New trends in flower arrangement – rustic blooms

Conventional floral arrangements are making way for a more natural garden style and fresh, seasonal blossoms

Roses and lilies may be the standard benchmark for bouquets, but the new buzzword in floral arrangement is rustic, a showcase of seasonal flowers, often sourced locally and arranged in a minimal, natural style. Sanea Sheikh, model and founder of the Mumbai-based floral service Botany, swears by India’s seasonal flowers and highlights summer’s sweetest blooms for bouquets. Edited excerpts from an interview:

What got you started on a floral arrangement service?

I have always liked flowers—who doesn’t. I had ordered roses for my mum on Mother’s Day about two years ago and it was such a disappointing experience. They arrived late and half the flowers were withered. When I came upon a floral design course not long after that, I decided to take it up. I graduated in July last year, and by September I was running Botany.

How do you source your blooms?

I am pretty much a one-woman army. I prefer fresh seasonal flowers, and though I use exotic flowers, I emphasize local blooms. My arrangements have a lot of texture and colours. I like being as organic as possible, and prefer using simple paper wrapping or crates so that my flowers stand out.

Which are some of the local flowers you like using?

I love textural flowers like statices (sea lavender), which feel almost like dried flowers. Local sunflower varieties thrive in heat. I love ornithogalums, small white flowers with green tips, in this season. Baby’s breath (gypsophila), local chrysanthemums and alstroemeria are great for summer too.

How do you care for flowers in the heat?

Summer can be quite brutal on flowers. Some flowers, like roses or carnations, are available through the year, but flower sellers sometimes store them badly. I’d recommend sourcing closed buds instead of fully-grown flowers. Store them in clean water, and they will bloom for a few days without withering.

Tell us about your pet floral peeve.

I dislike overtly arranged flowers. A garden-style arrangements replicating the natural growth of flowers in gardens or in the wild looks far more appealing.