Supermarket flowers can be lovely, and sometimes they can be a bit underwhelming. As it’s not always possible, for time and cost reasons, to buy a beautiful bunch of British flowers, it’s good to have a few tricks up your sleeve for making the most of the bunches you put in your trolley.
❋ No need to display them as the bunch they came in – split up into a number of vases, either identical or of different sizes, materials and shapes. Line them up down the table or along a window sill, or brighten up random corners around the house.
I wrote recently about how I love to reuse and repurpose, and this is a great way to use bottles, jars and tins that are too attractive to throw away. I also save Kilner jars, as I like the extra interest given by the lids and clips.
✽ Incorporate them into a garland. Wreaths aren’t just for Christmas! You can use a wicker ring, some wire, or bend a springy branch into a ring, and add greenery and flowers, as described in this recent article on how to make a modern wreath. Or there are lots of videos showing how on YouTube.
❋ Make them part of a still life, with fruit, vegetables, ceramics, shells, books, candles (make sure you don’t light tealights or candles right underneath the flowers), pebbles, driftwood etc. Very Instagrammable – I snapped this one when we visited Ednovean Farm B&B.
Depending on the season, plants like ivy, wild garlic and cow parsley are easily found in the countryside. And don’t forget the shrubs in your garden. Viburnum has clusters of pretty white flowers that can quickly drop, but the stalks left behind are pleasantly sculptural. Herbs come in handy, too. Bay is a great standby all year round, and is traditionally used to keep witches away!
❋ For a gift, unwrap the flowers and bunch up again, with your extra leaves. Wrap with tissue paper, brown paper or giftwrap and tie with string, ribbon or raffia. This is a good use for paper you’ve saved, as it can look even better a bit crumpled.
Like many of you, I’m slowly making changes that mean I use less plastic, and buy more local produce. It’s not a change that happens overnight, and in the meantime I’ll no doubt buy supermarket flowers (and be very happy to receive them!)