Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Flower Arranging at Basildon Park

The beautiful National Trust property Basildon Park, nestled in the heart of the West Berkshire countryside, is a lovely place to visit. As well as touring the house, gardens and grounds, there are also special events and classes there. Today there was a class in floral arranging. I’m not too bad at home flower arranging, but I’m not really very adventurous and I tend to stick to the same ideas all the time so I thought I would go along to get some professional help and ideas.

Neil, one of the House Stewards, showed us how to make both a simple hand tied arrangement and a continental style table arrangement. His examples were beautiful.

And thanks to his great instructions, mine turned out pretty well too!

I thoroughly enjoyed my morning at Basildon Park and I came home with my own flower arrangement as well.

Neil gave us some great tips for arranging flowers at home which I thought I would share here:-

1.  To prolong flower life, cut stems on the diagonal and soak flower stems in clean buckets of cool water for 24 hours before arranging. Be sure to always cut carnations between the nobbly bits on their stems.

2.  To refresh droopy roses, do not put them in boiling water or put aspirin in the water as this can damage the flowers. Instead, roll them almost entirely in newspaper and place them up to their necks in cool water. This will refresh all but the droopiest of blooms.

3.  Not only are carnations and chrysanthemums among the most reasonable flowers to buy, they also last the longest. 

4.  To wrap hand tied bouquets, place a square of cellophane or wrapping paper in a diamond shape on a table and place the bouquet in the middle of the top point. Fold the bottom of the wrapper up so that it meets the top in a triangle shape and then scrunch the other sides round it.  Hold this together while repeating with another piece of paper so that you end up with eight points of paper wrapping the arrangement. Tie with some pretty ribbon.

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