Yesterday evening I went to my first ever Burns Night Supper. The event was arranged by a friend and she had asked me if I could make a Scottish themed table arrangement to add to the decorations.
Today I would like to share with you a few photos of the results, along with some how-to notes to explain how I made it.
Initially I was a bit worried about this theme – I am not Scottish and knew very little about Robert Burns. However, after much head scratching and a bit of internet research I came up with a plan. I would try and recreate the idea of the Scottish heaths with purples, yellows and browns and add highlights of red roses to the arrangement in reference to Robert Burn’s poem A Red Red Rose:
O my Luve’s like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve’s like the melodie
That’s sweetly play’d in tune.
As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry:
The first step in making any arrangement is to gather together your tools. I find this lazy- susan board (essentially a round wooden board on a turntable) ideal for flower arranging, as I can turn the arrangement easily whilst I am working. I also always have a sharp knife and a pair of floristry scissors to hand.
As we would be seated at a very large oval table, I opted to make one large table centre arrangement and a number of small jam jar posies to place around the table settings. I started off with this well soaked circle of floristry oasis to build my arrangement into.
I had visited my favourite flower stall at the mid week farmers market and had been lucky to find both red spray roses and lots of filler flowers in the right colours for my theme. I stored the flowers in my cold greenhouse until I was ready to start the arrangement.
In particular I was glad to see these eryngiums at the market as thistles seemed a necessary component of a Scottish theme.
I started by placing 3 votives in the centre of the oasis. I cut the eryngiums down to short stems and inserted the stems into the oasis around the votives to hold them in place. I then added blocks of colour to represent the heaths and in between the blocks I filled in with the red roses, again cut down to short stems and inserted into the damp oasis.
This wispy purple flower was ideal to represent heather. I cut all the individual little stems off to make the flowers go further. Unfortunately I do not know the name of this lovely filler.
There is always a helping hand when I am busy!
Finally I went out into my garden to search for brown materials. Bark was a great choice for edging the arrangement and I loved these seed heads that I found still standing.
One of the advantages of doing the flowers for a dinner or party is that I can colour co ordinate the arrangement to my outfit. I had ordered this lovely sash in an Isle of Sky tartan to wear with my evening dress and thought the purple tones would work well together.
The finished arrangement looked quite wild and rustic.
The roses provided a good contrast to the other shapes and colours and the flickering candles in the centre softened the whole arrangement.
The evening was a great success. We feasted on Cullen Skink, Haggis with a whisky sauce, tatties and neeps and a pudding of Scottish Black Bun or a whisky laden trifle. After poetry, addresses, toasts and songs the evening drew to a close with a round of Auld Lang Syne.
The ladies were all agreed that the gentlemen looked very fetching in their Scottish attire!
I will be back tomorrow with ‘In A Vase On Monday’. The atrocious weather we have been having has not inspired me to venture out much today – perhaps things will look drier in the morning!