• JUST Breathe


Blooming Mad Designs

With winter upon us (and a revolting cold front that's just hit Mzanzi) and the general mood being a little 'wintery', I thought it would be nice to share some ideas with you on how to bring some natural delight into your home without costing you a cent. 

Finding colour at this time of the year is something people consider to be difficult, when in actual fact, winter offers some of the most glorious colours. I love flowers so there are very few times, if ever that you won't find flowers in my home - I mean I have an entire forest in my bathroom! As a floral designer, I  consider myself quite lucky that I get left with some 'bits' from my bunches that I get to arrange around my home but I know many of you don't so I thought I'd share a step-by-step guide on how to select, condition and arrange from your own garden (or pavement but remember to ask your neighbours if you're hoofing from their gardens) blooms. The florals I have used to demonstrate this week, are a collection from various places; 

  • my garden 

  • the side of the road (I asked permission) 

They are florals that are in season and available in many winter gardens. The colours were inspired by the Strelitzia (aka Bird of Paradise), which can be seen all over at the moment and is hardy in this chilly weather. Give them a good cut and some plant food and you'll be able to enjoy them for a good 2 - 3 weeks! The key to making florals last, is to ensure you condition them well. Give them cut flower food and clean water every couple of days. The little bit of extra effort you give your flowers initially will help them last much longer. Conditioning your flowers, removing unwanted leaves and cutting the stem, allows the water to reach the tip (bud) of your blooms which is the part we most enjoy about them. If you leave the leaves on the stem and submerge them in water, they will rot and contaminate the water that your flowers are relying on as a source of food. 

Step 1:

Gather all your green florals, ensure the stems are cleaned and you have given them a cut at a 45 degree angle. By doing this you avoid the stem sitting flush with the vase that prevents the absorption of water.

This step is builds the foundation of your arrangement. Place the greens in the vase in various positions around the rim of the vase. I like to cut the stems a various lengths so they look natural but play around and see what you prefer.

Step 2:

Take your second choice blooms and place them inbetween the greenery. You need to be using this step to 'fill in the gaps' of your arrangement framework. Be mindful when choosing a ‘bushy’ option as this will reduce the space for your focal flowers. 

Step 3:

The 'focal flowers' will be the ones in the centre of your creation, so getting your proportion right is key with this step. The general rule of thumb is to place an odd number of stems into your vase, either 1, 3, 5, 7 or 9 blooms; referred to as the ‘Golden Ratio’

Step 4:

To add a little extra, I chose to add my Green Goddess Lillies from as I just adore them and they were gifted to me by someone really special! I was lucky enough to have 3 that were in bloom so placed them underneath the greenery as a focal point on the server they were going on top of. 

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