Jane Packer's Flower Course Book | Living North

Jane Packer's Flower Course Book

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Flowers in a low basket
In an extract from her new book, Jane Packer’s Flower Course, the celebrated florist shows us how to create a modern take on a classic arrangement
‘The idea is for the arrangement to look natural and uncontrived’

Flowers In A low basket

Mention a basket arrangement, and it’s easy to conjure up an image of those old-fashioned baskets with a huge hooped handle, filled with ghastly flowers that almost hurt your eyes with their clashing colours. It doesn’t have to be like that! Choose a basket that you’d like to have in your home, and which will still see some use once the flowers are no more than a distant memory

INGREDIENTS
6–7 x stems variegated cordyline leaves
3 x golden-yellow quinces, pears, or apples
9 x stems poppy heads
3 x ornamental cabbage heads 
2 x artichokes
2 x green hydrangea heads
3 x stems grey brodea foliage 
block of floral foam, cut to size 
thick plastic liner or bag, cut to size 
garden stakes for fruit

1 Start by preparing your materials. Trim the cordyline leaves at the base to make them shorter, slicing away the softer edges and leaving the central stem. Strip the foliage from the lower stems of the other ingredients and soak the floral foam in water until it is saturated.

2 Insert a stake into the base of each piece of fruit. Next line the basket with the plastic and insert the block of foam, allowing it to stand above the rim by an inch or two/several centimetres.

3 Start to insert the materials. The idea is for the arrangement to look natural and uncontrived. Starting from one side of the basket, mass the materials together and allow them to overhang the edges of the basket.

4 Gradually fill the basket, making sure it looks right from every angle. Around the edges of the basket, push the stems upward into the foam, so the flowers conceal the rim of the basket. The finished effect should have an abundant feel, with the flowers loosely grouped together so every angle provides a different aspect.

I feel that this basket is suitable for so many different occasions and can be displayed in almost any situation – on a low table, or occupying the centre of a dining table. The basket has a late summer feel about it, due to the golden fruit and the faded green tones of the cabbages.

Published in: February 2020

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