After the chilly winter months, we crave a splash of colour – something to match the promise of brighter, warmer, longer days. We picture fresh, green leaves on trees and a succession of colourful spring blooms to cheer us up. As it’s not quite sitting out in the garden weather yet, why not bring blooms indoors to really make the most of the colours and scents? From bright spring bulbs to fragrant tree blossom, these spring flowers will lift your space and your spirits.
Make a beeline for bulbs
One word encapsulates spring – bulbs. They’re versatile, plentiful and capture the essence of a season that’s all about new growth emerging from its winter slumber. They are the spirit of spring in a vase.
Tulips, hyacinths, ranunculus and anemones can all be massed in groups, displayed singly or mixed together for a natural look. Daffodils and other types of narcissus epitomise spring, too, but keep them separate from other cut flowers; when cut, they emit a compound that causes them to wilt.
Keep it simple
Simplicity is the key to making successful spring flower arrangements. A composition of a mass of single-colour blooms in a number of containers is eye-catching enough. Keep the containers in the same material to ensure the arrangement is harmonious.
Match the colours of your room
It may seem like stating the obvious, but always consider the colours and textures in your room when choosing flowers. This arrangement of ranunculus, gerberas and hydrangeas in bright greens and creams complements the wallpaper, furniture and accessories perfectly to create a harmonious scheme.
Vases of different shapes and sizes, but referencing the same pale colour palette, enhance the overall effect.
Stimulate the senses
Some spring flowers are not very long-lasting, but there are other compensations. I’m thinking here of the incredible scent of hyacinths or narcissi or, in this case, bunches of lilac. Heavenly – and all the sweeter for their fleeting nature. Make the most of them while they’re in season.
Remember to take advantage of flowering shrubs in the garden. At this time, plants such as lilac, forsythia and flowering cherries will be at their peak. A branch or two displayed indoors will bring nature inside, along with a delightful scent.
Work your blooms with their surroundings
As with many things, less is often more when it comes to flowers. A mass of a single type of bloom in one colour can produce more of an impact than the same-sized multi-coloured display.
Here, the impact is heightened by juxtaposing the flower arrangement with a striking Cameroonian-style juju hat. A certain depth and strength of colour is needed in this situation to both hold its own against the strongly coloured hat and avoid clashing with it.
Complement with natural textures
Spring blooms are versatile enough to work in most types of container, but natural and simple shapes and textures look best. Rattan and wood complement naturalistic arrangements, while old jugs and zinc containers add character and style.
Take a tulip or two…
Tulips are the go-to bloom in spring, as they’re so cheerful and bright. This variety, known as French Tulips by florists, is longer stemmed and with larger flowers than the usual cut tulips. You can spot them as they’re often protected by a small net around each individual flower head. They are elegant in soft pastel shades, which will contrast beautifully with blue-grey shades on walls or furniture.
Here’s a tip to maintain the shape of your tulips and stop them flopping: cut the bottoms off the stems and place in water before unwrapping their packaging. After about three hours, you can unwrap them, change the water and place them in their desired location. They’ll stay upright much longer after this simple preparation.
Incorporate blooms into your styling
These lovely hyacinths are making a valuable contribution to this simple but effective display of midcentury cameras and books. Using vintage vases matched perfectly to the flowers is key to the success of this harmonious scheme.
Use flowers outdoors
Don’t forget you can use cut flowers outdoors, too. Your garden may be slow to awaken in springtime; adding masses of fresh spring blooms in a variety of containers will make you want to spend more time outside.
Usually, the blooms will stay fresh even longer outdoors if the temperature is cool, but avoid leaving them out in frosty conditions as they will quickly turn to mush.
Break the rules!
Every so often, it’s worth throwing out the rule book and embracing a mass of different blooms. This late spring arrangement seems to echo the exuberance of the coming summer months. Fully double peonies jostle with lupins, and the parrot tulips are blowsier than their early spring cousins.
Keeping the palette restrained in creams and pale yellows keeps it on the right side of taste.