The ability to determine seasonally appropriate flowers is akin to knowing when it’s too late in the year to continue wearing espadrilles or when it’s gotten balmy enough that a winter coat looks out of place. Add, then, to this the sometime difficult task of styling flowers (which flowers to use with which, which vases to display them in, etc.) and an expert tutorial is much needed.

Florist royalty Kally Ellis – founder of celebrity and hotel favourite McQueens (they’re also the ones behind the Vanity Fair Oscars party) – imparts her wisdom on the finest winter flower types, how to make them last longer and her style suggestions. Plus, our vase suggestions for the prettiest arrangement.

Amaranthus

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Image Credit: Wikipedia

(a.k.a. love-lies-bleeding)

A showy, exotic plant with small red or green flowers in trailing rope-like configurations

Meaning: immortal love, immortality


Care

Amaranths will last for up to seven days in a vase. Avoid using a see through glass vase as the water can discolour after a few days. This flower will benefit from a change of water mid week.

Styling

Cascading amaranths will add a bit of natural opulence to any design. There are different types of amaranths, we particularly like the hanging amaranths variety, a peculiar flower in that naturally cascade and adds movement to a design. Red amaranths is perfect at this time of year.

LD Vase Suggestion

Amaranths’ long trails require a tall, tapering vase or pedestal vase to give the flowers a long, unrestricted drop as well as something which isn’t too angular that might take away from their delicacy.

Amaryllis

LuxDeco Style Guide

Image Credit: McQueens Flowers

(a.k.a. hippeastrum)

A large, open, velvety flower with long, protruding stamen and thick stem

Meaning: pride, enchanting beauty, friendship and affection


Care

Amaryllis can take around 4 days to show lots of colour. They are majestic and commanding when in full bloom; not quite so appealing when fresh and in bud so some thought might be required if planning these for a party.

Styling

Amaryllis is the perfect winter flower. White amaryllis is a particular favourite at this time of year and look remarkable in a vase all on their own!

LD Vase Suggestion

Glass columns or tall vases for a luxury hotel look or a bowl when used as the protruding centrepiece of a lower, wider arrangement.

Anemone

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Image Credit: McQueens Flowers

(a.k.a. Daughter of the wind)

Perennial flower with wide flowerhead of delicate petals, long leaf-stem and conspicuous nectaries

Meaning: protection against evil and ill luck; forsaken or forgotten love


Care

They arrive from the market tight and in bud and need a few days to open. This flower will last for up to 7 days.

Styling

Anemone arrive back on the menu from late October to early November and are the perfect delicate specimen at this time of year. The are delightful, whatever the colour, but white anemone with a black centre are wonderful and a very popular flower for parties and events.

LD Vase Suggestion

Long-stemmed anemones with breathy foliage suit antique crystal vases to evoke a wildflower nostalgia. For a modern look, a compact glass cube or an artsy glass vase work well with the white variety.

Berries

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Image Credit: McQueens Flowers

e.g. common holly (Ilex aquifolium)

A flowering plant prized more for its clusters of small, colourful fruit and dark green glossy, wavy leaves

Meaning: fertility, believed to ward off ill-fortune; in Christian tradition, represents the blood of Christ


Care

Ilex last for over two weeks and are a low maintenance flower at this time of year. A change of water and resting of the flower will improve vase life.

Styling

Ilex is the most popular flower at this time of year. [Also] cultivated in orange, gold and yellow, red is the most popular variety and is perfect at Christmas time. Available from 40cm to well over a metre, a single stem in a bottle vase is all you need for an instant Christmas statement.

LD Vase Suggestion

Due to their “there-but-not-there” appeal, berries suit most vases but nothing beats an oversized vaseful of crimson or silver at wintertime. Minimalist column or statement urn-like vases work particularly well.

Calla lily

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Image Credit: McQueens Flowers

(a.k.a. pig lily, trumpet lily and arum lily)

A traditionally white (although often coloured), trumpet-shaped floral bract and pale yellow floral spike

Meaning: beauty, holiness, faith, purity, youth and rebirth


Care

Calla lily are a dependable flower that will usually last well for up to 7 days. A change of water and recutting of the stamps mid week will help them last longer.

Styling

Eternally in demand and a wonderful premium flower. Dark red and almost back varieties are perfect at this time of year. Tall and elegant, they almost demand to be in a vase on their own and make a stunning and elegant statement.

LD Vase Suggestion

Tall and elegant, they almost demand to be in a vase on their own and make a stunning and elegant statement.

Cymbidium orchid

LuxDeco Style Guide

Image Credit: McQueens Flowers

(a.k.a. boat orchid)

A petal-flowered spike with and highly patterned column and lip

Meaning: virility (Ancient Greece); essence of human perfection (Ancient China); love (Victorian era); wealth (Ancient Japan)


Care

A firm favourite at this time of year, cymbidium orchid are a prized flower for their beauty and the fact that they last for such a long time. They can last up to two weeks.

Styling

Cymbidium, look great encased inside a vase or as a specimen flower in a large bottle shaped vase.

LD Vase Suggestion

Cymbidium orchids are showy but in a contemporary way so match with a suitably stylish vase. Modern glass designs are a winner.

Foliage

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Image Credit: McQueens Flowers

e.g. dusty miller (Centaurea cineraria)

Lacy leaves with a silvery-white hue and “velvety” texture

Meaning: happiness and delicacy


Care

Most winter foliage will last well in a vase for up to 10 days.

Styling

Silver foliage such as senecio or dusty miller are a unique silver foliage that make them perfect for this time of year. They look perfect blended with white flowers to give a wonderful frosty winters look.

LD Vase Suggestion

For the perfect winter foliage arrangement, a frosty or winter-white design is best. Play with unique texture combinations for added depth.

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Hellebore

LuxDeco Style Guide

Image Credit: McQueens Flowers

(a.k.a. winter, Christmas or Lenten rose)

Delicate evergreen flower with dainty head of multi-coloured petals and prominent stamen

Meaning: the “Christmas rose” refers to the legend of the little girl whose tears grew into hellebores


Care

Hellebores are notoriously temperamental flowers and can, on occasion, wilt prematurely. It is best to sear the stem by lowering the flower into 2cm of boiling water.

Styling

Hellebore happen to be [my] favourite winter flower. They have a natural garden like charm and look amazing in a vase of on their own or arranged with delicate flowers like anemone or ranunculus.

LD Vase Suggestion

Give hellebores an appropriately feminine but modern showcase with fluid glass, shapely forms and pretty accents.

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Poinsettia

LuxDeco Style Guide

Image Credit: McQueens Flowers

(a.k.a. Christmas star, Christmas Flower, Winter Rose, Mexican Flame Leaf)

A small, coloured leaf shrub with large (typically scarlet) bracts

Meaning: symbol of the Star of Bethlehem and subject of popular Mexican Christmas legend


Care

Poinsettia can last throughout the year but the most important thing is to keep them away from the cold.

Styling

Poinsettia are well known for the red varieties but they are sensational in white and pink also. Go large with poinsettia or go home. A huge container of them styled with moss can look sensational; smaller sizes and without the styling can make them look a bit Tesco Metro.

LD Vase Suggestion

As Kally suggests, an oversized vase of scarlet poinsettias makes for a striking home addition. A silver urn can double up as a vase for a particularly chic aesthetic.

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Rose

LuxDeco Style Guide

Image Credit: McQueens Flowers

Bloom from the prickly shrub of the same name with showy flowers and pleasant fragrance

Meaning: multiple depending on colour but most commonly love (red), purity/honesty (white), friendship (white), femininity (pink), and passion (orange)


Care

Scent in roses has, for many years, been bred out of them [in] favour of longevity of life. Thankfully there are plenty of rose varieties now that will last for over a week in vase and still have a heavenly scent. Norma Jean is a prime example of a white rose that lasts and has a sweet subtle scent.

Styling

Roses are a staple for most florists. There are many different types of roses from small-headed, bell-like varieties to huge blousy varieties that have more in common with a cabbage. Roses will be happily by arranged with most flowers and look amazing with an abundance of mixed seasonal foliage.

LD Vase Suggestion

From long and elegant to compact and modern, roses adapt to a variety of looks. Winterise your blooms with sparkling crystal, silver or winter white containers.

Winter Arrangement Inspiration

LuxDeco Style Guide
LuxDeco Style Guide