Winter Wizardry – enchanting winter flower designs

by Charlotte.Barnes on November 19, 2010

The venue for this photo shoot was the stunning Fettes College in Edinburgh. With its imposing turrets, flying buttresses and fearsome gargoyles, it could almost be a blue print for a miniature Hogwarts. Perhaps the fact that both the college and J K Rowling inhabit the same city is more than just a coincidence.


A white church candle sits imposingly in this classic silver-coloured bowl, surrounded with elegant white flowers and berries. Such a simple design, yet so effective as it uses only three types of flowers. Eucharis lily, ornithogalum arabicum and symphoricarpos are all arranged to gradually encircle the candle. Wisps of black bear grass add a subtle touch of drama.

If you’re looking for something a little bit different, then this design is perfect. The candle has been wedged firmly into the base and then covered with glass pebbles. White sisal, wire or moss pinned into the base would work equally as well.

“You’ll need to know the password”

This is living art, literally. This abstract design continues the seasonal red and white theme. Pure white eucharis lilies, symphoricarpos and ornithogalum arabicum are secured into test tubes, which are then sprayed and glued on to the side of the frame. Arching over from the opposite direction is a single deep red chicas anthurium.

Single stems of Hazel and black cord – laced in a zigzag pattern across the frame – link the two sides of the design and provide support for the flowers. The designer, Lorna Campbell, says: “I got the frame from a charity shop in the city. There was no picture in it, so I decided to create my own.”

“Hocus Pocus”

Designed in a mirrored cube, this column of flowers is a luscious mix of rich reds and burgundies. Ten Grand Prix roses, hibiscus and chicas anthuriums are arranged vertically using a block of Oasis floral foam as a base. Stems of delicate red vanda mokara orchid add further glamour. Lorna only used half a block of foam and has cleverly cut the rose stems to fill the extra space, this not only adds texture to the base of the design, but also means that the cube will hold more water.

No foliage has been used in this arrangement, and indeed none is needed, as using the rose stems and flower heads low down effectively disguises the mechanics.

“Dragon Slayer”

Nothing says I love you more than the classic single red rose and this Grand Prix example, simply adorned with love hearts, couldn’t make that sentiment clearer.

The hearts have been created out of aspidistra leaves, moulding the shape first out of coloured Oasis aluminium wire and then sticking the leaves onto it using double-sided tape. Simply trim around the outside of the heart to finish.

The romantic theme is echoed by the heart shaped philodendron leaves. The rose is smartly finished off with red wire bound around the stem, much more attractive then guttering and more upmarket than ribbon.


This gorgeous posy would make the perfect bouquet for a Christmas bride. Luxurious heads of Grand Prix roses are massed together and bound with aspidistra leaves and strips of china grass. The designer touch is the addition of foliage discs of china grass and glycerined copper beech leaves. These have been made by attaching the foliage back to back on a circle of stub wire, which was first wound with tape and then trimmed to size.

The loops of grass are made also from stub wire by wrapping the blades of grass firmly around it. The unusual flower inserted between the beech leaves is actually edelweiss.

Lorna says: “I love using beech leaves in my wedding work at this time of the year. They’re seasonal and, because they last for ages, can be prepared well in advance.”

“Spell bound”

This intricate metal stand came courtesy of Alison Bradley at Fusion Flowers magazine; it holds seven glass test tubes and has a multitude of uses. In this case, Lorna has used Grand Prix roses, burgundy spray roses, euphorbia fulgens, hypericum, hibiscus and more of the beautiful vanda mokara orchid.

Lorna says: “I’ve also used grasses in the past, such as barley, and woven them in and out of the stand for a really summery look. It looks cool whatever you do with it, and of course is a great way to use up all the bits!”

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Charlotte Barnes

Post category: How-to Guides, Knowledge  

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