Rhik Samadder tries… flower arranging: ‘I’m expanding the art form – and it looks rubbish’

You need to be in the right frame of mind for floristry – but I can’t stop channelling Match of the Day

At McQueens flower school, I’m trying to get my head in the game. I lack the visual flair for this. Whenever I make a bouquet, it always looks as if it’s been plucked from the central reservation of a dual carriageway. Senior tutor Christophe Berreterot, by contrast, worked on the flowers for Meghan and Prince Harry’s wedding, and now demonstrates a flawless hand-tied bouquet with Secret Garden roses, blue eucalyptus and cotoneaster. “Flower arranging is a reflection of personality,” he murmurs. I’ve been watching a lot of classic Match of the Day, which I do not think is the required personality.

We learn to spiral stems, rather than jamming them in a fist in a criss-cross mish-mash. That’s helpful. Think about visual weight, balance and colour, Berreterot advises. Anna, assisting today, lays flowers on our individual tables and we set to work. I throw in leaves, Christmas berries, some stuff that looks like Elmo the muppet’s fingers. This is the 4-4-2 of flower arranging, I think. Couple of big lads sitting in midfield to hold up the ball, shuttle some long boys down the wings, a bit of wispy stuff up top for the highlights reel. Sorted.

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