The Insider: How to maximise your flower power

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The Independent Online

Flowers always feel like a luxury – even the cheap ones – and, given that daring blooms come at daring prices, it would be nice to make more of them...

Sweeten the pot

Just one stem? Poke it out the side of the lid of a pretty coffee pot, suggests Jane Packer in At Home With Flowers (Ryland Peters & Small, £1.99). Have two blooms? Pop another flower head into a matching cup. Sweet on a kitchen shelf.

Glass act

Steal the table-top florals from Donna Hay's chic cookbooks, such as a tiered glass tealight holder (John Lewis's tealight parasol, £25, would work) filled with tiny hydrangea heads. Or use mismatched vintage wine glasses for magnolias, gardenias or camellias.

The turntablist

Sylvia Oakley, stylist for, suggests tipping the glasses upside down, cloche-like. Keep blooms alive with a small piece of water-soaked florist's oasis (Amazon).

Colour me bad

"Beware blending white and red," warn Mark Welford and Stephen Wicks, authors of Flower Arranging (DK, £20). "These two hard colours can jar. Try cream and maroon."

Scent it

Mairead Curtin of Rebel Rebel suggests some seasonal blooms: English snapdragons ("an unexpected, delightful scent"), peonies ("they smell of little old ladies gently dusted in talcum powder") and "gorgeous" sweet peas.

Immersion therapy

"Display vanda orchids or flame lilies under water," says Derek Isaac of SuperNature Flowers (orchid above). "Attach to wire and twirl inside a cylindrical transparent vase for a floral lava lamp – Milton sterilising tablets keep them fresh."

Fake it

The preserved flowers from are lovely. Hydrangeas are £9.95 a head – but could last years.

Find Kate's blog on affordably interiorsat