The Beauty of Baskets

Flower Arranging by Gayle Shell

Baskets of every variety are useful to the Flower arranger and adapt readily to all seasons and every sort of plant material.

I have arranged flowers in three different baskets, all different but complimenting the Spring materials.

1. Basket of Twigs with a Handle

This small scale basket works well with Daffodils because of its rustic feel. Daffodils have almost the look of wild flowers and do not require sophisticated containers.

A small plastic dish filled with wet foam was wedged at the top of the basket (plant pot saucers
work well here). The outline was constructed from early flowering Kerria japonica and then repeated
with Daffodils. These have a unique shape and are front facing. To achieve depth in the design they
need to be turned in different directions. The largest, most open flowers have been placed facing
forward in the centre to hold the eye. The sculptural flat leaves of Hedera canariensis were also placed in the centre and any gaps filled with
variegated Box.

2. Woven Square Basket

Flower arranging April 2b

This is a simple shaped basket in a golden colour and I found the orangey Tulips and newly emerging Spirea autumn gold complimented it
perfectly. I had three Hyacinths left from another design and added them in the centre. Hyacinth stems are thick and rather soft and can be difficult
to get into wet foam. I overcame this problem by pushing a thin stick into the hollow stem. Make sure the actual stem tip is touching the foam and
taking up water. The Skimmia rubella with its pink flowers and glossy leaves gave weight to the base of the design and I added a few of the red stems of
Cornus to finish.




3. Basket Constructed from a Woven Mat

Flower Arranging April image 3

This is an idea which was shown to me when I first started flower arranging by a Teacher of Ikebana (the art of Japanese Flower arrangement). This mat is very
well constructed and now about thirty five years old! Any woven place mat would work.

The mat is folded in half along the short side and pinned to make the cornucopia shape. I have used a small dish filled with wet foam and placed it into the enclosed part of
the “basket”. I have tried to create a flowing design but gave it a little height to create depth. The vibrant pink Tulips inspired the colour scheme and I added flowering
currant with its bright green leaves and dark pink flowers, Hyacinths, Epimedium with leaves flushed red
from the winter weather and Euphorbia characius for a
repeat of the sharp green.

Baskets seem made for Spring flowers and since the season for Daffodils, Tulips and Hyacinth is so short, at the end of a long, wet Winter they are especially cheering to
arrange. As I place them on the table the Spring sunshine streams through the window. What joy!