Foliage is too good to be an afterthought - many are beautiful enough to use on their own, and look spectacular en masse in simple arrangements. A good tip to remember when arranging is Foliage, Filler, Focus: arrange your foliage, then add the fillers, finally highlight with focal points of flowers.
Top tips for foliage and filler care
The Flowers & Plants Association recommends the following simple tips, based on extensive research, to ensure that your foliage and fillers last longer and look lovelier:
1. Take at least 3cm (1") off all stems, making a slanted cut with a sharp knife, or secateurs if stems are woody. Don't hammer the stems.
2. Make sure vases are very clean, and use fresh lukewarm water.
3. Strip all leaves below water level to avoid polluting the water.
4. Always use proprietary flower food to feed flowers and leaves, and prevent bacteria forming in the stems causing wilting.
5. Avoid direct sunlight, heat, or draughts.
6. Keep foliage and fillers away from fruit, and remove faded flowers and leaves as they occur.
7. Top up the water regularly and add flower food as necessary.