The Westbury Christmas bouquet
Nothing says Christmas quite like a festive flower arrangement. We’ve collaborated with top Essex-based florist Debbie Sharpe of The Flower Room Essex to create The Westbury Christmas Bouquet; a simple yet elegant design that will bring a touch of Christmas class to your home this season. This is a great one to put together yourself at home, so if you love flower arranging this how-to guide is just for you.
This is a very easy arrangement to make at home, with a subtle yet elegant colour scheme. The star of the show is the white amaryllis, which is a traditional Christmas flower with a very tall, straight stem. ‘A single tall stem of amaryllis will produce 3-4 trumpet shaped flowers, which will give plenty of height and does all the work for you in this arrangement’ says Debbie. ‘Amaryllis is a versatile flower which also works well in wedding arrangements. White and green is a stunning combination that will work well with most decors, and the champagne twigs complete the look – but this bouquet can be easily adapted using Red Pussy Willow if you wanted to vamp up the festive feel.’
Debbie started her career in floristry once her children had left school, and she enrolled to train at Writtle University College. Her arrangements speak for themselves, and Debbie was part of the team of florists who made the bouquets for the 2012 London Olympics – she’s even made a poesy for a member of the royal family.
It’s important to get the timing right, so the buds of the flowers are open on Christmas Day. We recommend that you buy your flowers about 5 days before.
Y O U W I L L N E E D
- A beautiful clear glass vase will allow you to see the stems of the amaryllis, adding extra detail and structure to the design. In most arrangements you would want to hide the stems, but with this arrangement the stems are particularly attractive. Debbie has used a vase that is 40 cm in height
- x 5 stems of white amaryllis. Each stem will produce 3-4 large trumpet flowers
- x 1 bunch of eucalyptus – this is a lovely, large, silvery-blue toned leaf with a lot of fragrance. They have nice, free flowing stems that will create a nice contrast to the straight amaryllis stems
- x 3 branches of birch twigs, sprayed in a light champagne colour with a slight shimmer. These will bring a lovely, natural colour to the arrangement
- A section of clear cellophane
M E T H O D
- As soon as you buy your flowers, you should cut your stems on a slant and put them into fresh water immediately.
- Fill your vase up with about 4-5 inches of fresh water. Don’t add plant food into the water – the best thing you can do is simply top up the vase with fresh water every day.
- Remove the leaves from the bottom of the eucalyptus stems – you want to prevent any foliage from sitting in the water in the vase and rotting, which causes bacteria and affects the lifespan of your flowers.
- Prepare to trim the amaryllis into different heights – with two taller stems and three shorter ones. This helps all the flowers to be seen in the arrangement. Make sure you cut the stems on the slant. Cutting straight stems stops the flowers from taking up as much water as they sit on the bottom of the vase which creates a seal.
- Push some clear cellophane down into the vase, which will help to keep the stems in place and alter their height. As it’s clear you won’t really notice it, but it can trap the bubbles in the water which can look quite pretty in the glass vase.
- Place the two taller amaryllis stems in the centre, then spiral round the vase, adding the other shorter amaryllis stems, then follow on with the Eucalyptus and twigs in the same method.
The Christmas version: Follow the steps but replace the champagne twigs with red pussy willow – which is a very vibrant red colour with tall straight stems. Structurally the pussy willow will add a lot of straight lines and height to the design, giving a slightly different look.
Debbie provides us with elegant flower arrangements which we use to style our garden room extensions and orangeries during our photo shoots. You can find her at The Flower Room in Essex, based at Hylands Artist Studios, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on 07508 073007.