Looking for some floral inspiration when entertaining this springtime? Follow our friends at Little Bud Flowers‘ floral notes to stay ahead of the trends when dining alfresco…
Say it with flowers
Introduce flowers to your guests’ wider entertaining experience. Consider sending mini posies as invitations, or as place settings that can double up as flower favours to be taken home at the end of the evening. Invitations or name cards can also be made of plantable wild flower seed paper. Pressed flowers are on trend.
Remember making daisy chains?
To maintain your green-theme beyond the dining table, consider small arrangements in the bathroom and entrance hall. For dressing your party space, hanging displays are striking and save space on your table for more food – a real win-win. Even simple single stems strung together in a long daisy chain create great impact and allow you to mix-and-match fun combinations. Copper wire works well for hanging these individual stems as it reflects light and accentuates the lines of the flowers
Use hanging frames
If you’re feeling adventurous consider suspending wire frames, such as copper cage pendants, embroidery hoops or wire wreath frames, hung with hanging amaranthus (try the white or green over the traditional pink), wisteria, or cherry blossom. Any hanging arrangement is best attempted in a cool/ shady space and hung up just before the evening – the flowers will be out of water susceptible to heat and wilting.
Given your al-fresco setting, let the greens in your flower palate be the feature. For a contemporary feel to your stem selection consider mixing light and muted colours (mushroom, coffee) with one dark element to compliment (we love Chocolate Cosmos, Helleborus ‘Blue Lady’ or double black Lenten Rose).
Alternative vases/ the new jam jar?
The use of single stem vases of varying heights is an easy and affordable antidote to super-size flower centrepieces. For larger statements, use fruit bowls and your existing ceramics that make interesting and original alternatives to glass vases. For shallow receptacles, use chicken wire across them to provide support and help you shape your composition
If you’re eating delicious organic food, extend that theme to sourcing your flowers and foliage from your local hedgerow. Bring these elements of wild nature in using branches with blossom such as apple & elderflower, or wild honeysuckle and jasmine. Also incorporate other woody elements – poppy heads, wheat, bay tree clippings, and yew (a Chelsea flower show favourite in 2016).
Experiment with scents, texture and taste
Your flower accents can go beyond the visual. Consider putting together foodie-inspired designs: Herbs, fruits and other edibles will continue to play a supporting role in seasonal floral designs fueled by an interest in infusing unique fragrances and textures into arrangements. A simple way to do this is to incorporate herbs– rosemary, lavender, thyme, lemon verbena etc., dark opal basil, strawberry leaves. We could go on…Mexican mint marigold, French sorrel, ginger, parsley, cilantro, borage, dill, stevia, fennel…Vegetables are another on-trend addition: think cabbages (‘brassica’) and artichoke (‘cardoon thistle’).
Lastly, have fun also with edible flowers in your food & drinks- Rose petals (trim off the white portion), nasturtiums, Chinese chrysanthemum, calendula petals, violas, pansies and Johnny Jump-ups.