The weather has not been that kind to our flowers over the last number of weeks here in Kerry. Hopefully most of you who took on the wildflower project have enough flowers to keep the kitchen table colourful and some flowers left over to share with your friends. Let’s bring the outdoors in and let the creativity begin.

Be brave in both your selection of blooms and even more so in your choice of vase or container. I have been collecting pieces of crockery for as long as I can remember and with all the charity shops popping up around the country, we are spoilt for choice. Before you go out scouring the shops though, have a good look around your home. Most houses have displays in dressers and shelves, with little vases and jugs sitting idle and just crying out to be filled with fresh flowers.

Another new hobby could be to examine the items you throw in the rubbish or recycling bin and transform them into unusual vessels to show off your beautiful blooms. The list of containers that can be used as vases is endless. Here are a few most houses will have: jam jars, vinegar, wine and herb glass bottles, tin cans, golden syrup tins etc.

As I say, it can be a new hobby – the quirkier the vessel, the more charming your flowers will look. By removing the label and adding a piece of ribbon or hessian, you will have a rustic vase in no time.

If you have a collection of vases ready to use, be brave in your selection of flowers to fill them. Avoid matching up and instead mix it up as much as you like. Vibrant primary coloured enamel jugs and buckets look wonderful when filled with garden flowers. In fact, the older the vessel, the more it suits cottage garden flowers.

Here are a few of my favourite colour combinations to try:

  • • Wild flower mix: This is typically seen to be red (poppies), white (daisies), blue (cornflower) and yellow (marigold/buttercup). Also pop in a few grasses.
  • • 4th July: Red, white and blue can be very striking.
  • • Romantic/pastel: Apricots, lilac, pale pink and pale blues.
  • • Autumnal mix: This might include orange, red, yellow.
  • • Meadow/hedgerow: Mostly made with a selection of different foliage and cool whites.
  • • Vibrant: Mad mix of fuchsia pink, bright orange, deep purples and yellows (a riot of colour).
  • We are all drawn to particular colours and it can be very enjoyable to try and figure out the selection that best signifies our own personality. I recently had a brief from a bride who wanted lavender, silver and white, which turned out to be one of my favourite bouquets to date.

    For readers who do not grow flowers at present, take a walk in your garden or local countryside and you will be surprised at how many little bunches you can create. City dwellers have ivy and butterfly bushes and grasses to choose from. Manicured garden owners could see their way to snipping a branch or two of foliage, which when placed in a large vase in a hallway can yield a pleasant natural welcome for their visitors. A keen cook who might only grow herbs could use old herb bottles lined up on the kitchen window sill with just a sprig of their crops in each jar, maybe adding a few strings of twine to enhance the look. The possibilities are endless.