Pick and plonk to get you started with flower arranging

i'm often told by my customers that they never pick any flowers from their garden. 

Now I live in a part of the country, where there are some gorgeous gardens, and there's a lot of choice for cut flowers in most gardens. Every supermarket, and farm shop and garden centre seems to sell flowers, plus they can get them from me in the form of Friday flowers, or flower arrangers buckets, but people are still reluctant to decorate their homes. One of the reasons (i've been told), is that people aren't confident to know how to arrange their flowers. This is the start of a series to get you happy and confident with what to do with your flowers, wherever you get them from, and how to make the most of whatever you've got. No "rules", just some ideas and inspiration to get you going.

 Rose heads in a tea light holder

Rose heads in a tea light holder

The first technique to master is pick and plonk. Before i started flower farming, this is what i did all the time. Whatever i picked from the garden or the allotment, i just picked and plonked in a bottle or a vase.

 Sweet peas in a jam jar

Sweet peas in a jam jar

Pick and plonk, can be one flower head, or a bunch of the same kind of flower heads. The only thing you'll need is a vessel that is the appropriate size for the flowers.

 Multi-headed rose in a decorated wine bottle

Multi-headed rose in a decorated wine bottle

The "right" vessel doesn't have to be an expensive vase. Look in your store cupboard for some great vessels for pick and plonk. This wine bottle was decorated for a wedding, but is now a perfect pick and plonk "vase" for taller (50cm) stems. Whereas jam jars are great for shorter stems (15-25cm) 

 Tomato ketchup, Firefly drink, and pasta sauce jars all making excellent vases.

Tomato ketchup, Firefly drink, and pasta sauce jars all making excellent vases.

Pick and plonk is great for flowers bought from the supermarket. Just take off the wrapping, cut a small amount off the end (so they start taking up the water) and put in the vase. 

 Tulips bending naturally after a week pick and plonked in a vase....

Tulips bending naturally after a week pick and plonked in a vase....

and it doesn't have to only be traditional "flowers" that can be pick and plonked into a vase to decorate your home. How about other additions from the garden? There are plenty of foliage, and  stems from the vegetable patch that can used as pick and plonk candidates.

 Amaranthus red army, and caudatus, which are grown on the vegetable patch, as well as the flower garden. 

Amaranthus red army, and caudatus, which are grown on the vegetable patch, as well as the flower garden. 

So this weekend's challenge is despite the drought, and the hot weather, find something from your garden that you can cut and put in a vase. Look for stems, scent and shape, as well as flowers. And enjoy....