Ask the Florist: When Less is More

Simple flowers

My last blog post focused on the flowers and how to tie or arrange them in a simple vase, jug or container. Today I’d like to consider the many different ways you can display one or two flowers or just some foliage with great effect.

I am a big fan of simplicity; it can create maximum impact with minimal ingredients even a little as one single variety and it doesn’t have to even be flowers. Consider using just leaves, twigs, bark and candlelight.


Foliage on its own can look incredibly stylish (as above) when massed in a vase for a cool contemporary look. Eucalyptus looks particularly fine on its own and there are lots of varieties to choose from. I particularly like a berried variety called Populous which has a pretty shaped leaf and at certain times of the year bears little berries which add natural texture to the look.

Modern homes or spaces where there is a lot of back ground colour, pattern or intricate furniture work particularly well with these simply styled arrangements, as well as a few natural props to enhance or show off a single bloom.

Not a fan of grey? How about combining a mixture of foliage – this can look particularly good during the autumn with the changing colours. Combining burnt orange, russets, yellows and golds creates an ombre effect which gives the feeling of bringing the outside in. This works particularly well in the autumn – think about gathering some fallen leaves and pine cones and scattering them amongst some candles.

Festive foliage display

Twigs, berries & feathers

Twigs, berries and feathers can also add interest. And styling the vase with some pebbles both inside the vase as well as scattering a few around the outside will also give your display some extra character.

The vessel you choose may well create impact and set the ambience for the entire room. Some of my favourite vases create a statement in their own right and only need a single stem to draw attention to the glaze, colour, shape or height of the vase. Sometimes I need only an empty gin bottle and one single show stopper bloom to create maximum impact.

Take a trip to your local florist and see the many ways they display their flowers – the window may well have something to capture your attention. It may be the flower itself, a focal colour or indeed the container the flowers are being housed in.

Floral displays


Urns are particularly fashionable at the moment with many florists using old rusty urns to create a Dutch Master feel to their flowers, or a more simplified version of this is using a classic boat shaped Dartmouth vase (like Granny used to have) – you can find these in many antique arcades or charity shops.

Floral display in urn

No container at all

Alternatively, perhaps the actual container has been disguised or hidden and the sole feature is just the flowers alongside a prop. You can use a swathe of fabric, pebbles or bark to cover the actual water reservoir and just have the flowers leaning against a prop such as an empty frame or some antlers for example.

The point is, it’s really not necessary to have to use a lot of flowers, foliage or twigs, but instead let the shape and form of either the flower itself or indeed the vessel be the focal point. A pretty bowl and a single flower head sitting in a tiny pool of water can look stunning. Use the same flower variety and tie the look together on a shelf with several more artfully placed blooms and the requirement for a vase is entirely dispensed with.

Simple flowers with no container

Here are some of our favourite vases and jugs from independent sellers online. You can buy all of these below in our shoppable collection:

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