Five tips for a beautiful bouquet from garden stems

Creating a display of home-grown flowers from your garden is hugely rewarding, and a home made bouquet makes for a heart-felt gift.

Floral expert Kim O’Brien, who leads hands-on spring garden flower bouquet workshops at the Spring Fair, has shared her top five tips for a stunning result.

Find out more and book a place on the  Garden Bouquet workshops at the Spring Fair, here. Then, read on for the ultimate guide to making a successful home-grown bouquet.

1. Choose your foliage carefully

Selecting the right foliage is crucial for creating a visually appealing and balanced floral arrangement. 

Incorporating at least two different types of foliage can add depth and interest to your design. Look for varieties that contrast in colour, form, and texture to create a dynamic composition. 

For example, you might combine feathery ferns with broad, glossy leaves to achieve a pleasing contrast.


2. Condition your flowers thoroughly

Proper conditioning of flowers is essential for maximising their vase life.

Before arranging your flowers, it’s important to remove any leaves that will be submerged in water, as these can harbour bacteria and lead to premature wilting. 

Additionally, trimming the stems at a 45-degree angle and placing them in clean water will help ensure optimal hydration and longevity.

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3. Avoid toxic microplastics and floral foam

Environmental considerations are increasingly important in floral design.

Rather than relying on traditional floral foam, which is non-biodegradable and can release harmful microplastics. Consider eco-friendly alternatives such as floral frog pins, chicken wire, or willow lattice. 

These options provide support for arranging flowers while minimising environmental impact.

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4. Be bold in your flower choices

When selecting flowers for your arrangement, don’t shy away from bold and impactful choices. 

Mixing large accent flowers with smaller filler blooms can create a dynamic contrast in size, shape, and colour. 

Experiment with complementary colours to create visual interest and make a statement with your arrangement.

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5. Keep your blooms hydrated 

To ensure your flowers stay fresh and vibrant for as long as possible, it’s important to keep them well-hydrated. 

Cutting the stems at a 45-degree angle helps facilitate water uptake, while changing the water every other day prevents bacterial growth and maintains water quality. 

By following these simple steps, you can extend the vase life of your blooms and enjoy their beauty for longer.

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Looking for even more tips? 

Join floral expert Kim O’Brien at the BBC Gardeners’ World Spring Fair for a hands-on workshop, where you’ll learn how best to arrange seasonal garden blooms. You’ll get to take away your bouquet away with you on the day, to brighten up your home.
Find out more about workshops here, and use the links below to book!

New year, new garden, new trends!

We’re through the garden gate into 2023, with a host of gardening trends blooming throughout the country. From house plants reaching dizzying heights of popularity, to the colour of the year ‘Viva Magenta’, read on for our full list of trends.

To get up close and personal with fresh garden inspiration, new plants, the latest gardening kit and more, join us in 2023.

Colour of the Year 2023

Hand-picked by Pantone, the colour of the year has been named as ‘Viva Magenta. 

Pantone describe the colour as ‘brave and fearless, and a pulsating colour whose exuberance promotes a joyous and optimistic celebration, writing a new narrative.’

Discover a world of colour and scent in the stunning Floral Marquee,  bursting with award-winning nurseries and display.

Sustainable gardening

Whilst your garden might seem to already be very green, it can always be greener!

Discover ways you can make gardening more sustainable, like upcycling common items to make stylish features. What was a pallet, hessian bags, bits of pipe, and tin cans, could become a planter, grow bags, water features, and wildlife habitats.

Be inspired by the BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine editorial team as they’re joined by experts to give tips and advice.

Grow your own food

Looking to go from soil to supper this year? Get brilliant advice from the National Allotment Society at the event.

Peat-free gardening

Learn about the latest peat-free compost from exhibitors who can offer face-to-face advice.

Indoor gardening

Foliage doesn’t just belong outside – bring nature indoors and be inspired by the Houseplant Hub.

Mindful gardening

Beautiful Borders returns with this year’s theme ‘My Garden Escape’ to give you space savvy ideas.

Gardening on a budget

Discover different ways you can let your garden bloom under a tighter budget, with advice from expert gardeners.

Fermented foods

Visit the BBC Good Food Summer Show (with free entry with your ticket!) and discover the latest foodie trends.

Feeling inspired? Find out what else is happening at BBC Gardeners’ World Live this June!