Tonight my "coffee" group will meet at one member's house for drinks (obviously not coffee, hence the inverted commas). Apparently the drinks and nibbles are already sorted, which was leaving me with my mother's voice playing a loop in my head - "never go empty-handed, never go empty-handed".
So this morning I woke with the idea of making some little floral arrangements of some sort to take. I thought one could go on the drinks trolley and one in the guest bathroom. Then, of course, they could be enjoyed by the hostess long after the effects of the night's frivolity have worn off.
...with Camellia leaves
I'm no florist, but I have dabbled in a bit of amateur arranging on and off through the years. Being a bit out of practice I thought I'd stick to what I know and use Roses.
So I took off with Master J in the pram for a little walk and some subtle pilferage of some of the local greenery.
I had these in mind:
Gorgeous Lamb's Ear. Furry soft, silvery-green Lamb's Ear. I even love the name.
And I came across some large Camellia leaves as well. With their deep green colour, waxy finish and flexibility, they're always a favourite when foliage is needed.
Now with the acquisition of a lovely bunch of small mauvy-pink Roses I was in business.
If you'd like to try either of these arrangements (or adapt them to your favourite flowers and foliage), here's how to do it:
You will need:
* A small round of oasis (my ones were 8cm in diameter and about 5cm deep)
* A ziplock bag
* 10 or 15 dressmaker's pins
* About 7 Roses
* 10 - 12 Lamb's Ear leaves (or whatever green you'd like to use)
First soak the oasis. Drop it into water and let it sink on it's own (you can put some flower food in the water first if you have some). Pushing the oasis down under the water will create a dry pocket in the centre which you don't want. Soak it for as long as you can.
Find a bowl or cup that is about 5 cm wider in diameter than your oasis. With a permanent marker draw around this onto your ziplock bag and cut it out. (This will of course give you two circles).
Pin it to the base of your wet oasis as shown. This will stop water from leeching onto to a tablecloth or surface. (If you really are concerned about a surface getting wet you should probably put the arrangement on a saucer or similar).
Now arrange and pin your leaves around the base. You want them to come up above the top of the oasis by about a centimetre. Overlap them and place the pins in on a steepish angle to make them hold better. Don't worry about getting it looking too perfect - I actually prefer the finished result to look a little "organic" (LM speak for charmingly messy).
The finished Lamb's Ear "Basket".
Now cut your roses on an angle, leaving a stem of about 3cm. Arrange them on top by pushing them directly down into the oasis (not on an angle).
For the camellia, wrap two or three large leaves around the oasis in the same way, but this time make them overlap both the top and bottom edge of the oasis. It would probably help if you position the spine of the leaf around the horizontal centre of the oasis. Trim along the bottom edge with some scissors to remove excess leaf so that the arrangement can sit properly.