Bring a little bit of joy into your interior with a fresh bunch of flowers, straight from your garden.

TEXT: BEA TAYLOR

If you’re looking out at your backyard right now and lamenting the lack of blooms, stop and look again. An arrangement doesn’t have to be packed with colourful flowers, those made solely with foliage can be just as beautiful.

Look at your garden and identify plants with sculptural leaves, varieties with delicate, fluffy stems, those with dropping foliage and those with stiff foliage. Size, height, texture; the greater the variety, the better your arrangement will look. If scent is an important element, utilise herbs in the absence of fragrance from flowers.

Once you’ve gathered your foliage and blooms (if you’re lucky enough to have them in your backyard) find a vase and arrange the leaves first. This is filler, by placing it first you’ll be able to get a sense of how big the arrangement will be at the end.

Layer your foliage, allowing dropping leaves to hang at the bottom and arranging stiffer varieties towards the back. Cluster and contrast different varieties together for visual interest. These types of arrangements look great dried, so just before they begin to wilt, take them out of their water and hang them upside down out of direct sunlight. And don’t disregard the impact smaller vases of foliage can have around home too. A lively bunch of olive or eucalyptus leaves can look great on a shelf or as part of a table arrangement.

If your supply of backyard blooms is dire, you’re not out of options. A freakebana arrangement could be just the thing. Freakebana is a play on the word ‘ikebana’ — the Japanese term for the disciplined art form of floristry and it involves using unlikely materials to create an avant-garde display.

To make your own, take whatever is on hand — grass, vegetables, fruit — and start creating. Part of the appeal of freakebana is that it doesn’t have to be good, just weird, wonderful and sculptural.

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