flowers on the low down
Flowers on the low down – those little flower arrangements that you see literally, when you look down, as opposed to the low down on flowers, which this is not. Most often we think about our flowers on tables, consoles, mantles etc where you look across at the flowers, so a more vertical, upright, arrangement is perfect, but I like to use flowers down low as well, on lower coffee tables or stools and ottomans. This calls for a different type of arrangement, something where you will mostly be looking at the actual top of the flower head.
Yes, brilliant for chopped off flower heads, and blooms that have broken stems, or which may even be past their use by date. Also ideal if you have a waste not want not mentality when it comes to flowers, which I definitely seem to have. Every little leaf, petal or small section of stem is potential arrangement material so far as I’m concerned.
I always seem to have flowers that are definitely beyond a more vertical arrangement, or maybe just beyond my skill level, but which I can’t bear to throw away. Some are at their most pretty, just before they literally fall apart! (Think camellias, dahlias, chrysanthemums, roses & peonies.) These flowers will often last a few more days, and beyond, when chopped down, and floated in a bowl.
And since, my last trip to India, where every petal was appreciated for its beauty, I love to float these too. And ok, sometimes I end up with petal stew, but for a day or two at least, they look beautiful!
A more open, shallow vessel is best for these types of informal arrangements. This is where a beautiful old china bowl or teacup comes in to its own. Perhaps an old silver trophy or sugar bowl. Anything that will hold water is considered a vase! A lovely bowl will just cradle the flower head, so chop those stems right down. Add some leaves to cup the flower heads – hydrangea leaves are perfect for this, as you can cut the leaves from the stem, and even into the leaf itself if need be, and these will last well in water. Hydrangea flower heads are especially pretty in a cradled, low flower arrangement, and my new favourite thing to do at this, the tail end of the hydrangea season, is to cut a few florets off the hydrangea head and float these in just a little water. I promise, they’ll last for weeks!
These little imperfect arrangements are the perfect accompaniments to your collections and vignettes. Pop a little bowl of flowers on top of a book stack. Add a teacup or bowl filled with flowers in amongst your vignette of collected teacups or old blue and white pieces.
No matter what time of year, nature provides something beautiful to bring inside. Small informal arrangements like this are easy and look good with the simplest and smallest garden blooms. And if flowers are scarce, a selection of different shaped leaves and greenery can look really beautiful. A little piece of nature in amongst your collected treasures will bring any vignette to life.
(styling and photography by Amanda Holland for perfectly imperfect living)