Spring Flowers for Flower Arrangements

There is one flower that I think is the very pride of spring—the crown imperial, or Fritillaria imperialis. From the moment it first pierces the earth, it is dramatic . . . the drama continues until at last the beautiful and curious bells unfold, and you may see inside the five, clear teardrops which lie at the base of the petals.

I use the crown imperial in mixed groups as well as alone or with shapely branches. I am sometimes asked if I am deterred from using it by its curious smell. I am not, because I find that when the flowers are placed in water, this is not obtrusive.

Personally, I do not dislike the earthy smell of the crown imperial.


The paler daffodils should not, I feel, be arranged with stronger-coloured kinds. They need to be arranged simply. Cut-glass bowls and the like seem out of keeping. Moss-carpeted baskets, simple dishes and wooden bowls please me better.

One of my favourites is Narcissus triandrus albus, the angel’s tears daffodil, with its milk-white flowers borne on 4-in. stems. It is surprising how the dignity and grace of so tiny a flower will stand out in quite a large room.

The miniature daffodils are properly regarded as rock plants, but, fortunately, readily adapt themselves to being grown in pots or pans.


Long-stemmed tulips are magnificent flowers to arrange, but I do not like to see the quality of their line, stem and dignity of form left unconsidered.

For instance, if you take a bunch of tulips and stick them in a trumpet-shaped vase, you have done little to help display their essential qualities. Long ago, the people in Holland understood this. They had special vases made; some-times these were tall with holes in the top, and sometimes fan-shaped.

I very often put tulips into large shells or shell-shaped vases, to let the curve of their stems be seen to full advantage.

It is helpful to have some of the very deep-toned tulips for decoration, like Bacchus (a dark, plum colour), Frans Hals (a deep purple) and The Bishop (a fine bluish-purple.)

Such a selection as these, with some soft pinks and such of the stronger reds as your fancy dictates, give you marvellous material for decorations.

16. February 2012 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Featured Articles, Garden Management, Gardening Calendar | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Spring Flowers for Flower Arrangements


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