A half dozen long-stemmed flowers, rising from a needlepoint holder in a container placed at the correct lighting angle in front of a mirror will, with their reflection, suggest twice the quantity.
Fitting the furniture
Simple utility suggests a low container and a horizontal arrangement on a dining room table, in order not to block the view. A round table suggests a round container, a rectangular table a rectangular container, a square table a square one. Camellias or gardenias, floated in a shallow glass container, make a simple and effective centre of the table, or the young bloom of gladioli, cut from old stems and placed in a fishbowl.
A dim, heavy-looking library suggests a brightening touch which can be supplied by a single flower on the desk-a specimen peony in an ashtray, an auratum lily, large, white, and flaked with yellow, or a red anthurium, standing alone in a bud vase. A bedroom suggests light, bright flowers, especially if it houses a sick person, and the flowers should stand opposite the bed, where they may be seen readily, and not on the night table, toward which one must twist in order to bring them into view.
Decorations for parties
Parties require a dramatic touch. Materials traditional of the day highlight a holiday party-pumpkins, gourds, apples, grapes, persimmons, and other fruits of the field for the harvest spirit of Thanksgiving and Halloween; hearts of red carnations for St. Valentine's Day; and, for Christmas, all kinds of evergreens, including balsam, blue spruce, white pine, retinospera, arbor vitae, and yew, as well as holly and mistletoe; also gilded or silvered cones, seed pods and magnolia leaves which add elegance and a festive note.
When the principal decoration of the party
is for use in the living room, be sure to put it in a position where it
can be seen by everyone, and will not obstruct the view of anyone or be
knocked over by people moving about.
An effective table centre may be created with no container. If a large, flat, unframed mirror is available, lay it on the table and place black-lacquered magnolia or rhododendron leaves and large white peonies or chrysanthemums right on the glass. The leaves may be lacquered easily at home, using a can of fast-drying lacquer. Place the leaves in clusters down the middle of the mirror, with a large white flower in the middle of each cluster. A cluster of gardenias right in the middle of a reflector also makes an attractive centrepiece.
How to make a runner
If you have many guests and few flowers for a long table, you can set the table effectively by using a runner which may be made easily at home. Cut a thin board to the length and width required. Get some dry moss from the florist, soak it in water and tie a thick layer of it to the board. This moss layer is to serve as the flower holder. Tie wax paper around the moss-covered board, then cover the wrapped board with flat stems tied in place with concealed string. Finally, wire the flowers and stick the wired stems right into the runner wherever you wish.
Foliage and branches
When flowers are scarce or very expensive at various times of the year, arrangements of cut greens may be used effectively. The florist today usually carries in his stock exotic foliage such as southern magnolia, various species of eucalyptus, Croton in bright colours, palm leaves, fern fronds, dracaena, and many kinds of broadleaved and coniferous evergreens.
Attractive compositions may be made of different kinds of foliage or pieces all of one kind. For example, one well-selected branch of magnolia on a console table in a hall may change the entire atmosphere of the place. A few branches of eucalyptus with a cluster of bayberry branches with silvery berries is a good combination. Or the silvery eucalyptus with the purple berries from a privet hedge go well together. There are many handsome berried plants which should be used.
A well-chosen branch of foliage with a cluster
of bright, short-stemmed flowers at the base in a flat container is an
excellent combination. In the early spring na grouping is more welcome
than a branch of willow or weeping willow that is just coming into bud,
plus a handful of daffodils, hyacinths, violets, or three or five anemones
at the base.
There is no time of the year that you cannot cut something, even if it is only a bare branch, and combine it with a few inexpensive cut flowers to decorate your home.
Novel gifts from your garden
In sending gifts the imaginative gardener has a fine opportunity to couple novelty with economy. Flowers, not merely in a haphazard bunch but gathered with purpose from your own garden and placed in form and taste in a simple, inexpensive container, make an unusual and thoughtful present. Compositions made for this purpose should be put together sturdily so that they may be delivered intact.