Classical yet natural, the loose, romantic English style of flower arranging that Nikki Tibbles pioneered during the 1990s makes her Wild At Heart empire a byword for contemporary floristry. We stopped by the boutique at Liberty, just off Regent Street, to watch the super-skilled Astrid build a gorgeous spring table centrepiece.

Cost price will be a small fraction of what you’d pay for this kind of arrangement at a Wild At Heart boutique, but it’s still relatively extravagant (think around £35 for a big one), so vary the volume of flowers according to your own budget.

Astrid’s table centrepiece

You’ll need

  • Round cake stand, up to 40mm
  • Spherical block of Oasis floral foam, cut to size and soaked for 20 minutes
  • Pot tape (from all good florists)
  • Secateurs or scissors
  • Sharp knife

‘When I create an arrangement, it’s like getting dressed. There’s no plan – I follow my impulse’

The flowers:

  • Blue Curiosa rose
  • Secret Garden rose
  • Pale pink lilac
  • White hellebore
  • Guelder rose
  • Lady Parrot tulips
  • Cherry blossom
  • Trailing winter jasmine
  • 1

    Secure the Oasis base onto your cake stand using pot tape.

  • 2

    Cut the Blue Curiosa roses in short lengths (always cut slantwise to allow the stem to absorb more water).

  • 3

    Begin to stud roses into the base.

  • 4

    Always start with bigger flowers and go on to softer blooms and foliage.

  • 5

    Add some lilac – you don’t have to be too precise, but do keep things more or less symmetrical.

  • 6

    Continue with more roses, then add some hellebores. Take care, as these are the most expensive blooms, and also rather tender and prone to bruising.

  • 7

    Now use some guelder rose, aka green viburnum, which saves the arrangement from pure girliness.

  • 8

    Add your tulips quite low down, since they famously keep on growing even when cut, and tend to droop.

  • 9

    Next, bring in some cherry blossom in short lengths.

  • 10

    Finally, add some flowers – no foliage – from the trailing jasmine. Pure luxury!

  • 11

    When you feel your arrangement is complete, put the whole thing on the floor and look at it from above. This way, you can see if anything needs adding, subtracting or tweaking.


Astrid’s top tips

  • Keep the oasis wet (use a miniature watering can) and this beautiful arrangement should last you a week. Mist it with water daily.
  • It should look extravagant, all flowers and no foliage, so go for a smaller arrangement if you want to spend less, rather than diluting the look. You can always use rose petals to fill the cake stand to the brim.
  • You could also proceed using only four to five elements, leaving out, say, the tulips or the cherry blossom.
  • You could substitute pretty, less expensive wax flowers, aka chamelaucium, for the blushing viburnum. They are very different, but are on the same scale.
  • Ivy from the garden makes a good stand-in for costly trailing jasmine.

Wild At Heart, Liberty, 25 Great Marlborough Street, London W1 (020 7573 9563; www.wildatheart.com)
Wild At Heart, 222 Westbourne Grove, W11 (020 7727 3095), and 30A Pimlico Road, SW1 (020 7229 1174)

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