Last night a new friend from the floral shop came over for dinner bearing gifts of wrapped flowers for a bit of practice at home with the vases on hand. I had to agonise think for half a day but I think it came together nicely. Hydrangea are very plentiful where I grew up in Brittany but here even in the summer I imagine they remain a complete luxury.
I was really skittish about using this milkglass vase with such tall line flowers (irises and bells of Ireland) but with enough greens to create an underwater grid it turned out to be fine. The variegated leaf stems (still haven't learned their names) made a huge difference as the salal (big shiny leaves) just wants to flop over and can drive you insane fast. I think I will be on the lookout for more footed vases, they are just exactly "my style".
Sometimes one of the flowers is just a lemon, in this case we had a 'soft' hydrangea, why we will never know as all the others sharing the same the bucket are still healthy. One of the advantages of buying flowers from a reputable florist is that they will 'fix' this kind of problem for you. So for a while the arrangement looked like it did below, until I brought back the limp stem and picked a fresh replacement.