Choice of Foliage
This needs as much thoughts as the choosing flowers. Single leaves have various shapes. They can be broad and rounded such as the Bergenia; oval and pointed like the hosta; heart-shaped like the elaf of the arum lily; irregular like the Begonia Rex; or have a serrated edge like the artichoke. These leaves can be used to give heart to an arrangement especially when spiky flowers are incorporated. Their good contrast to provide interest and balance or try to blend them with the flowers to provide a different impact. If the flowers are fussy, select a clean-cut foliage. If, however, the flowers are single, a more fussy foliage can be used.
Lasty there are the tall thin leaves such as sansevieria and reeds. Since these grow naturally upright, they should be positioned reasonably vertically. This type of leaf is valuable for establishing the height of an arrangement. Do not make a fan of them as this can look particularly ugly. Ferns can be used upright in an arrangement or sideways along the edge as both ways will emulate their natural habitat.
These will add lightness and interest to an arrangement, some of the ornamental grasses are very large and can be useful for quite large arrangements, while dainty grasses look attractive in smaller ones. Grasses can also be dried and used in the winter. As with tall thin leaves, grasses should be arranged in an upright position.
TWIGS and Branches
These are very useful for giving shape to a line arrangement. Lichen is often found on branches of fir trees but if you can find it on less brittle wood these pieces can be stored for several years without disintegrating.
These give the flower arranger another interesting shape, and used at the top of arrangement at differing lengths can be very attractive.
BERRIES and SEEDHEADS
Invaluable for autumn arrangements, they can be used on their own with just a little foliage or combined with both flowers and foliage. There are many varieties in a wide range of colours, so it is quite easy to match a particular flower with a berry. Heavier sprays of berries can be kept to the centre of an arrangement and can be used as a focal pint. Lighter branches can be grouped throughout. If necessary clip some of the leaves off the branches to show the berries more clearly, but it is better not to completely defoliate them.