Years ago when I'd receive a bunch of flowers there were just two types of vases in Mum's cupboard; the giant crystal vase that was too big and wide for anything, or a teeny bud vase made for a single stem. So, big vase it was. I'd cut the tie off and leave my bouquet to be dwarfed as it barely touched the edges.
It wasn't until I'd been a florist for well over a year that I really understood how important the right vase was to make an arrangement look good. Quite often Jane or I will finish off an arrangement in the studio and then decide after that it'd look better if we put it in a different vase - sometimes it's one with better-suited height or width proportions, or one that gives the flowers more space to move.
This is why it's so good to have a range of vases in different shapes and sizes on hand at home, be it to hold a gift bouquet or just a cheap supermarket bunch.
So, we've put together our dream vase collection that'd make sure your flowers always look good at home.
1. The versatile vessel - Cooper & Clay
We use these almost every day at Floreat when we send out bouquets or do office flowers because they're so versatile. Their thick ceramic walls and wide mouth can handle bigger bunches, but at the same time placing just a single small stem or handful of blooms off to one side can show off the simple beauty of the flowers and the vessel.
2. The bowl - Simone Karras
Just a few flowers can have a big impact in these bowl-shaped vessels handbuilt by Simone in Melbourne. Each week we put flowers in these at Jardan furniture in Sydney, using a small Kenzan that sits inside the hollow base. Taking inspiration from Ikebana, stems are then placed in the Kenzan one by one, making sure to balance them evenly around the vase.
3. The statement - Dinosaur Designs
These resin pebble vases are another favourite that we arrange in regularly at Jardan. The base itself is quite heavy, so it can handle flowers with heavier stems (eg. bird of paradise), natives or bigger foliage branches. They're wide at the bottom and narrower toward the top, so you don't need many flowers to fill them and actually they're best shown off this way - we suggest keeping to only one flower type or even a single stem.
4. The bud vase - Frances Palmer
Frances Palmer is an incredible US based ceramicist who makes stunning dishware and vases in all different forms and colours, but we've chosen to use her bud vases as an example of how a small vessel opening is perfect for showing off just a stem or two.
5. The interesting shape - Iittala
The odd shape of Iittala's iconic vases can make flower arranging both fun and quite challenging. With these vessels, I've found that letting one flower type en masse overflow generally works best. Or, you could do the opposite and go completely minimal with just one or two stems spilling out the side to let the vase shine.
6. The extra large vase - Country Road
It's good to have at least one of these on hand at home for an extra tall bunch. Think delphinium, gladioli, Lillies, large natives, blossom or just a big old branch cut from outside. The height of this vase means it'll have enough weight from the water to hold the heavy stuff.
We're always adding to our vase collection and would love to hear from you in the comments if there are any "must-haves" we should add to our collection.