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Home > Essentials of Gardening > Flower Arrangement > Use Of Vases
Use Of Vases
The contents of a vase cupboard should be of primary importance to anyone interested in flower arrangements. A small range of stereotyped vases is stultifying; what may be a suitable container for the sweet, morning freshness of a spring bunch, may not necessarily be so for the rich glory of autumn.

As far as the shape of vases is concerned an oval vase is preferable to a round one. It is easier to arrange well. A boat shaped vase is good for a chimney piece or a window sill. A chalice or goblet shaped container gives scope for a graceful down curving line.

A wall vase has much to recommend it. It does not need so many flowers and it bears weight and balances nicely too. Picking the right vase for the right occasion is a question of thought, ingenuity and the seeing eye, rather than expenditure of money. Naturally the possession of one or two beautiful vases is a help, but it is a mistake to work even one`s most valued possessions to death.

Glass VasesUGlass  Vases

Generally speaking, glass vases are best reserved for a few, clean stemmed flowers such as long-stemmed roses, a branch of magnolia and gardenias. Indeed, in such cases the stems, magnified by the water, may be decorative in themselves.

But glass can be debased by careless use. How often one sees a transparent glass vase showing a confusion of stems in discoloured water, with a still more discoloured sediment at the bottom. Glass vases should be shining, scrupulously clean. A few drops of ammonia will sometimes remove the stains of old water.

China VasesChina Vases

One of the pleasures of possessing even a small bit of decorative china, such as Dresden or Rockingham, is that, from time to time, one may find exactly the right flowers to fill it - the moss rose buds, lily-of-the-valley, miniature pansies, and all the rest of the flowers which inspired the creators of such pieces.

Earthenware Earthenware

Jars, pitchers and honeypots in unglazed earthenware are inexpensive and often of good shape, holding plenty of water. If their colour is not suitable they may be painted with pale - coloured distempers. Personally, I do not like the effect of shiny oil paints.

Metal VasesMetal Vases

Jugs, urns, bowls and preserving pans of good shape in copper, brass, pewter and tin make most satisfactory vases. Heavy in weight and generally holding plenty of water, they form a secure base for arrangements and larger flowers.

Some flowers, zinnias, foxgloves and columbines, often look disappointing in a pottery vase, but transfer them to a polished metal container and they come to life. A vase cupboard may well house a few ordinary kitchen tins - bread, cake and baking tins, which have probably been many times in a hot oven and taken on a fine surface. These sort of shallow tins are indispensable for long spreading decorations, such as one might want for a party.

Wooden VasesWooden Vases

Wooden vases as such are not very often seen nowadays, although the material is a natural complement to flowers. There are, however, many possible substitutes. Knife boxes, cheese moulds and milk bowls, all fitted with metal linings, are very useful.

Flower Holders Flower Holders

A useful type of holder for small arrangements consists of a heavy, metal base, closely covered with a sharp, needle like spikes which penetrate the base of the stem and hold it firmly in place.

For tiny vases, a frond or two of clean washed moss is usually sufficient to hold the stems of small flowers in place. But moss used in quantity, like twigs and sand, takes up space and reduces the water capacity of the vase too much
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