On a quest for the freshest white flowers available, Erin McLaughlin went straight to the source: the experts at the Ontario Flower Growers Co-Operative auction house in Mississauga, Ontario. The auction house is a flower lover's dream—a room the size of an entire city block overflowing with every imaginable variety of bloom. Essentially a neighbourhood farmers' market on a macro scale, more than 150 local flower growers gather here five days a week to sell their goods exclusively to members of the floral industry.
After a crack-of-dawn morning spent bidding on blooms, Erin left with armfuls of pure white wonders with which to create a variety of inspiring, effortless designs just by grouping the pale petals.
When choosing your blooms, go for old-fashioned, country favourites, such as hydrangeas, hyacinths and peonies. Simple yet stunning, they have few demands, offer some of the gentlest, softest shades of white, and are a breeze to work with. And when bought in season, they are as easy on the wallet as they are on the eyes.
Before you begin, consider whether you want your container to contrast or complement your bouquet's shape—both are effective design approaches. For example, the rounded, soft petals of unfurling blooms are put in bold relief by the sharp lines of a rectangular or square vase (keep flowers bunched and upright by lightly tying stems together). Or choose a container that perfectly mirrors a flower's shape; such symmetry creates an elegant, harmonious display.