Balance the colors shapes and textures of your chosen flowers and herbs to give your centerpiece a unique look

Pieris, sweet peas, flat-leaf parsley, sea holly and hellebores.

Exploit the natural characteristics of each plant: floppier, softer plants look good gently overhanging the sides of a container, while stiffer, bolder ones act as focal points and accents as well as provide support for the softer plants. Also work out how the flowers are best viewed. For example, the hellebore flowers that we used do not look their best if seen from above; ensure that such flowers are cupped by other foliage so that their faces can be seen. Sweet peas, in contrast, have stiff stems and a ruffled profile, so feature them in the center of the arrangement. Choose plants with a gentle perfume and make your centerpiece a reasonable height so that guests can easily see one another across the table.

Suggested plants

Pieris Pieris japĆ³nica, P. formosa and P. floribundo Pieris is also known as lily of the valley shrub, andromeda or pearl bush. The small bell-like flowers form elegant sprays, and range in color from ivory white to a deep pinky red. The leathery, oval leaves grow in attractive spiral whorls. Young spring leaves are sometimes bright pink or red. Sweet peas Lothyrusodorotus These old-fashioned, sweetly scented flowers come in

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