Why artificial foliage gets the green light
By Janey Dillon, Founder and Managing Director, Amaranthine Blooms
Why do foliage bouquets, artificial or real, continue to be so popular right now? For me, it’s their air of naturalism and tranquillity. A vase of graceful stems, dramatic leaves or a spray of blueberries suggests you’ve just gathered the greenery from your garden on the spur of the moment, not bought a bouquet from your florist. An artificial foliage arrangement has another subtle trick up its sleeve. It’s stylistically neutral. The muted tones of greens, creams and silvers mean that it’s never in competition, either with other flowers or with the interior design of your room.
Creating an arrangement that is constructed solely of foliage – whether that’s ferns or grasses, seed heads or glossy leaves, achieves a beautiful, understated naturalness.
Our artificial foliage sometimes plays a supporting role in arrangements. I want to turn the spotlight on greenery and highlight the effect of a foliage bouquet, arranged in the perfect vase.
What are the key elements of and artificial foliage bouquet?
I have a golden rule – less truly is more. Because the foliage colour palette is more limited, too many different stems can merge – making the overall effect more bushy than beauty!
A greenery arrangement must have clear structure. Take advantage of the natural shape and silhouette of stems and leaves to create lovely clean lines, make sure your arrangement is not too over-crowded and has a clear shape – asymmetric if you prefer. The resulting beautiful shape can lead your eye around the room.
Be bold! Faux eucalyptus is a fantastic filler (though it’s also our most popular piece for people to style all on its own!). Its well-spaced leaves and branching stems feel light. Not just the misty blue that always makes me think of summer mornings and scented air, but the more dramatic burgundy or black varieties are fabulous as well. Choosing stems with artificial berries or lifelike seed heads also helps to heighten realism.
What leaves should I use in a foliage arrangement?
Start with two or three stems of your favourite artificial stems to structure the shape and height of your arrangement using your tallest pieces first. Then fill in, using other textures and shades.
To build that all important shape, you could consider artificial willow spray or pussy willow stems which have a natural idiosyncratic curve which I love. To add body to your arrangement we have developed a great range of ‘space-fillers’ such as nettles, lemon leaf (salal), green berry spray and many more.
For a modern take on the faux foliage bouquet our lamb’s leaf and intricate silver senecio leaves are a great place to start. Teamed with a grey or silver berry spray, just a few leaves and sprays will look fabulous in a contemporary, grey-styled interior.
Artificial foliage is a great long-term investment, adding an evergreen elegance to your room. It’s neutrality makes it the perfect base for adding more seasonal stems to (which we will cover in a later post!) and is as refreshing as opening a window – and letting the outside in.