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Top Tips for Funeral Pieces - from Nicola Horsley

One of the most useful items that I use when making funeral pieces is a cake turntable, which is aptly referred to as 'Susan'. Wreaths, posies, hearts - pretty much any Oasis frame that is flat and up to about 16 inches wide will fit on the turntable. It's perfect to be able to swiftly move and see your design from all angles with minimal effort required.

When creating Oasis sprays I like to make mine with the shape being vertically in front of me so that I’m looking down on it. In this instance an old ironing board is the perfect thing to use. The height is adjustable, the length matches a large casket spray and you can use a marker pen to write the different size options so you don't have to use a tape measure.

Depending on what funeral item I'm making will depend on what foliage I'll use but I do always like to have at least two types when greening them up. Normally I'll go for a cheap standard foliage such as leather leaf, pistache or salal. Then a secondary foliage in a lighter tone like eucalyptus or pittosporum to add contrast.

And of course, the gorgeous flowers! It's always great to have plenty of different textures and Autumn is especially good for that (think berries, warm mixed tones and flower seed heads). Staggering the height of your flowers is a great way to define your overall shape. As a finishing touch I always love to add something a bit different (within budget of course). Whether that be cutting up an ivy plant to trail through your design or using a couple of air plants for a more edgy look. It then makes sure all your funeral pieces are unique and bespoke as they quite rightly should be for such an occasion.

Nicola Horsley – florist at The Flower Shop, Oxford


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