I love photographing and painting the flowers I've worked so hard to cultivate at Weatherstone, my Connecticut home. But what I enjoy most is gathering them for closer contemplation indoors. An abundance of blooms — or even a single bud — is a glorious reminder of nature and an affirmation of life. Anyone can put together a beautiful arrangement, and anything that holds water can be a vase — I've even used pretty lipstick tubes! Just let the flowers speak for themselves.
See more tips and photos in Roehm's new book, At Home in the Garden. ($47, )
This story originally appeared in the April 2016 issue of CQ.
The most useful vase is mid-sized with a slightly flared opening, so the volume of flowers and the container itself are balanced. A petite bud vase is nice to have; you can get creative with two or three. And a sharp knife is essential for trimming stems.
Groupings of nosegays can be more romantic than one big vase full. And Constance Spry I'm not! I like them to look natural, just in from the garden.
This warm, tonal spectrum of orange, pink, and red tulips dazzles the eye. Bear in mind that tulips will turn and face nearby sunlight. It's magical.
Flowers that bloom at the same time — like lilacs and tulips — often look beautiful in a bouquet. For fillers, I use whatever's green and growing near them; in France, they'll even use blueberry sprigs.
If you use clear glass, the stems are visible and part of the design. In that case, add a few drops of bleach to the water to keep it clear. Metal, ceramic, and even colored glass vessels are more forgiving — especially if you plan to use foam, marbles, or a flower frog for stability.
Unscented flowers can be beautiful to look at, but ultimately sort of a letdown. Some say that fragrant blooms such as tuberose or gardenia don't belong on a dinner table, but I think that rule is overstated.