Take Five: Festive Blooms

Ask anyone where to get floral arrangements and bouquets and more often than not, they'd point you to Far East Flora. Don't get me wrong, the popular brandname floral business is excellent. Founded more than 50 years ago as a small nursery, it has grown to be one of the leading floral businesses in Singapore, delivering to more than 140 countries, and offering more than 1,000 choices in flowers for gifts, plants and hampers. 

These days, however, the family-run business is facing some tough competition from small indie florists that are rapidly blooming. These florists offer "couture" free-form floral arrangements using some of the most exotic flowers and succulents. Even old-time florists, according to a recent report in The Straits Times, have gone "the indie route to stand out from the crowd". 

One of our favourites is Floral Magic. The 16-year-old company, who was started by Lucy Siah, has been given a new lease on life by sisters (and Ms Siah's daughters) Josephine and Linnette Lau. 

And with Chinese New Year just around the corner, we spoke to the sisters to get some tips on how to beautify our homes without going over the top. 


On auspicious flowers you need to have...

Chrysanthemums should make a come back. However, instead of getting the sprays, where there are multiple small blooms on a single stem, try a large, full chrysanthemum bloom.

Alternatively, instead of having multiple small vases of flowers, make a single bouquet of 50 chrysanthemums and you’ll have yourself a stunning, modern centrepiece

On pussy willows during CNY

Pussy willow seems to be the only permissible white flower for CNY, and if you’re after a clean, minimal look, add a few other branches into the arrangement, such as mitsumata and dragon willow. This makes for a good contrast in texture sets it apart from your neighbour’s bunch.

For more floral arrangements that will look "super huat" this festive season,
visit http://www.floralmagic.com.sg/collections/chinese-new-year

On colours and festive blooms...

Colour is important during CNY, but everyone knows the most important colour is red. But as there will be so much intense colour going on, it’s best to stick to one or two colours, and keep your variety to a minimum.
This year, we have flowers in a fresh spring theme (yellow and orange, but not too jarring), or the alternative in red is a muted hue. It’s important that your flowers offer respite, and not tire your guests with all the other tassels and decorations going on.

Follow Floral Magic on Instagram (@floralmagic_)

THE FIFTH COLLECTION: Any tips on how to extend the lifeline of bouquets and floral centrepieces we have at home?
Floral Magic: The best way to keep flowers alive is with clean water. Make sure your vase always looks clean, ie no cloudy water or stray leaves. Change the water and trim the stems daily. Keep it in a cool area (air conditioning is preferred of course!), and away from direct sunlight. 

THE FIFTH COLLECTION: Can you share with us some useful tips to create simple but beautiful floral arrangements at home?
Floral Magic: Floral arrangements don't have to be too complicated. For a simple look, choose just one type of flower and foliage each. This formula can take you from classy (such as arrangements with calla lilies and cordyline leaves) to casual (limonium and eucalyptus). 

THE FIFTH COLLECTION: If there's one type of flower that we should get, what should it be and why?
Floral Magic: Carnations in white are never tacky in our books.  A single stem with its natural leaves in a bud vase will instantly soften a space. They bloom beautifully and last over a week.


For more information, and to see the brand's breadth of work, visit their website www.floralmagic.com.sg or follow them on Instagram (@floralmagic_).

Prices for wrapped bouquets start from $100 and vase arrangements usually from $180