Table Decor

Autumn brightness

Well, it’s autumn in New Zealand right now, so we’re seeing colourful blooms like dahlias, coreopsis, rudbeckias and sea holly. You may even have rose hips in your garden if you didn’t get around to deadheading them. Or apples, which are useful in arrangements, like in the design one up from the bottom, found here.

I’m loving the second arrangement down by La Musa de las Flores, which features dried leaves, nasturtiums, phlox and ranunculus. It appears over at Elle Decor. As does the berry arrangement by Vervain. This plant, Celastrus orbiculatus, is actually a pest plant in New Zealand, but there are many other berry plants you can try instead.

No flowers? No problem. Use foliage

It’s winter downunder, which may mean there’s a lack of flowers in your garden. No problem. Pick foliage instead. You can make surprisingly good-looking displays using foliage alone.

For the biggest impact, select a range of leaves with contrasting shapes, colours and textures.

Winter flower arrangement



There is usually a slump in the number of flowers available for picking during winter, but there are nearly always a few stragglers left over from the autumn garden. Even an unruly mishmash of flowers, berries, seed heads and foliage can make for a beautiful indoor display.


Pick a selection of flowers and foliage. Choose a pedestal bowl wide enough to hold a florist’s foam-based wreath. Soak the wreath in water. The best way to do this is to place the foam on the surface of the water and let it absorb the moisture. When the foam sits just beneath the surface, it’s ready to use. If you force the foam into the water you will get dry patches.

Place the wreath on your pedestal bowl. Drape fresh, woody prunings around the foam to disguise it. Use the prunings from grapevines, potato vines, dogwood, or any other  bendy material.


Start to add your plant material, pushing the stems into the foam wreath. If you have any delicate stems, wrap florist’s wire around the stems then insert wire and stem into the foam.


Continue inserting flowers into the wreath, rotating the pedestal bowl as you go to ensure the arrangement looks even. You do not have to pack the flowers in tightly at this stage. Keep rotating the pedestal bowl and fill in any gaps as you go.


Early summer bouquet


Head to your flower borders and throw together a bouquet of seasonal summer blooms. In my garden there are plenty of hydrangeas and roses – and down the road a snip of eucalyptus leaves (with the neighbour’s permission) pads it out. What’s flowering in your patch right now?

Table wreath


A beautiful table wreath for any occasion, though with its pinecones and berries it makes a gorgeous centrepiece for the Christmas table. From The Real Flower Company.

Beautiful centrepiece


I love this arrangement. It’s so beautifully soft and feminine. And it incorporates some of my favourite blooms, including moth orchids (phalaenopsis) and Japanese anemones.

I feel a little bad though. I copied this image a while back and now I can’t remember where I took it from. Eek. Sorry if it’s yours. If it’s any consolation, I think it’s beautiful!

Sweet Living Weddings

Yippee! I’ve finally finished my online weddings magazine, Sweet Living Weddings. It’s massive  – 180 pages worth of crafts, DIYs and tutorials for a glamorous handmade wedding. It features lots of beautiful flowers, with instructions on how to make your own floral head wreath, boutonnieres and bouquets. Plus there are cake decorating tutorials, reception styling tips, jewellery and accessory DIY projects, hair and beauty tips, and lots of real weddings inspiration.  Take a sneak peak of the magazine here.

Floral workshop in Wellington

Vase with white chrysanthemum
basket2Candelabra and flowersvase of red roses candlesvases-redWedding glasses flowers
This weekend I’m holding a workshop in Wellington at HANDMADE on Tablescapes: table flowers, centrepieces and wreaths for special occasions. I’ll be talking about some of the designs above as well as demonstrating wiring techniques and different types of displays. Check out the workshop here. I’m also running a workshop on Growing and using herbs for culinary, cosmetic and medicinal purposes. I had great fun last weekend making my own perfumes with herbs to bring to the workshop. Check out my herb class here.

Easy table flowers

Table flowers

I really love this look: a glass pedestal dish with a very simple but elegant floral arrangement. It’s really achievable for the novice floral designer too. It’s simply a matter of placing a piece of soaked floral foam on the glass dish and pushing the stems of flowers and foliage into it.

In this arrangement there is Queen Anne’s lace, double feverfew, white roses and ferns. Easy, quick and stunning.

Super duper succulents

succulents2succulent bowls
I adore succulents (we know that already) because these colourful plants are just so versatile. They look great in bouquets and vases and they make very cute table centrepieces. There’s not much work involved with them either. Just plant them in a sunny spot that’s free-draining, and that’s it. Although sometimes snails like to munch on the succulent leaves. Grrr. You might need to resort to putting down snail bait.

The bottom two images come from Stephenie Wong’s Pinterest page and the top one, which includes dahlias, roses, freesias and billy buttons (Craspedia globosa), is from Sugar Plum Invitations.