How to choose the right vase for your flowers
I own literally dozens of vases but most of them are essentially decorative rather than useful. They sit around gathering dust and cluttering the place up and whenever I buy flowers I always seem to end up scrambling around to find one that's actually suitable for displaying them.
So last week I decided to get ruthless. In my continuing quest for a more minimalist home I packed up my vast collection of vintage Scandinavian vases and sent it off to the local auction house. And with a little help from The White Company whose new Spring home accessories collection makes finding the right vase for every occasion really easy, I've picked up a few carefully chosen replacements that are actually designed for holding flowers.
When I worked as an event florist some years ago I learned that there are a few things you need to keep in mind when choosing the right vase for your flowers - the height of the vessel, its shape and the size of the opening are all key things to consider. By selecting one that complements the flowers you're working with you can create a real impact with even just a few simple blooms or branches.
If you enjoy having fresh flowers at home here are some of the key types of vase you might want to consider owning.
The Bottle neck Vase
At this time of year Spring branches make a beautiful display. There is nothing quite so lovely as a branch of magnolia but even a simply display of blossom, catkins or pussy willow can look amazing. This Emerson vase from The White Company is perfect for showing them off in their full glory. It comes in two different sizes - the one shown here is the smaller of the two. The narrow neck will securely support stems and branches, preventing them from flopping over.
Perfect for: magnolia, pussy willow, blossom, catkins, poppy seed heads.
The round or oval vase
The one shown here isn't perfectly spherical - it has a slightly elongated base which makes it a little deeper. This is preferable to a perfectly round vase in my view. It means that the stems don't need to be cut so short, and your flowers won't flop out to the sides leaving a gaping hole at the centre of the arrangement. Although described as 'small' this Bilbury vase from The White Company is actually quite generously sized - easily big enough to accommodate a large bunch of tulips. Place it on a sideboard or console table to create an attractive focal point.
Perfect for: tulips, peonies, roses and hydrangeas.
The Tall rounded Vase
For when you need to go big.
A tall rounded vase like the Hambledon vase is ideal for creating large show-stopping displays for parties or events, or for making a welcoming statement in your hallway. I've styled it here with a generous bunch of eucalyptus and some pretty white genista but it would also be perfect for long stemmed flowers like lilies or delphiniums.
Perfect for: lilies, delphiniums, eucalyptus.
The Bud Vase
At the other end of the scale small bud vases like this handmade artisan vase from The White Company are designed to hold just one single bloom or a cluster of smaller flowers. Place one on your bedside table or next to the wash basin in the bathroom to brighten up simple everyday moments.
Perfect for: Single blooms or delicate sprigs from the garden - try roses, anemones, muscari or ranunculus.
The tapered Vase
Spring flowers like daffodils, hyacinths and tulips, all of which have fairly thick stems, will look good in a slightly flared vase like this Luddington vase. It tapers downwards so that the stems are held in place at the base while the blooms burst out on display over the rim.
Perfect for: hyacinths, tulips or daffodils.
The Posy Vase
Large displays of flowers can get in the way of conversation and interaction around the dinner table so a small posy vase is sometimes a better option. This Boston vase would also be a good choice for the coffee table where you may not want anything too big that might obstruct your view of the TV!
Perfect for: spray roses, sweet peas, garden cuttings, wild flowers.
Finally don't be afraid to mix and match. Different sized vases will look great grouped together for extra impact. A tiny bud vase of spray roses next to a generous bowl of these wonderful parrot tulips for example.
A big thank you to The White Company for loaning me some pieces from their new collection for this shoot. They've created a carefully edited collection that really does include a vase for every type of bouquet or arrangement, and I've been impressed with the quality too.
Here are a few more pieces from their new Spring collection.