Making a foam free design

I wanted to look at this foam free table design. We have filmed a similar design using peonies which will be available in May on the online school, however Spring is such a wonderful time for colour and texture so I couldn’t resist.

I started with the following flowers…

  • 10 stems of purple clematis

  • 10 pale pink ranunculas

  • 5 cream tulips

  • 3 stems of narsissus

  • selection of mixed foliage from my garden

My container with scrunched up chicken wire

My container with scrunched up chicken wire

Starting with my vase filled with chicken wire, I began by putting in the foliage to get the shape I wanted. The ideal style is low one side and curving up low over the container and then ending up high the other side of the vase. Footed bowls like this tend to work well, as they sit low on the table. Its interesting looking back at my photos, I think I could have gone much lower in the middle of the vase to get more of a sweep.

I used a mixture of gunni eucalyptus, flowering jasmine, hedgerow blossom and senecio grey.


I started by putting in the clematis, keeping length on the stems to help in getting the low sweep one side and taller the other side. A tip is to keep standing back from your design every time you’ve added one lot of flowers, take a photo of it on your phone and have a look. I find its a good way to see gaps and then adjust.

I put the tulips in next, they were ones from my garden and had very sturdy stems. Its worth remembering that tulips grow, so always cut slightly lower than you think.

As I was working through the design I realised I needed a smaller flower to break up the different sizes I already had so I used a couple of stems of ginister/broom. Its interesting looking at how different shapes can be dominant and what happens when you add more delicate flowers into the design. When you give yourself time to play, it’s then that I think you get chance to develop your eye and design style.

I know for me that my default a lot of the time is using more foliage. I love the designs that are heavily floral and I want to work more towards that.

The finished design

The finished design

I finished off the design with the ranunculus and some small pink roses, again its worth remembering that the ranunculus will expand. When they came in from the market they were very tight and by the weekend they had almost doubled in size.

This is a lovely design to play with and relatively straight forward, so why not have a go?