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Three DIY floral displays to elevate your Coronation party

Floral experts share their secrets to decorating with flowers and foliage

  • Colour contrast: the red and white flowers stand out against the royal blue tablecloth

  • Thomas Broom- Hughes advises using a mix of filled vases and pots to create an impact

The Table

Whether you’re decorating your garden table, a street party table or an indoor dining table, there’s plenty you can do with plants to make an impact, says Thomas Broom-Hughes, director of horticulture at Petersham Nurseries in Richmond.

“In my house, there’s little space for food on the table once I get going,” he says.
“It’s nice to create that wow factor when people come into the room.” He takes inspiration from what is growing at the time, so if there is a glut of something in the garden, whether a particular flower or a specific colour, that will form the basis of his design. He also advises mixing flowers with indoor and outdoor potted plants that
you might have in the house and garden, to beef up your display while keeping costs
down; house plants alone can make an effective table display. The key is to keep
everything at a low height so that people can see each other across the table.

Garden foliage can be overlooked as a material for cutting, but Thomas likes to
use it as a foil for flowers, or on its own: “Camellia foliage, for example, looks great in a vase,” he says.

To make this arrangement, the perfect setting for an afternoon tea, he has used a mix of small bud vases, a larger central vase, and a selection of pots, including potted lily of the valley, jasmine and ferns: “Ferns are inexpensive and can create
a lot of impact,” he says.

The cut flowers are white Anemone coronaria, red camellia, asparagus fern trails, white tulips and pelargonium foliage. The royal blue tablecloth here sets off the reds and whites of the blooms.

The Teahouse at Petersham Nurseries is serving a special coronation afternoon tea
next weekend; for details, visit petershamnurseries.com

Thomas’s tips

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