Fresh from preparation for the Chelsea Flower Show, our flower-arranging expert,
Simon Richards, gives us a master-class in flower design, with expert tips to keep
your arrangements up to gold standard. We have pulled together some top tips to help
you get the best from your blooms
This arrangement is all about colour and vitality. Inspired by the M&S Chelsea Flower Show display, make the most beautiful florets by cutting away excess leaves and focusing on the heads of single stems.
De-petal your flowers without bruising by twisting the stalk from the base of the head firmly, and softly rolling in your hand to remove the loose petals.
Create patterns with your petals by scattering them across place settings. Arrange in clusters around the edge of your plates, or choose a more relaxed, informal look with a sprinkling around the outside.
Begin by cleaning your stems – remove any thorns or leaves around two thirds of the way up, leaving the ones that are nearest to the heads.
Try to mix the colours as you add them – you'll get some repeats, but if you're working with enough roses, the varied effect will look effortless.
Cross two roses at a point slightly higher than the centre of the stem. Then turn and add another at the same point, adding one by one with each twist.
Tie the stems together just below the crossing points with some string or ribbon. Give it around three turns, tying and snipping away any excess stem.
Make your flowers last longer by putting them in a cool place before you prepare them – the cooler the temperature, the longer the life span.
Change water every two-three days, or as soon as it starts looking cloudy. Most flowers come with food formula tailored to their needs, so be sure to use it.
Cut your stems at an angle – especially the thick, woody ones that need more water. It increases surface area to give them more opportunity to absorb the liquid. When you're filling the vase, give them as much water as you can to help prevent the stems from collapsing.
Getting the right vase for the right bunch is as important as picking your flowers. A slightly inverted vase that narrows towards the top is a fail-safe option when you have a limited number of stems as it helps maintain the shape and stops gaping in the middle when they're free standing.
Try something different – if you're using something larger like a terracotta pot, create a water bath inside using a cellophane bag filled with water.
Cut the stems down to size, measuring against the height of your chosen vase. When you're cutting, go slow – you can always trim more, but you can't add length once it's gone.
For something more contemporary, use a smaller pot and trim your stalks down so that only the flower heads poke out. Keep it tight with ribbon tied around the stems.
At M&S, we go to great lengths to ensure the
quality of the flowers we produce is excellent
everytime, and we want you to get the best out of
them – watch the video for tips from our product
developer, Simon Richards, on the best way to get
the most from your bouquets.
Introducing our most beautiful roses yet. From fat, feathery Avalanche blooms from Holland to Fairtrade flowers from sunny Kenya, it's all looking pretty rosy in our roses shop
Our luxurious The Collection range is perfect if you want to make a statement. Each distinctive bouquet is expertly sourced, indulgently mixed, hand tied and gift wrapped