Constance Spry, the Englishwoman who inspired these bouquets, was one of the most influential tastemakers of the 20th century. Her conviction that it took imagination, not money, to create a lovely home revolutionized the floral arts. At her urging, Britons turned to their backyards for herbs, vines, even vegetable leaves—proving that a vase could be filled with more than hothouse flowers and that beauty was not exclusive to the wealthy.For Constance Spry’s wonderful
out-of-print books, go to alibris.com.
Seasonal greens such as spruce and pine smell fantastic. Blend two varieties for an interplay of textures and color, and mix in white heather for a hint of winter snow.
Use a vase with a tapered mouth to help hold branches in place. Cut five spruce branches to twice the container’s height.
Arrange the spruce branches at an angle around the perimeter of the container to create a foundation.
Add five pieces of pine cut slightly longer than the spruce branches so their delicate texture doesn’t get lost.
Any small white flower will do for contrast. We tucked about 20 stems of heather into the front of the vase.
The New Generation
Twenty-eight-year-old Raquel Corvino, who updated Spry’s arrangements for domino, grew up in a family of artists and selected flowers as her métier when she was in high school. In 2000, she started her eponymous floral business, where she specializes in bold combinations and unusual colors.
Lots of water
will stabilize a precarious vase.
Christmas doesn’t have to be all about red and green. Rich and celebratory, deep oranges and pinks are an unusual yet surprisingly suitable choice. Here, fiery coxcomb, fuchsia hanging amaranthus and pomegranate-colored rose hips join to opulent effect.
Start with ten coxcombs. Cut the stems so that the flower base sits about 1/2" above the lip of the vase.
Insert the coxcomb stems, one by one, in a spiral. Crisscross the stems as you go to form a base.
Tie six small rose hip bunches with string, and fill spaces; all flowers should be the same height.
Measure eight amaranthus to be at least twice as long as the vase. Insert over the coxcomb and let fall.