How to Mix & Match: Flowers & Vases
a florist’s secrets for choosing a vase for your bouquet – or vice versa
A beautiful bouquet is just half of the arrangement. You also need to find the perfect vessel to put it in.
We spoke to Kimmy at The Little Flower Stall to learn more about how to arrange flowers beautifully, whether you’re starting with the bouquet or the vase itself. And when we say ‘spoke to’, we actually mean borrowed three different vases from around town and gave her 24 hours to arrange something in them.
With friend like these…
Mix & Match #1: Tapered Vase & Handheld Bouquet
This beautiful, bright arrangement features orange ranunculus, white and yellow spray roses, pink roses and quirky phyllica.
Kimmy says this shape of vase is the easiest to style, with a tapered neck that holds the bouquet’s shape. This is the shape of vase for an already-arranged bunch, whether it’s from the supermarket or your florist; you can drop the arrangement right in.
With this bold style from local ceramicist Peta Berghofer, Kimmy chose to colour block the arrangement, using the pinks and oranges to make the whole arrangement even more joyful and attention-grabbing.
Kimmy’s top tips:
Use a large vase with a tapered neck to drop in your florist arrangements – it will best hold the bouquet’s shape.
Be intentional with your greenery – use the flower’s foliage, or remove it and add other greenery, and always remove any foliage from below the water line so it doesn’t rot.
Buy a couple of colourful bunches from your local flower market and combine them together for a cheap and cheerful impact statement. Gather them in your hand, and drop them right into the vase.
Mix & Match #2: Bowl-Like Vase & a Flower Frog
This beautiful, organic arrangement includes hellebores, anemone, mock orange foliage, spray carnations and white ranunculus.
Kimmy arranged this straight into this quirky Harold’s vase using a metal flower frog to keep the stems secure. If you don’t have a florist’s frog lying around (understandable), Kimmy also recommends balling some chicken wire for the same effect, or even creating a grid on top of the vase with clear sticky tape. Any of these methods will give the arrangement stability and structure.
This arrangement is all about height and shape, so Kimmy kept it monotone. It would perfectly suit a one variety arrangement if you’re looking for a way to add interest to a bunch of roses, or if you’ve taken the stems straight from your garden.
Kimmy’s top tips:
Scrunch up some chicken wire and place it in the empty vase. Poke your stems through the gaps in the wire to hold them in place.
Keep your arrangement to one single colour for a chic and sophisticated look.
Follow the natural direction of the stems to frame your arrangement organically.
MIX & MATCH #3: Centrepiece Vase & a Lazy Susan
This spectacular arrangement includes magnolia foliage, two varieties of gum, large-headed roses, pink carnations, hot pink tulips, lisianthus, white stocks and cotton. And yes, it does look especially awesome sitting on a baby grand piano.
For something this large, Kimmy arranges straight into the vase. She sets it on a lazy susan and spins as she goes. As the arrangement is likely to sit somewhere central, like on a coffee table, it’s essential it looks equally beautiful from all angles. The key, she says, is to start with a greenery base, which creates a grid support. And then she works with the rule of thirds or odds, spinning, as she places the flowers.
The ingenious thing about this arrangement is that the foliage will last weeks and weeks if it doesn’t sit in water. That means you can take out the blooms as they wilt and replace them with new ones, extending the life of your arrangement.
Kimmy’s top tips:
Turn the vase as you go – this ensure it looks beautiful from all angles.
The rule of thirds (or odd numbers) creates a more interesting and balanced arrangement – ignore symmetry!
Remove the foliage, trim the stems, and change the water regularly – this means your base will last for weeks.