I made a decision early in my career to only choose flowers that really sang to me — even if it fitted the colour brief or shape I was searching for. Without this special affection for the flower, I found it hard to arrange.
Another important factor when selecting flowers is choosing locally grown blooms. These flowers, which will grow in rhythm with the seasons, will always be fresher, less likely to be treated with chemicals and will have travelled far fewer miles to get to market. Some of my favourites of this time of year include bright blue cornflowers, shy hellebore, cymbidium orchids, ranunculus, sweet smelling sweet pea, magnificent magnolia, miniature pansies, violets, and lily of the valley, natives like wattle, grevillea, giant pink Waratahs, and paper daisies, brilliant weeping wisteria, and bulbs like daffs and muscari.
If you’re buying from a florist or farmers market, simply ask what has been grown locally and they will be able to point you in the right direction. Don’t forget to consider the size of the vase you are wanting to fill when choosing your final selection.