Country Gardens magazine Summer 2012
In this casual country arrangement, stylist Karin Lidbeck-Brent combines Patience and Juliet roses with fresh- cut lady’s mantle (Alchemilla mollis), hydrangea, Rosa ‘The Fairy’, and white coneflower (Echinacea purpurea ‘Alba’) in a widemouthed white enamel bucket. “Flower arrangements don’t have to look traditional,” Lidbeck-Brent says. “They can be inspired by your garden, where nothing is symmetrical and there’s no rule or order.” Follow these easy steps to create a similar arrangement, choosing a container with an informal country feeling and putting flowers together loosely for a handpicked look.
Step 1: Set a vase into a bucket with a wide opening. Fill both vessels with water to make two arranging rings, which will hold stems in place without a frog or florist’s foam and help create a loose, airy arrangement.
Step 2: When choosing flowers, pick colors that work well with each other and with the container, and pay attention to scale and texture. Patience and Juliet roses are dense with petals and up to 4 inches wide when fully open, so use flowers and leaves that complement their large size. Hydrangea and lady’s mantle are ideal companions because they have big heads of small florets that fill space and provide pleasing textural contrast.
Step 3: Loosely fill the rings, especially the outer one, with stems of hosta and lady’s mantle until you have an airy but full base of greens evenly distributed in the bucket. There should be just enough greens to allow the roses and other flowers with stiffer stems to stand up when you add them. Step back and look at the arrangement.
Step 4: Add six Patience and six Juliet roses, one at a time. Cut each stem to a different length—a little taller or shorter than the greens—just as you are ready to place it. Position roses evenly in both rings, setting each rose slightly apart from the rest so it can fully open. In general, put shorter roses in the outer ring and taller ones toward the center. Although the roses star in this composition, you can tuck a couple of shorter-stem roses deep into the greens to give the bouquet a natural look. Accent your design with green hydrangea and white coneflowers.
Step 5: You will know you are finished when the bucket looks full and the flowers lightly touch each other with no large gaps or spaces.
By Penelope O’Sullivan
Photography by Kritsada
Produced by Karin Lidbeck-Brent
BHG Country Gardens Summer 2012