When you are a florist, more often than not, people come in store to admire the flowers. People are enamoured with the beauty of all the ruffly petals, the colours and the fragrances. We are too, of course, why else would we choose to spend our lives creating with Mother Nature’s bounty.
I have lost count of the amount of times that customers have asked me not to use any foliage whatsoever. They want the bouquet to look bountiful and flowery, and don’t want the leaves taking away from that. In many ways I understand what they mean. Flowers are often the stars of the show, and when you are paying top dollar for them, of course you want to make them shine. The reality is though, that without foliage they simply won’t shine.
Think about how these flowers grow, how their colours pop against the dark lush greens, and the lime green leaves in the garden or the rainforest. Think about the amazingly rich colour tones that you can find in foliage outside of just green. Using the right foliage for the job is key.
This blog, is a bit of a celebration of the unbe-leaf-able leaves we have available to us. You will pay a bit more for some of these stunners, but let’s face it, they are showstoppers.
Bismarkia- oh my goodness, I am obsessed with these stunning, silver palm leaves. The fronds of this palm are giant so they are best suited for large installations or corporate displays.
Another beautiful leaf is the Calathea. The plants come in so many varieties with intricately patterned leaves, with the most exquisite colours. These are not the sort of leaves you want stuck in the middle of a bouquet hidden! You can use them in a cluster in a forward facing bouquet, clearly displayed. Alternatively, you can cut them off their stems and use them to line your clear glass vase so you can really show off the pattern.
There are so many varieties of Palm leaves that are beautiful and unique. Common varieties like the golden cane or fan palm are regularly used in floristry. They are not particularly spectacular, but they are a great inexpensive material that is easily accessible. Spectacular varieties like the Licuana Cordata are not as easily accessible, but they are amazing, and can really make your displays. These plants are slow growing so you will usually see them as a plant rather than cut foliage, but every so often, special things like this find their way into the market or to wholesalers. They have a very interesting circular shape, that appears solid, which is quite different from many other palms with the separation between the fronds.
A foliage that is easily accessible, and comes in many variations is the Cordyline plant. These stunning leaves can be bought on a stem, which is essentially the whole top of a plant. They are incredibly good value to buy this way as you should be able to enjoy them for weeks in a vase. They come in green, verigated varieties with lime, burgundy and pink stripes. They also come in strong burgundy and chocolate tones….and so many different sized and shaped leaves too….
With all these beauties on offer, plus more, the only thing left now ….how to choose? 🤔