You don’t need a giant bouquet to create a striking floral centrepiece. Pluck the heads off simple supermarket flowers and you’re good to go!
Last month, for my mother’s birthday party, I created a floral table runner constructed entirely of flower heads strewn along a white tablecloth. It was simple to assemble but looked so cheerful and striking, and contrary to what you might think, the flowers lasted for weeks afterwards. For today’s post I’ll be recreating the tablescape for you, as well as using the same flowers to demonstrate four more ways to use your flowertops (and how to preserve them afterwards).
First things first: Choosing and prepping your flowers. The best flowers to use are ones that will lie flat and stay put when trimmed, such as sunflowers, gerberas, and chrysanthemums (cheap but brilliant for this purpose). Aim for a variety of sizes and colours. Foliage also looks great. I used nasturtium leaves and leafy trimmings from the garden. Another point to consider is how well the flowers will last out of water: avoid dahlias and other such delicate blooms which wilt easily. To prepare the flowers, simply use scissors to cut off the flower head, leaving as little stem as possible (see above).
A flowery table runner is great for events where the table would otherwise be empty, such as drinks parties where the table isn’t set with glassware, linens and crockery – or even a tablecloth! It’s easy to set up. Simply place the trimmed flowers on the table, and that’s it! Unless you’re dining outside on a windy day the flowers should stay put throughout your party. It’s an informal, playful but elegant look. If you want to create something more formal, it can easily be done using the same flowers, as shown further down.
After the party, don’t throw away the flowers! Place them in bowls (or teacups) filled with water, where they will float happily for days if not weeks. I often have bowls of flowers dotted about the house and office and they look beautiful. If I ever have a bunch of flowers that is beginning to wilt, I pluck off the flowertops and put them in a bowl – I find that they keep for longer that way. Of course, you can use your flower bowls and teacups as a centrepiece, not just as a means of preservation!
Although the weather is turning chilly, there are still lots of gorgeous flowers in season so give this look a go! As far as I’m concerned, flowers are the best way to ward off wintry gloom. (Well, flowers and porridge.) Make sure to tag us on Instagram so we can see your beautiful floral creations!
In the meantime, let’s go shopping for bright, patterned tableware and home accessories. Luckily, these flowers are in bloom all year round:
Floral Tablescapes Table Accessory Shopping Guide
1. Flowers of Liberty Floral Dinner Plates, Liberty
2. The Herb and Flower Cookbook by Pip McCormac, Foyles
3. Patterned Candle Trio, H&M Home
4. Dark Green Linen Napkin, H&M home
6. Royal Albert Polka Dot and Floral Teacup, Selfridges