The windowsill flower arrangement - white
When I first grew flowers commercially we lived in a small house up in the Kilpatrick Braes. I had 2 small daughters toddling around and flower arrangements had to be up high or they would be smashed up by little fists.
We had a fireplace in the living room - a small, narrow mantle over it and there, in a row of bottles, I would put single stems of flowers - getting to know them, checking them for vase life.
Arranged like that they were safe, they were an area of calm in a chaotic house, they were beautiful.
They were so beautiful in fact that it is still the way I arrange flowers - though now it is on my bedroom windowsill or down the centre of a dining table, rather than on an mantle.
I have 2 sets of bottles which I use.
One is old Victorian glass bottles, mainly dug up from an old dump in the 1970s - they are slightly blue/green and have pharmacy and drinks manufacturer's names pressed in relief down the sides. They range in size from a tiny inkwell to a tall ginger beer bottle.
The second group is old stoneware bottles and pots - used to hold everything from drinks to cream to meat paste. The businesses are stamped in blue on the front or embossed in tiny letters near the base.
Top tips on how to make an arrangement of flowers in bottles
- Choose your bottles - you want different sizes and shapes but they should have a theme. If you don't want to look for old bottles then modern glass bottles and bud vases work well - especially if you stick to a single colour.
- Clean your bottles well - this is the biggest problem with old bottles, you won't be able to get all the centuries of grime out, but do your best.
- Place the empty bottles on a windowsill or table - make the arrangement flow with different heights and groups.
- Cut and condition your flowers and leaves.
- Individually cut the flowers to height and place in the bottles one by one. You want the heights to be different so don't be afraid to cut some very short and leave others tall.
- If you like add in extra things to your arrangement - pebbles, seed cones, sea glass - and create a nature table feel.
- Keep an eye on the water levels as some flowers are very thirsty and some bottles are small.
- This is the only arrangement that I have on a windowsill as sun can shorten the life of flowers, so make sure you have conditioned them well..
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