Call In The Experts – Nikki Tibbles

In the final run-up to Christmas we are particularly excited to welcome the wonderful floral designer Nikki Tibbles to our guest blog. Nikki is one of the world’s most innovative and wildly creative floral designers, who has worked with Chanel, Prada and Burberry, and supplies flowers to Kensington Palace, The Victoria and Albert Museum and The National Gallery. Alongside her concessions at Liberty and  Harrods, Nikki also has two shops “Nikki Tibbles Wild at Heart” in Westbourne Grove and Pimlico Road. Nikki also writes a fabulous blog featuring her different projects – a great spot for floral inspiration.  For the Balcony Gardener blog Nikki has very kindly created a beautiful wild and scented, festive table centre, and writes how to put the arrangement together.

My signature style is very natural, lose and wild, using flowers and foliage which are seasonal and. So, when it comes to creating a festive table arrangement the best thing to do to guarentee the perfect centre piece is to not over complicate things by putting too many elements into the design, simply pick flowers and foliage that will add texture, colour and scent.  I often look to nature and the things around me for inspiration in my work and with this table centre I was inspired simply by the things in my garden. Picking things such as lavender and jasmin and chosing  flowers such as roses and hellebores make this arrangement emtremely accessable to anyone who wants make a beautiful festive arrangement for a Christmas party.”

What you will need:

  • A plant pot
  • Oasis
  • A diner candle
  • Fresh pine (bunch)
  • White roses
  • Lavender
  • Jasmin
  • Hellebores
  • Eucalyptus
  • Rosemary
  • Florist tape
  • Florist scissors
  • Florist stub wire

Step One: Soak your blocks of oasis all the way through and cut them so that they fit in your pot.  Your arrangement should be one third of the size of you pot, so the oasis should be half of this exposed at the top. You can use any type of garden plant pot for this arrangement to give a rustic feel but make sure that you line the pot with plastic or celo if it is not waterproof.

Step Two: Take your white diner candle and with the two wires, each bent in half, stick them to the base of the candle. The end result will see the candle with four prongs. Don’t worry too much about making the tape look pretty as this will be covered with foliage.

Step Three: Trimming off the excess wire will make sure that there is extra stability when you secure the candle in the oasis.

Step Four: Cut up your bundle of pine, making sure that your pieces are the right size to create a neat ‘dome’ profile around your oasis. Always cut the pine (or any flower or foliage that needs to be kept moist) at an angle as this will allow it to soak up maximum water from the oasis.

Step Five: Poking the pine into the oasis, start at the base of the oasis and work your way around and then work centrally up to the candle to create a nice even shape.

Step Six: Once you have covered the entire surface of the oasis, start adding your foliage such as the eucalyptus, rosemary and Jasmin – again don’t forget to cut the sprigs at an angle. The Jasmin along with the rosemary (and later the lavender) will give your table centre a beautiful scent that will really bring your garden into your home.

Step Seven: The placing of the foliage doesn’t have to be precise, instead just aim to integrate it in between the pine so that there is an even coverage.

Step Eight: Roses are my favourite flower which I think add luxury to any arrangement or bouquet instantly. As for the Hellebores, I opted for these delicate flowers because their nickname is ‘Christmas Roses’ which is very apt for a festive arrangement. Cutting at an angle cut the flowers so that they fit into the oasis perfectly and don’t stand out too much.

Step Nine: Taking the wonderfully smelling lavender, create small bundles and cut so that stems are short. As these are dried you don’t have to worry about how you cut the ends. To give the arrangement a lose and natural feel there is no need to wire the lavender together in bunches, just simply place them into the oasis, again creating even coverage which will help to add colour and scent to your table centre.

Step Ten: Position on your table, light the candle and enjoy! Oh, and don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back for creating a beautiful arrangement – well done!

Nikki Tibbles Wild At Heart