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Foliage for flower arranging

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Foliage for flower arranging

By Rachel Vogan

This week I am featuring foliage plants, which you can use in floral work. The wedding season is now in full swing. Recently I have attended three different weddings, and the flowers at each have been very different. The great thing about weddings is that wonderful feeling of celebration.

Last week I prepared the flowers for a wedding for a very close friend of mine and she left it up to me in to decide on a style for her. She had decided on roses, with bright centrepieces on the dinner tables. This time of year, though there is no shortage of flowers in the local market, I always underestimate how long it actually takes, to make the bridal bouquets, buttonholes, corsages and table settings.

The great thing I discovered this year was the range of different foliage plants. Foliage really sets of a bouquet of flowers. For the wedding last week I used as buttonholes, Hostas lined with Heuchera, finished with White Freesias, they looked magnificent. The blue of the Hosta combined with the purple of the Heuchera set of the white freesias beautifully.

The Roses were a simple arrangement, surrounded with Palm leaves - simple but very striking.

A great plant for floral work is Aciphylla dieffenbachii. This plant originates from the Chatham Islands, and it is one of the most distinctive and attractive of its family. It forms a low growing clump about 60 cm high. The feature of this plant is its blue green fern like foliage. The foliage is very sturdy and compact, ideal for floral work. Tolerates wind, all soils, and keep moist in summer. Male and female cream flowers on strong stems to 1.5 metres are borne on separate plants. Long lasting as a cut flower, keep water clean and fresh. A point of interest, this Aciphylla is now being exported as cut foliage to Switzerland from New Zealand.

Other plants ideal for floral work. Hostas, Chatham Island Forget Me Not, Astelia Silver Spear, Phormium, Heuchera, Mexican Fan Palm, Hellebores foetidus.

Remember to use foliage to add another contrasting element to the floral design.