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Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Setting the table

There's something immensely enjoyable and almost ritualistic about setting Charlie and Evelyn's Table, or any table, for supper. Over the course of the last twenty suppers, I have revelled in each opportunity to create a different look for the table, mostly reflecting the seasons but also reflecting my mood and the amount of time I've left myself!

It seems obvious writing this, but one of the main ways to change the look is through a centerpiece, enhanced with crockery, cutlery and glassware. For me this predominantly means flowers.

Over the last year, Charlie and Evelyn's Table has been decked with pine cones, daffodils, pink and red roses, gypsophila, buttercups, hydrangea, sunflowers, vintage fressia, peonies, homegrown sweetpeas, crocosmia, cream roses, yellow roses, munchkin pumpkins, sea holly, anemones and cala lillies.

I have always loved having flowers in my room or home and even in the office, they bring beauty and smiles. This love was certainly deepened during our wedding planning and thanks to our very talented and patient florist at Bels Flowers. And, while I have enjoyed creating very simple arrangements for our table, I have often wished Helen was closer with her beautiful blooms and top tips.

I'm very excited and grateful to say that she agreed to share her thoughts on creating effective arrangements for dinner parties right here. Woo hoo! So, it's over to her:

"Over two years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Rachel and Chris to plan their wedding flowers.

Rachel came to me with wonderful ideas for their wedding, bubbling with quaint touches and we have since become great friends, I’ve even been lucky enough to become part of their family Christmas tradition, supplying a gorgeous family wreath each advent {more on that later}. Part of planning the flowers for Rachel and Chris’ big day involved learning about the history of both of the lovely couple’s family, including Charlie and Evelyn. So it’s now an honour to be a guestblogger and part of the next step of Rachel and Chris’ future...

In this post, I'll be talking about flowers for dinner parties. All the finishing touches to a special dinner really make a night stand out from all the rest... with Rachel and Chris providing the scrumptious, eyecatching and unique food here’s some tips on the finishing touches for your table.

How do you create a simple, stunning arrangement?

I often start with memories from the times when I've received flowers, the ones our parents and grandparents had on the sideboard and in the garden when we were growing up or, maybe, the flowers friends, family or we had at weddings and celebrations.

So, a personal favourite flower of mine to start... the rose. Many different coloured roses have different meanings: the white rose for innocence and purity; peach for desire; pale pink for grace and joy; red for happiness.

Making a rose centrepiece will depend on the type of vases you have. You could do a number of designs or just one. Here are some tips to consider:
With a cube vase, try arranging nine medium/large headed roses for a modern, neat design. Clean and fill the vase with around 5cm of water. Measure one rose stem against the vase, positioning the base of the head on the rim of the vase and cutting the stem at the base of the vase. Be sure to cut the stem on a 45 degree angle and cut the rest of the eight roses to the same length on the same angle. Next, place three roses down each side of the vase and one in the middle. Once the roses are placed in the vase you can perfect the position of the roses to be symmetrical... Done!

Using a fishbowl, you’ll need around twenty roses (depending how big your fishbowl is!) and gather some foliage to add to this natural, handpicked design. Clean and fill the vase around half full of water. Strip the stems of the roses and foliage so they are clear of any leaves which will be below the waterline in the vase. Cut the roses stems on a 45 degreeangle so the stems will sit in the vase with about the half the length of the stem again coming outof the vase. Place one rose at a time going clockwise (so all the stems are going the same way in a spiral) with some foliage stems in between... tweak and position once in situ... Done!

And, for a dish, a very simple, subtle design with three to six roses. Fill the shallow dish around half full up the sides. Cut the stems around 2cm from the head of the roses (the amount you’ll need will depend on the size of the dish). With the last rose carefully remove the petals and scatter across the water to float elegantly! Done! "

Feel free to contact Helen, or comment here if you have any questions and, watch this space as she has very excitingly agreed to share a step by step guide to creating your own Christmas wreath - coming soon.

1 comment:

  1. So pretty flower arrangements! This is truly an amazing post to read through. Anyway, I am just seeking suggestions for affordable and same day Floral Delivery service in Los Angeles. I want to send flowers to a friend but not finding any reliable services.


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