How to choose the right vase for your flowers

How to choose the right vase for your flowers

Flowers are a wonderful and easy way to add colour and scent to your space, whether displayed on a shelf, sideboard or as a centrepiece for your tablescape. But knowing which kind of vase is right for your flowers and how best to display them can be tricky. Read on as we unveil the secrets to choosing the vase that best complements your bouquet, from navigating size and proportion to choosing style and colour.

What to look for when buying a vase?

With so many different shapes and sizes to choose from, it can be difficult to know what to look for when buying a vase. Fundamentally, it’s important to choose a vase that you like the look of, so think about your own preference on style and colour. From there, think about what type of flowers you want to display and where. Do you want to regularly display freshly cut flowers in your living room or office or do you want to create a table centrepiece for a special occasion?

Different types of vase shapes offer different qualities, so you may need more than one vase for your collection. For example, bouncy blooms, such as hydrangeas, are most suited to heavier vases as they balance out visually, and vases with a narrower neck give more structure to your bouquets, preventing the stems from spaying out.

Here’s a few of the most common types of vases and what they’re best used for:

Posy Vases

Posy vases, such as these adorable Wrendale Designs ones, are typically short-style vases ranging from just a few inches to 7 inches tall. They’re designed for smaller, more compact arrangements, and often have a wider mouth, allowing the stems to spread out. Posy vases come in all sorts of materials and feature different designs and colours, so you’re sure to find one that suits your decor style. Ideal for displaying a variety of flowers, from small and delicate violets, pansies and freesias to a single rosebud or unique orchid.

Fishbowl or Round Vases

Fishbowl vases, also known as round vases, offer a unique vessel for flower arrangements. Their spherical shape allows for creative freedom, showcasing the flowers from all angles. The open bowl-shape enables the flowers to sprawl out naturally, creating a full and overflowing display, perfect for full blooms, such as hydrangeas, peonies, or large roses.

Canton Vases

Canton vases, known for their eye-catching decorative designs and historical significance, add a touch of elegance to any space. Canton vases, like these found in the Botanic Garden collection, typically have a narrow neck, bulbous body, and a slightly flared rim to create a visual contrast and to draw attention to the pattern on the vase. With their bold colours and intricate patterns, Canton vases often act as decorative pieces all on their own.

However, if you do plan on displaying flowers in your canton vase, due to the narrow neck, tall and elegant blooms are best suited, such as single-stemmed flowers like lilies or orchids. Birds of paradise or parrot tulips, with their vibrant colours and unique shapes, also work well, as they echo the exotic feel of the vase. Just remember, due to the limited space and visual impact of the vase itself, less is more, so keep your arrangements simple and elegant. 

Column Vases

Column vases, also known as cylinder vases, are tall and slender. Often made from ceramic, or glass, like the Sara Miller London Chelese vase, column vases allow the beauty of the flowers to take centre stage. The tall, straight shape emphasises the long stems of a bouquet, creating a sense of height and grandeur.

Their clean lines and simple form make column vases a versatile choice for showcasing a variety of flowers. Lilies, gladioli, or delphiniums with long, strong stems find their ideal home in a column vase, as it provides support and allows them to showcase their full height and elegance.

How tall should a vase be compared to flowers?

 The ideal vase height for flowers depends on the type of flowers you have and the look you’re hoping to achieve. Here are the general guidelines:

For tall and slender flowers, such as lilies or sunflowers, the vase should be 1.5 to 2 times shorter than the stem length. This allows the flowers to gracefully extend from the vase.

For shorter, bushier flowers, such as hydrangeas, peonies or tulips, the vase height can be equal to or slightly shorter than the flowers themselves, to create a balanced and full look.

For a natural, overflowing aesthetic with wildflowers or loose arrangements, choose wider, bowl-shaped vases. This allows the stems to sprawl out and creates a relaxed display.  

Tips for arranging flowers

Now you know how to choose the right vase, follow our top tips below for creating beautiful and long-lasting floral display to brighten up your home:

1 - Before you begin, prepare your flowers. Cut stems diagonally to maximise water absorption and remove any leaves that will fall below the water line in the vase to prevent bacteria growth.

2 - Choose your vase, considering the scale, style and colour in relation to your flowers.

3 - Use greenery, like eucalyptus and ferns, to create a frame for your flowers and add texture.

4 - Place larger, focal flowers next, and alternate heights and positions. Taller flowers can go in the centre, with shorter ones around the outside.

5 - Use filler flowers, like baby’s breath, or small blooms, to add texture, colour variation and to fill any empty spaces in your arrangement.

6 - Remember, often less is more. A simpler arrangement can be just as impactful as a crowded one.