An arrangement of flowers is the simplest way to liven up a room. But you don't need a master's certificate to create a chic and stylish bouquet. Here, two of the country's leading floral designers, Paula Pryke and Nico De Swert, share their favorite spring arrangements '- complete with easy-to-follow style tips and step-by-step directions.
By Paula Pryke Photograph by Kevin Summers
Ingredients: Flowers, foliage and fruit
Jumbo block of florist's foam
Watertight ceramic pot
Wooden cocktail sticks
This classic topiary arrangement is very simple to create. First soak a jumbo block of florist's foam in water until the bubbles stop rising (indicating that the foam is full of water). Trim the base of the foam with a knife and fit it into a watertight ceramic pot, then sculpt it into the desired shape. Clip the flowers and foliage so that the stems are about one inch long, then begin to add them to the foam, one type at a time. Using herbs in a summer arrangement always adds fragrance, and I love the blue-gray foliage of the "Jackman Blue" variety of rue. In this arrangement, I started with the rue, then added the border carnations. Finally, spear each strawberry with a wooden cocktail stick through the hull and stick these into the foam. I deliberately chose to leave the hulls intact and to position them on the outside, in order to provide more texture and give the arrangement additional interest.