‘Their warm apricot and peachy tones combined with the thundercloud colors of the ‘Amazing Grey’ poppy is a lovely combination,’ Girling says. ‘A walk through the garden unearthed the hint of both shades in a new addition to the garden party this year – coreopsis ‘Starlight’ – which simply sealed the deal.’ You will need: Materials Chicken wire, a small bowl, pot tape – try your local florist or hobby store. Flower ingredients Perennials: medium-headed dahlias ‘Cornel Brons’, ‘Sylvia’ and ‘Linda’s Baby’ ‘Nicholas’; garden roses ‘Lark Ascending’ and ‘Just Joey’; Achillea ‘Apricot Delight’; Macleaya cordata, plume poppy; Coreopsis ‘Starlight’; Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’ Hardy annuals: Papaver rhoeas ‘Amazing Grey’; Calendula ‘Touch of Red Buff’; Eschscholzia californica, ‘Thai Silk’ Series, ‘Apricot Chiffon’ and ‘Pink Champagne’ Half Hardy Annuals: Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Purity’ and ‘Apricot Lemonade’ Brigitte Girling grows the flowers for her displays in her own chemical-free wildlife-friendly garden. For inspiration for your own plot, take a look at our country garden ideas.

1. Prepare your vessel

Scrunch some chicken wire loosely inside a bowl (a cereal bowl is ideal) and secure with pot tape. This will be the scaffolding that holds your stems.  Add clean water to the top of your bowl.

2. Add your plume poppies

Create an outline shape using the plume poppy.  Insert stands into the chicken wire around the outside of the bowl. The stems will feel a little loose at first but don’t worry; as more stems go in, they knit together and stabilise the design.

3. Insert the roses and dahlias

Add in the heavier roses and dahlias, trimming off thorns and unwanted leaves first.  Group similar flowers together rather than scatter. The idea is to try to recreate a garden within your bowl.  To grow your own flowers for a display like this, we have a guide to how to grow dahlias.

4. Create different heights in the display

Ensure all the flower heads are at different heights and different angles – not facing forward like a choir. Remember, the back of a flower can be just as beautiful as the front.

5. Finish with the most delicate blooms

The final flowers to go in are the airy dancers that float across the top. These are usually the most delicate so easily damaged if they go in too soon.  In this arrangement, it’s the annual poppies that are most delicate. See below for our tips to keep them fresher for longer.

Florist’s tip: how to keep poppies looking perky

Annual poppies are fleeting; their vase life no more than three or four days. Furthermore, they can literally ‘flop’ very quickly once picked. Here, Brigitte Girling shares her knack for preventing poppies from drooping. This boiling water treatment has the double benefit of sealing the stem ends and removing any air bubbles within the stem which cause the droop. Brigitte Girling is the founder of Moss & Stone (opens in new tab), where she offers ‘undone floral designs’ and workshops.