Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog – Saving money every day with DIY crafts, sewing projets, low-cost recipes & shppping tips


How to create 2 (very different!) flower arrangements using gerberas

Today’s rather cheerful blog post comes to you courtesy of fabulous florist Paula Pryke OBE. I’ve asked this inspirational designer to share her tips for creating displays using colourful gerberas. I’ve found it difficult to work with gerberas in the past  because their stems sometimes go floppy but today Paula is sharing two easy step-by-step guides to create gorgeous displays using gerberas. Plus, you can win a copy of her newly launched book Floristy Now in my competition. I’ve got two copies to give away so read on to find out how you can enter this fun giveaway..!

These happy flowers come in an array of eye-catching and joyful colours. At one time you could only get the regular large size, but over the years some very passionate gerbera growers have produced smaller ones to suit hand-tied bouquets and now you can get many exclusive varieties. There is the double-flowered small Pomponi gerbera and the shaggy Pasta or Springs large-flowered varieties, which are the novelties at the moment. Gerberas have hairy stems and so they don’t like to be placed in deep water as the stems can become waterlogged and soggy. They are very susceptible to bacteria, and so they benefit from having scrupulously clean containers and a drop of chlorine bleach is a good idea. Flower food is also essential for these versatile flowers.How to create a structured gerbera display

Gerbera United are a Dutch company with the vision to breed and produce new and unique gerberas. Their Ambition specials feature spidery-looking gerberas – some were originally called Pasta and some Springs. For this I chose to use their Pink Springs, Orange Springs and the red Pasta Romana varieties. I adore the intense colour of gerberas and over 30 years they have appeared in many of my designs. Now I mostly include them in gift work and contract work, but their colour range makes them useful when flower supply is not so plentiful – they can make a huge impact in autumn and winter. In the main I am a black centre fan, and tend to specify varieties with black eyes.

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Brightening up your home with flowers – top tips from Great British Florist

 In the past home decoration was for the very rich, and most people kept to the styles of the day (hence the 60’s style we cringe over or hopelessly reminisce about). These day’s we can go back to any period in time from a variety of countries to source ideas for our perfect home. One of the simplest, most effective and most popular ways to brighten up a home are to dress it with some flowers.


The benefits of flowers

There is so much to say about the benefits of decorating with flowers. They are cheap, easy to change if you change your décor, easy to move and come in a wide array of species and bunches. There have been studies that show how, when flowers are put in offices, workers are often feeling happier and more productive. The scent of fresh flowers and the look of natural beauty are a great incentive to start decorating. If you’re strapped for time florists will often offer great flower delivery deals too; if you’re a regular there’s no need to trek out when your last batch dies,  just phone up!  

But how can I use this?

Flowers are so useful as a household accessory because you can mix, match and move it as you see fit. You might want some flowers in every room, or in just a few, but the first thing to think of is the colour scheme of the room you’re adding flowers to. Usually you want the bulk of the bunch to be in a colour that you use in the room. If your living room is cream and chocolate coloured you might want a bunch of cream coloured or burgundy brown flowers, or a mix of both. However, if the room is mostly one colour and you use lights and other furnishings to add a new colour, choose the colour that is less represented to make your flowers stand out more e.g. a blue bathroom with white units and towels will look better with white flower, not blue. This harmonised the room and brings in a bit of life and vibrancy to the décor.

The texture of the flowers you choose can also have an effect on the room. For a room you want to give a calming, relaxing atmosphere soft flowers with big petals and minimal foliage are by far the best. Choose delicate yet fragrant flowers or add some herbs of your own for a comforting bedroom or living room. For a room you want to bring energy and excitement to choose exotic plants with hard edges, flowers with tapered petals or many petals and lots of greenery. Look for flowers with a heavier scent too, or add strong, crisp herbs.

Do you want to keep it simple with one species, or get a mixed bunch? If you’re décor is particularly sleek and minimal a cheap and effective solution would be to buy a bunch of flowers in one species. Lilies and tulips look especially luxurious on their own. For a lived in home or a rustic deign throwing in as many colour, species and textures makes a great decorative piece.

Buying flowers also gives you the opportunity to get creative with containers and vases. Glass vases are great for suggesting space in a room and the sight of fresh flowers basking in fresh water is a great way to introduce the sights of nature into your home and remind you that it’ a living thing. Other ideas for containers I’ve seen are typewriters, indoor flower pots, flower sconces and indoor hanging baskets. Get creative with waterproof containers to show your personal style while appreciating your floral décor. One last design tip; if you have a floral theme, stick to one colour of flowers. It can be overwhelming to be surrounded by all of the colour and pattern!

This article was written on behalf of Great British Florist, an award winning florist specialising in British flowers for the British public.

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Homemade paper flowers & how to display them

Paper flower making can be fun, it can be relaxing, and it can take considerable talent to turn them out. The flowers can last a long time, add colour and beauty to a room, and can make a lovely, personalised gift. All it takes to make them is paper and a little time. What’s not to like?

Paper flower making has plenty of scope for letting the imagination run wild. Almost any type of flower can be made with paper, from carnations and cabbage roses to peonies and poppies. They can be made out of card, paper, newspapers, recycled paper, tissue or crepe paper, and can look almost like the real thing and certainly last longer. They can be used to decorate gifts, form a long-lasting bouquet, or be used as a hair decoration.

paper flowers tutorial from stylishtrendy blog

Beautiful paper flowers tutorial from

How to display paper flowers

Paper flowers obviously do not need water to keep them alive, so why stick to a conventional vase when putting them on display? Considering the time and effort that goes into making each flower, they deserve pride of place in any home. Look at objects differently and there will be plenty of items available around the home that can take the place of a vase and really individualise the masterpiece that is the paper flower.

An empty wine bottle is perfect for those long-stemmed flowers, such as lilies or tulips, that look good as a small group. These look best in a country-style kitchen, displayed on a table, dresser or a windowsill. For a really rustic look, reuse empty tin cans – with or without their labels – for short-stemmed flowers such as daisies. Again this will look best in a kitchen area, especially if the labels are kept on. Perhaps not quite so aesthetically pleasing, but useful nonetheless, is an empty soft drink or water bottle. Go quirky and use a squat teapot for those flowers that have an abundance of petals, as the volume of the flowers will complement the rotundness of the pot. A coffee pot works equally well. Try an empty popcorn carton for tall flowers, which will create a perfect display for any retro living room. Other kitchen and dining ware could make the base for a great display, such as gravy boats, sugar bowls, pitchers and jugs.


Image from Married 2 Craft blog

For a vintage look, retrieve some of those elegant champagne flutes and other crystal glasses that lie at the back of the cupboard. These make an elegant setting for a single flower and can even look like a petite version of a regular crystal vase. They will add a touch of sophistication and are perfect for living rooms, dining rooms and even bedrooms. For a more simple yet just as vintage look, use plain glass jars and bottles. For something a little different, why not try tying twine or copper wire around the necks of the jars and bottles and suspending them from the ceiling to create a hanging display of flowers?

Let me know if you try making your own paper flowers and how you prefer to display them – tweet me @CassiefairyTutu with your photos 🙂

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My new favourite flowers – back to black

I’ve recently spotted a trend emerging in the world of plants and I want a piece of it! I love the idea of black flowers, and although its pretty impossible to get a truly black flower, deep, dark, rich reds and purples that are one-tone away from black are pretty unbelievable when you see them in real life. I’ve been so amazed by the flowers below that I’ve stopped to take a photo and I really would like to introduce some dark blooms to my pretty ‘normal’ flowerbed.



Beautiful summer blooms – our garden in the sun

Thanks to all this gorgeous sunny weather we’ve been having this week, all the lovely plants and trees are bursting into life during and a leisurely wander around the garden earlier today we spotted some amazing flowers and my husband photographed these along with boughs heavy with fragrant blossom.


I hope you’ll enjoy these photos too, they certainly make me feel summery and I’ve used one as the desktop background for my computer so I’ll keep the sunshine with me when I’m working indoors – I really must get a work-space set up outside to make this most of this weather while it’s still here :o)

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