Rachel’s sketchbook drawing illustrates how the design for this table arrangement began. We had forty round tables to decorate and not much set up time at the venue, so we came up with the idea of a flat bouquet that could be laid on the table and taken away afterwards to be hung on a wall. No vases or water involved.
We wanted to echo the circular table form within our arrangements so we encased each bouquet within a stem of curved flax and finished them off with an extravagant bunch of flowing coloured raffia.
First things first. Materials. You may not find the exact same materials we have used here but that’s kind of the idea – find materials that inspire you, bearing in mind texture and colour as you go. The materials that you choose need to last well and look good once dried and hanging. Work out the size of bouquet you want in relation to your table dimensions and cut your materials to roughly the right length as you gather.
You’ll need 2 stems of eucalyptus, 1 stem of red beech, 1 stem of gum nuts with full foliage, 2 stems of berried ivy (foliage removed), 1 stem of varigated flax plus raffia to hand tie.
1. Prepare your materials. Remove the lowest leaves from all stems. Soften the flax gently using the back of a knife so that it becomes more pliable.
2. Starting with a base of eucalyptus arrange all your materials (except the flax) into a flat bouquet. Look carefully at the materials and work out which way they naturally arch and let their shape dictate the direction the bouquet will flow.
3. In the absence of flowers we used gum nut sprays as our main focus, so ensure they are clearly visible.
4. Hold one end of the flax on top of the bouquet and take the other end and wrap right around the outside edge of the materials (this is best done flat on a table), drawing this other end back onto itself.
3. Secure all stems (including the flax) by tying together neatly with coloured raffia. Keep the raffia lengths long as this will accentuate the flow of the design too and give a sense of glamour to the gathered materials. Tuck any wayward foliage stems into the flax structure so you retain the bouquet’s shape. And voila!