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Go beyond the unwrap-snip-vase-drop routine. Our favourite flower experts reveal their top tips for getting the best out of your blooms. Plus: create a fabulous bouquet in six simple steps

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Joanna Lumley, flower enthusiast and M&S Plan A ambassador
“I’m not a flower expert but I am a flower adorer because a bouquet is a chance to see the most stupefying natural beauty.

“I like wild flowers like cow parsley and ivy (you can pick it off someone else’s wall) and I always want my bouquets to look like a hedgerow. If you have an armful of foliage, then all you need are six or so outstanding roses like chic cream and peach Avalanche to make something ravishing.

“I think you should give men flowers, men love flowers! Next time you see a man, give him some flowers and tell him to arrange them – he’ll be thrilled, but he probably won’t do it very well.”

Laetitia Maklouf, flower journalist and author
“A very good rule of thumb when arranging a bouquet is to be fearless – they’re only flowers! Try to keep your flowers and foliage in season – these plants will always look beautiful together because

they are together in nature.

“I think it is a mistake to shy away from rainbow bouquets – for me, they are the ones that bring the most joy, look the most natural and have the most charm. Keeping your colour palette broad is exactly what is going to set your posies apart.”

Emma Peake, florist and owner of Daisies Flower Shop
“When building your bouquet, I always start with colour – classic combinations like green and white are always popular, but you can match anything. Try cerise with orange for really out-there flowers and don’t stop at a single bunch – split it up into small vintage bottles or jars and you’ve got blooms for every room.

“Taking care of cut flowers is easy: make sure you clean your vases properly with warm soapy water before you use them, always trim stems at an angle and make sure no foliage or leaves sit below the water line when you put your flowers into a vase as they will rot into the water.”


1. You’ll need twine, scissors and plenty of your favourite flowers. A bunch with a mix of stems and foliage is a great starting point.
2. Prep your stems by stripping the leaves and thorns and lay them out on your table, grouping the same flowers together.
3. Add flowers one at a time at an angle, then rotate each stem a little to help your distribution. Alternate colour and height for maximum impact.
4. When you’ve added all your flowers, reposition as you see fit, lifting the heads gently to give your bouquet a full, domed shape.
5. Hold your arrangement while you wrap string around the stems before gently resting on your table to tie.
6. Snip you stems to fit your vase – one with a narrow neck and broad base works best – and pop in your finished bouquet.
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Photography: Caroline Leeming / Flowers editor: Emma Sleight

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