It’s easy to pop some white lilies in a vase and claim you’ve done a spot of ‘flower arranging’. But how do you give a basic bunch of flowers a contemporary twist in less time than it takes to fill your vase with water?

We didn’t know the answer to this, until… Enter Luis da Silva, our fabulous florist friend from McQueens on Old Street, who gave us a flash demo of how to make a no-nonsense statement arrangement using calla lilies in under 30 mins (15 mins when you’ve practiced a few times!)

Classic Lilies

You’ll need

  • A tall cylindrical vase
  • A bunch of calla lilies
  • Aspidistra leaves
  • Some pins
  • 1

    Start with a tall cylindrical vase filled with a couple of inches of water. Split an aspidistra leaf in half and remove the vein from the middle.

  • 2

    Take one calla lily and cut to a couple of inches shorter than the height of the vase.

  • 3

    Ensuring this flower remains the tallest, bring in the other lilies one by one at different heights.

  • 4

    After every 4 or 5 flowers, use a piece of aspidistra leaf in the same way you might a ribbon: wrap it around the stems, then secure with pins.

  • 5

    Point the pins upwards so they don’t tear the leaves or poke out of the bottom.

  • 6

    Cut them all together so the tallest lily can sit as tall as the vase. Repeat steps 1 to 5, adding more lilies onto the bunch, but this time cutting the lilies short and binding so they sit at different heights.

  • 7

    Carefully slide into vase.

McQueens florist and school, 70-72 Old Street, London EC1V 9AN (020 7251 5505; order online at


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