All I want for Christmas are flowers

All I want for Christmas are flowers

It’s no big secret that women (and men) love flowers. So why not give them something this Christmas that will last much longer than the festive season – in fact something that will give pleasure all year long.

Help your friends and family indulge their passion and release their creativity by treating them to expert help from the UK’s leading florist  Judith Blacklock.

Often called the Mary Berry of the flower world, Judith has been inspiring and teaching people with her love of flowers and her skills in design, classic flower arranging and cutting-edge floristry for over thirty years.

”Flowers are no longer just for special treats or big events.  We all love them and they make us and our houses happier, ” says Judith.

“We’ve seen a huge increase this year in people wanting to be able to amaze and delight their friends with their floral skills.  It’s fun and with a good grounding in the basics anyone can do it.

FLORAL“The most popular flower this year has been the Hydrangea and this will carry through until next year. Lime greens and purples are the most popular colours with vintage still being sought by many;” she confirms.

Here are Judith’s  top five Do’s and Don’ts for Christmas decor:

Do:  Have a tree …and fake it – You can make a stunning fake if space or sustainability mean real is not practical. Retrieve that artificial tree lurking in the loft or acquire one from your supermarket.  Collect a few branches of conifer or pine and place at intervals on the fake tree’s branches, pushing the stem ends to the trunk. You’ll find it hard to tell the difference. You can also use Christmas tree off-cuts or conifer branches on your mantlepiece , window ledge or for a long lasting centrepiece.   Cut branches into short pieces and insert in foam,  add a few roses or Gerbera to complete

Please refer to the library.www.clivenichols.comDo:  Go natural…collect, use and spray… leaves, berries, seed heads and cones – The best way to spray is by placing your finds in a small box. Spray once, close and rattle the box, then open and spray again. Smooth textured plant material takes spray much more effectively that those with a rough texture such as teasels. When using gold spray I personally prefer Brilliant Gold rather than Antique which has a much duller finish.

Do: Find Baubles with a large ‘neck’ opening …Baubles are the perfect container for a few stems of flowers. Mass them together in a low glass bowl so that they support each other. Fill the baubles with water and add your flowers.

Do: Have Candles – but put them in the fridge or preferably freezer for a couple of hours and they will burn more slowly , similarly always cut the wick before you light them and they will last much longer

Do: Create a centrepiece for your table – with Christmas colours of red, gold and green or for a contemporary feel choose  hot strong colours like turquoise and lime with silver or pastels with silver or gold.  Select one or other style – never mix.

Don’t:  Buy poinsettia plants from outside a shop. They’re very susceptible to draughts and won’t last long after purchase.

Judith Blacklock3Don’t: Buy roses that are soft when you squeeze the base or if the petals are translucent – they won’t last.

Don’t: Forget to water your flowers. Flowers dislike central heated rooms and you need to top up with water every day.

Don’t: Forget to cut the stems of your flowers once you bring them home. I always suggest removing the bottom 10% of the stem before placing in clean water.

Don’t: Buy Azalea or Cyclamen – unless you’re very patient as they need a lot of care and attention. If you do, go for the small headed Cyclamen which last a lot longer than the larger ones.

And of course – Don’t forget to stock up for next year in the sales – many Christmas staples are less than half price.