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create a pretty posie

From Habitat magazine - issue 08

With the fashion for flower arrangements tending towards more carefree styles, creating a posie doesn’t require a degree in engineering.

Michelle Henry
Florist: Michelle Henry

Flower arranging is very different than the days when large sculptural flowers were carefully constructed in impressive arrangements. Today, we like our flowers more casual and carefree – like you’ve just walked in from the garden with a bunch of dewy blooms and haphazardly placed them in the nearest vase to hand.

Of course, as with many things, that seemingly simple effect isn’t as easy as it looks. But with a few tips from friendly florist Michelle Henry of Roses in Mt Eden, Auckland, you can create pretty posies like these.

Today’s fashion is for less greenery and more floral elements. In fact, these posies have hardly a leaf in sight and are made up of quite cottagey blooms such as hydrangea, sweet pea, dahlia, Singapore orchids, and bougainvillaea.

Says Michelle: “People want more romantic, feminine and nostalgic arrangements. Like those that Grandma used to have. It follows the current trend for vintage fashion and handcrafted homewares.”

Because of the casual, slightly mismatched look of the posies, you don’t have to be too careful about colour, says Michelle. “Anything goes with this style. There are no rules.” For a vase, she suggests either something brightly coloured, like these Rice glass vases from Germany, or something a little old-fashioned, like cut glass or even an old jug. Narrow-necked vases are best for this type of arrangement as they allow the posie to splay out into its spherical shape.

How to create a posie:

Step 1Step 1:  Collect a selection of pretty flowers, including one type (you’ll need two or three blooms) that will be used as the base or anchor bloom. Hydrangeas are good for this, as is any other larger bloom like peonies, full-blown roses, dahlia, tulips or other spring bulbs. Or you can use foliage, such as magnolia leaves, as your base.

Step 2Step 2: Holding the base flowers firmly in one hand, start to thread the other flowers in a random pattern between the base flowers and through your hand. Trim the stalks after threading if it makes handling easier. Keep building up the flower arrangement until you have a quite tight sphere of flowers.

Step 3Step 3: Tie a piece of twine around the flower stalks so that the arrangement holds its shape. Place into your vase of choice.

Alternative posie lookThree alternative posie looks, in German-made Rice glass vases from Roses.

Finished posie
Finished Project

Michelle Henry
Florist: Michelle Henry

Background colour (of above steps) in Resene Moonbeam.

See some more tips on how to treat cut flowers and keep them looking good.

words: Sharon Newey
pictures: Mark Heaslip
stylist: Michelle Henry

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