I really like to keep things simple when it comes to entertaining at our house on Australia Day, so unlike other holiday celebrations there are no formal invitations, no specially prepared menus or even a great deal of themed decoration. There is, however, one thing that I always love to have in my house when I'm expecting company, and that's fresh flowers. I'm by no means a florist, but I do have a few tricks that I thought I'd share with you to turn a bunch of flowers into a pretty arrangement.
To start, fill your clean vase with water and flower conditioner. Room temperature water is best. If you have very tight blooms you can make your water a little warmer and this will encourage them to open.
Gather your largest "feature" flowers and cut off the stems so that they will sit towards the bottom centre of your arrangement.
It is best to cut your stems on the diagonal to ensure the flowers have maximum ability to draw the water.
Place your feature stems into the vase first.
Infill with the smaller blooms.
And finish with the foliage.
Ensure that all leaves below the water line are removed from the stems as they will rot and decrease the life of your arrangement.
To ensure your flowers are in proportion to your vase, you should aim for your arrangement to be at one and a half times the height of your vase. Use flowers in different stages of bloom as well as different coloured foliage. Even if you're creating an arrangement with flowers of one colour, the different foliage will add subtle contrast.
If you're working with a shallow vase you could consider using florist foam to hold your flowers in place. Ensure your foam is adequately soaked in water before beginning and top up with water every other day.
As a last tip, keep your flowers away from direct heat such as a hot window or a heating vent and if you've chosen lillys as part of your arrangement, make sure you remove the stamens to avoid discolouring the other flowers or nearby hard surfaces. Incidentally, it also helps prolong the life of the lilly.
I thought I would display my flower arrangement with a simple Australia Day themed tablescape. I hope it provides you with some inspiration for your house.
Flowers are such a wonderful way to bring cheer into any home. Enjoy the long weekend.