Floral Displays for the Home

Different floral displays in appropriate styles will enhance the environment of each room in the home as it serves a different function.

The dining room has a high profile in flower-arranging terms, as it becomes the centre stage whenever the family gathers for a leisurely meal — at Sunday lunchtime, perhaps — or when entertaining friends. If you have more than one arrangement in the room, it is a good idea to compose them with a linking theme. You could choose similar flowers, but in different colours: deep-pink Peruvian lilies, for example, in one case and the palest of pinks in another. A tall pitcher of white iris on the sideboard could he interpreted by floating similar flowers in a glass bowl on the dining table, by placing a single flower in a specimen vase at each place setting, or by blending white iris in an arrangement with anemones or roses.

In the living room, the well of the fireplace forms a dramatic arch for a flamboyant arrangement of seasonal plant materials chosen according to the colour and texture of the fireplace surround: a large earthenware jug of horse-chestnut buds in spring, a cool blend of blues and greens in summer, and the fiery hues of red, orange and yellow as winter approaches.

In summer, fresh flowers — especially if placed on a sunny window sill — are vulnerable and will fade quickly. In these circumstances, achieve the best of both worlds and choose the brightest and boldest of containers to display sun-bleached seed heads; fill a large white jug with a burst of fresh or dried gypsophila and strawflowers; pack a basket full of wild oats and decorative grasses, and wrap it with a brightly coloured paper-ribbon bow; or arrange some arching stems of translucent, dramatically back-lit foliage.

Flower arrangements for a bedroom or guest room are unashamed tokens of indulgence, and should be both romantic and restful. Try filling a pretty jug with a handful of fully opened roses or a nosegay of roses, lilies and larkspur in muted colours. Arrange a posy for a dressing table with spray carnations and daisy chrysanthemums in apricot and peach tints, or compose a miniature group of moody blues with forget-me-nots and cornflowers tumbling over the side of a blue-glass pitcher.

In a bathroom, take account of the likely temperature and humidity changes, and select the sturdiest and most long-lasting of blooms. These include chrysanthemums of all kinds, marigolds, carnations, spray carnations, lilies and tulips.

For a dried-flower bathroom arrangement, choose, again, from the most good-tempered examples, which include all the everlastings —strawflowers, honesty, Chinese lanterns (winter cherry), and otherseedheads. Or protect more delicate flowers under glass: an arrangement composed in dry foam on a hoard and covered with a glass dome — a modem cheese dish or an upturned container for preserves — satisfies both aesthetic and practical considerations.

The kitchen is another room that is subject to rapid temperature changes, so many of the same ground rules apply as for the bathroom. A jug of marigolds on the kitchen table signals a cheery early-morning greeting; a pot of herbs on the window sill has both decorative and culinary properties; and a hanging basket of foliage plants, or grains and grasses, lifts floral decor to a high level.