Easy foliage arrangements

Create a look that’s simple yet chic using greenery from your garden. Cape Town floral artist Heike le Cordeur shows how easy it is

Heike le Cordeur combines technical savvy with an artistic background when arranging unique floral displays for weddings and functions. Her business, Fleur le Cordeur, started four years ago when she created displays for her own wedding.

To show you just how easy it is to turn greenery from your garden into eye-catching modern displays, she went out into her own Paarl garden and used vases from her cupboard.

1. The idea here was to style an arrangement that looks professional, but is simple to achieve. She used an arum leaf, Philadelphus coronarius (boerejasmyn) and asparagus fern. “I love the modern shape of this vase and the grey is a gentle colour that nevertheless makes the white of the blossoms pop.”

2. This elegant milk glass vase with clear glass handle and foot is an original 1940s vintage piece. “I love the stateliness of this vase,” says Heike. “It looks very fragile, but it’s survived for 75 years.” She twined the ivy around the handle for a relaxed arrangement. “The vase is stiff and formal so I softened it with the vine and included ivy, a small delicious monster leaf, reindeer fern and a poppy pod and leaf.

3. “This vase has a very narrow neck so I wanted to add a horizontal element,” says Heike. “To anchor the arrangement I used a delicious monster leaf, and some muehlenbeckia with another long stem of muehlenbeckia on the side. Rather than a lot of leaves and foliage to balance it on the other side, I simply used a single stem of clivia seed pods.”

Heike has the following tips to make your foliage arrangements last longer:

  • Add a tablespoon of regular bleach to the water. This helps to keep the water clean and your foliage fresher for longer – this is important if you’re using a clear glass vase.
  • A tablespoon of white sugar in the water ensures that the flowers and foliage stay fresh for about three to five days longer.
  • Change the water in the vase every three days. Remember to add a tablespoon of bleach and sugar every time you change the water.