Come spring, and the hedgerows awake with blackthorn and cherry plum blossom, both with a short vase life, but easily replaced. Not so hellebores which can last a few days indoors. However, some picked hellebores wilt, so try plunging the stems into boiling water for a minute prior to arranging, as well as pricking the stems just behind the flower head. But if they still wilt, pick the heads alone and float them on water in a broad, shallow bowl. A beautiful posie can be picked, arranged and placed within five minutes, but the art of arranging takes practice. So, in the early days, it’s worth picking a good selection of different blooms, with more of each than needed so that there’s ample material to experiment with. Taking the same flowers, try arranging in different ways with differing proportions of each bloom, and seeing which pairings are most pleasing. Think in terms of contrasts in form — rounded versus spiky, or fluffy versus solid. When it comes to colours, these can harmonise or contrast with seemingly clashing colours often creating striking blends.
In March, a flower gatherer is spoiled for choice in both garden and hedgerows with pink and white flowers such as Hellebores (Helleborus x hybridus ‘Ashwood Garden Hybrids), cherry plum blossom (Prunus cerasifera), blackthorn blossom (Prunus spinosa), Japanese flowering quince (Chaenomeles x superba ‘Pink Lady’), cyclamen (Cyclamen coum).
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