The arranging of flowers nicely on dinner tables and in vases about the home is quite an art.
For an ordinary dinner table, five vases for the centre and one for each of the four corners makes an ideal decoration if they are harmoniously filled with beautiful flowers. Not more than two colours should ever be used at the same time - for example, cream and lavender, cream and salmon, a variety such as "Mrs. C. W. Breadmore" with a few blooms of "Illuminator" or "Melba."
A decoration of "Elsie Herbert" by itself is very charming.
If the flowers are good, the arrangement does not present many difficulties. The trouble is often to find suitable foliage to associate with Sweet Peas, as a change from their own foliage is a pleasant variation when Sweet Peas are being pretty constantly used.
Trails of Smilax or Asparagus do very well, especially the former. If pieces of bronzy tinted foliage or Selaginella can be obtained to associate with buff-coloured flowers, the effect is very fine.
On no account should flowers be laid on the table without being in water, as is sometimes done, and mirrors in the centres of tables are never in good taste.
In filling large jars for other positions in the home, the foregoing suggestions should be carried out.
The best effects are always obtained by large vases of one colour.
No better advice can be given to the beginner than to experiment on every possible opportunity with the flowers he cuts from time to time to keep his plants going. Arrange vases of different varieties and observe their behaviour. Experience gained in this way is many times more valuable than anything that can be learned by reading. If a successful exhibitor lives near, his aid might be called in, and I am sure it will be given.
I never yet knew a florist who was not willing to help a beginner. Take a handful of good flowers to him and observe the effect - he cannot help handling them as if they were things appealing to his better nature, and all the time he is doing so you are learning your lesson.