommend using both flowers and foliage to give the bunch more body. Foliage can be anything from twigs to branches with leaves. Some examples from my own garden include:

Once you have all of your cuts in front of you, you are good to go. 

Step 3: Making the Bouquet 

Step A:

Remove all the leaves from the bottom of each stem, not the top ones, just the leaves that will get trapped when you start to spiral (explanation coming). If there are leaves trapped by the stems, they can start to rot and make your bouquet die a lot faster. 

Step B:

First start with your tallest stems, I personally started with a blossom branch. In order to give the bouquet a beautiful rounded quality you need to start tall and work your way lower, but I will explain how to do this later on. 

Bit of height helps

Step C: Structure 

Now you start to construct your bouquet properly. This is done by adding stem after stem at a slight angle, each stem angled in the same direction, this process is called spiraling. While continuing to add stems at an angle, spiraling, place each one slightly lower and lower, so that the end result is a dome shape. Spiraling is key to a bouquet as it keeps structure. This is easier to demonstrate with pictures. 

It’s best to hold the stems in a light grip and that you can keep shifting it from hand to hand, if one hand starts to get sore. 

Step D: Composition 

This is really up to you to make your bouquet look however you’d like. However, I would recommend interspersing the flowers with foliage throughout the bouquet, while making sure there is an equal amount of flowers in each section.  

Finally, at the bottom rim of the bouquet it is good to protect the flower stems with the harder wearing stems of foliage.

Step E: Getting it ready for a vase

Wrap your base, so that the structure is secure and nothing will move. To do this I hold the bouquet upside down, trapping the end bit of string under my hand. Then I wrap the string around the base tightly and tie it off. 

 

Now cut all the stems so they are all the same height and will therefore be balanced in the vase and all get water. 

Step F: Put it in a vase and you’ve got yourself a lovely table decoration.

The final product

Thanks Georgie! Something really fun to try and do with all this time on our hands!