Looking for an original, contemporary centrepiece? We sought inspiration from our friend Luis da Silva of award-winning florists McQueens, who showed us how to create a strikingly lovely botanical sculpture in under 15 minutes. It looks complex, but trust us, it couldn’t be easier.

Artful amaryllis

You’ll need

  • A rectangular glass vase
  • 10 amaryllis
  • Aspidistra leaves
  • Steel grass
  • Pins
  • Florist’s string

The trick with amaryllis is to buy them a few days before an event so they have time to bloom and be at their best when on show

  • 1

    Get your flowers, pins and scissors together.

  • 2

    Split the aspidistra leaf in half and remove the vein from the middle.

  • 3

    Divide the amaryllis into two bunches.

  • 4

    Fasten using the aspidistra leaves, in the same way you’d use a ribbon: wrap around the stems at the bottom, and at the top just underneath the flowers, then secure with pins.

  • 5

    Fill your vase with water.

  • 6

    Position the flowers diagonally at opposite ends of your rectangular glass vase.

  • 7

    Chop both ends off two bunches of steel grass, then tie at both ends with florist’s string.

  • 8

    Bend the grass over the amaryllis bunches so it arches and curves over the flowers.

McQueens florist and school, 70-72 Old Street, London EC1V 9AN (020 7251 5505; order online at www.mcqueens.co.uk)

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