You’ve decorated the tree and strung the fairy lights, but have you thought about flowers? Yes, flowers. From table centrepieces to the new Poinsetta and pretty handmade presents, festive florals are officially a thing. Here, Emily Baylis, the floral artist behind some of the most Instagrammed floral art in London (she’s created blooms for hot restaurants Gloria Trattoria and Dalloway Terrace and showcased at The Chelsea Flower Show) and founder of June In March, shares her tips on achieve the perfectly stylish, sustainable affordable (and fun) florals for Christmas…
Chic & Sustainable Blooms
In terms of the long term use, dried flowers are always a great money saving option. They are often cheaper, or just about the same price, as fresh flowers, but of course they will last and could even be put into storage for next year. It’s also a more sustainable way of enjoying flowers and they look very chic. You don’t need to go for the usual cinnamon and orange slice decorations either – more stylish and modern options include dried thistle and artichoke, roses, protea and amaranth.
Emily’s “Poinsetta Update” bouquet
The Poinsettia Update
For a modern and stylish update on the traditional red Poinsettia, try Amaryllis. It’s darker than Poinsettia and a bit less ‘obvious’ and, like Poinsettia, often comes potted. Then there’s Ranunculus, also a darker red and a with vibrant ruffled petals and thick stems which are great for a bit of texture. There are lots of beautiful red flowers in the winter – hellebores are gorgeous and they smell divine.
Fill It With Foliage
Of course, not many plants flower over the winter. Traditional, seasonal Christmas floristry includes lots of green foliage for a reason. Set the mood; eucalyptus and berried eucalyptus is perfect for a lighter, more contemporary look. Pine is also great and it smells gorgeous – it’s all about the senses at Christmas. For a darker, rather more traditional result you can go for ruscus, or ivy. You can always just go for it and mix up the light and the dark, it’s often a good way to highlight just how beautiful something is.
Sustainable Styling With a Personal Touch
Don’t go out and buy new things to style up a table setting. I always use pieces from home or sometimes things I salvage or find out and about. You will often see me picking up a large stick in the park that I can use for hanging winter floral decorations (ignore the looks from passers by!). You can also use old wine bottles, jugs and large jars for table settings and mantlepieces. Get the kids involved hunting things and set them little challenges, it’s all part of the fun and makes everything much more special with great memories. Florals should be fun, especially at this time of year.
Beautiful Icelandic Poppies
Get Closer to the North Pole
I used to like to tell my daughter that Icelandic Poppies were what Santa Claus had in his garden. They look pretty delicate and summery, but are actually perennials that thrive in cold conditions – a true winter wonder and very stylish. I love them.
Do It Like the Professionals
Of course, all florists get their flowers from markets or buyers. There are some major markets in London like New Covent Garden Flower Market, and smaller markets like Columbia Road, but there are plenty of markets up and down the country. Lots of people don’t think about them as an option, but try and Google ones closest to you and see what comes up. There’s also some amazing growers, like Flourish Produce and Lullingstone Lane Flowers, worth checking out.
Dried flower jars make a stunning Christmas gift
Give a Unique Floral Gift
I love pressed flowers, and I feel that it’s a craft lots of people have forgotten about, but it’s so easy to do and it creates forever floral art. All you need is a pile of heavy books and some baking paper. Cut off the heads off some of your favourite winter (or even summer, if you plan ahead!) blooms and lay them out in between the baking paper in the middle of the book, don’t overlap them. Put the book under a pile of other books – nice and heavy, and leave them in a dry warm place for about two weeks. Then they’re ready. It looks beautiful, and you can make it really personal by choosing the recipients favourite flowers. Place them in a design that you like on a card and frame them. They look fabulous in glass backed frames too. I’ve added dry flowers into glass domes as well – it looks so vintage-chic and is easy to do. Build a small ball of moss – you can buy it from some florists, garden centres or even just collect lots yourself from damp walls – then stick some dried flowers in. The result looks so expensive and will definitely impress as a gift or statement table centrepiece.
Follow Emily on Instagram @juneinmarch.