Recreate this beautiful floral display as seen on Top Billing
On this week's show we visit an award-winning luxury home in London designed by South African-born Christian Bense. We asked him for some tips on how to recreate this beautiful, rustic floral feature.
1.) Which table does this feature work best on?
Here we have used a timber table, I always feel timber works best as it gives a really warm base to work from. However the point of doing a display that covers a large portion of your table is less about what table you have, but rather to create a organic feature in your space. What your table is made from is less important as it becomes secondary once all the vases are set up. If you have a very contemporary table, let that help decide what styling items you chose.
2.) Which South African plants would work nicely for this display?
The beauty of doing this style of display / flower arranging is that you can use a large variety of plants in a very small quantity. So you don't need to buy a big bunch of expensive flowers. Rather get a couple of sprigs of different leaves or flowers and have an interesting flower display...
I always find that wild plants or grasses work the best so that you get maximum life span out of them as they tend to still look pretty once dried. You want to chose plants that will survive a while in the vases so you don't have to keep swapping them out with fresh ones.
I have used sprigs of rosemary before, some proteas, different grasses, but most importantly, find flowers and plants that will give you some variety in height, texture and colour.
3.) How many vases would one need?
The point of doing a display like this is to have quite a variety of different sizes and styles of pots...I think anything less than 10 might miss the mark. It's meant to look like a collection of found objects that you have used as vases, rather than a line of pots you bought at the shop.
4.) What are some tips to perfect the contrasting look of all the different vases?
To ensure you have the right mix of pots, use the following guidelines for a no-fail option.
1x larger pot for the middle (here we used a distressed metal vase)
3x small ceramic pots or vases (these should be a neutral colour)
3x clear gasses or bottles. We used a combo of glass water bottles, coke bottles or even a sneaky whisky bottle (the main aim is that they are clear so you can see the stem of the plant)
3x coloured vases or pots - here we chose the accent colour of burned orange that is dotted throughout the house, with the use of old medicine bottles. While the aim isn't to be too 'matchy matchy', it's good to link everything back.
Add more of each as you increase the size. Don't forget to throw in a few larger pots as you expand the display and vary the sizes.