Renowned Floral Designer Jane Scott Shows You How to Make Heart Warming Gifts for Neighbours and Friends
Small, random acts of kindness are not only good for the soul but they can have a massive impact on the wellbeing of others. Their heart-warming value is huge, whether it’s to cheer up a friend or just to let a neighbour know you are thinking of them. These challenging times have helped remind us all that thoughtfulness can cost so little but goes such a long way. They may be short and sweet, but I’ve found a blooming message in a bottle hits the spot.
Never one to miss an opportunity to be creative with flowers, I’ve rustled up quite a few of them recently. They’re easy to make and you can personalise them using your own snippet of floral artwork. Think penny-wise prettiness meets sustainable style. So, now our hearts are in the right place, let’s get started.
First, find yourself a cute clear-glass bottle. Start by checking the recycling bin, although to be honest I’ve found myself buying a fancy cider or swish lemonade just so I can use the bottle afterwards. Soak the label off in warm, soapy water, making sure your bottle is nice and clean inside and out. To make the tag, tear a piece of card into a rectangular shape. Hold it up against your bottle to work out the final size. Draw on your illustration in pencil. If you’re stuck for inspiration, there are lots of charming floral line drawings dotted throughout the pages of Modern Gardens magazine.
Snip three stems of greenery from the garden. I’ve used photinia ‘Red Robin’, euphorbia and mint, which will grow back super-fast. Check your garden for blooms too, five or six will do the trick. Alternatively, try your local florist for a few stems or pick up a small supermarket bunch. Half-fill your bottle with water.
Add each stem, arranging as you go for that garden style look. Tie on your tag using two loops of twine, and knot at the back. For an even greener gift, deliver them by hand. Place on the doorstep, ring the bell and stand back to watch the delighted reaction. Brush your illustration with a wash of watery paint. I’ve used children’s paints but you could try a couple of drops of food colouring in a small cup of water. Leave to dry then go over the pencil outlines using a fine black pen. Next, spell out your message with little letter stamps or use your best handwriting!