Best vase forward
Fill your home with blooms in these six stylish vessels
It's that time of year when tulips and daffodils seem to be at the end of every aisle at the shops. I don't know about you, but I can't resist a bunch of springtime flowers. There's nothing like a dose of colour on the coffee table or beside your bed to remind you that spring is well and truly on the way - especially when the weather outside doesn't seem to agree.
Flowers are the easy part. Vases and vessels for those pretty stems aren't quite so simple. The wrong vase can take the whole bouquet down and the right vase can be a little tricky to find. Luckily for you, we've done the research and found some of the loveliest vases for your spring flowers - and we've gathered a few expert tips on making those blooms last for you, too.
High and Mighty
Very few of us keep tall vases on hand, but these are some of the simplest vessels to fill. You don't even need long-stemmed roses. Simply snip a few branches from your blossoming forsythia bush or quince shrub and you've got an instant organic arrangement.
Buy it: Large embossed ceramic vase from, €18, Next
What's missing from your vase arsenal? Bud vases. They're great for grouping in sets of two and three around your home, holding just one or two small stems each, and really getting the most out of your bunch of blooms. The more vases the merrier, especially when they're a steal at just €2!
Buy it: Ceramic vases, from €2, Tiger Stores nationwide
Coloured vases can be tricky to suit lots of different bouquet palettes, but metallics really help any colour of bloom look its best. This metallic vase from House of Fraser plays a blinder - it's a really nice shape that can work with larger arrangements as well as with flowering branches, and it will reflect the colours of your flowers with a little sparkle.
Buy it: Metallic facet vase, €64, Living by Christiane Lemieux, House of Fraser
If you're more of a minimalist - or are afflicted by hayfever - a diminutive hanging glass wall vase is a nice option. You could fill it with an air plant, which are both incredibly hardy and low maintenance for those with black thumbs, or choose a single faux flower to add a little colour without making your eyes itch.
Buy it: Hanging glass wall vase, €4, Tiger Stores
Speaking of vases that can pull double duty, you'll always be in good shape with a vase that looks nice on a shelf or table even without flowers in it. The key to choosing just the right model is to opt for a modern pattern and shape that will keep the vase from looking too much like it has granny's ashes stored inside.
When it comes to choosing the floral arrangement for the vase, keep it simple with just three or four types of blooms broken up with soft greenery. Too many different flowers will make the entire combination look too busy.
Buy it: Patterned vase, €33, House of Fraser
This 56cm-high vase isn't for the faint of heart - or the small living room, for that matter. A very large glass vase needs a little space to breathe and it needs to hold a big old statement branch, either flowering or bare. Or keep an eye out for an elegant piece of driftwood when you're next out walking on the beach for the great visual impact.
Buy it: Large blue glass vase, €112, April & the Bear, aprilandthebear.com
There's no point in shelling out big bucks (or even €2 on that impulsive bunch of daffodils) if they're not going to last the night. Here are a few tricks to keep those flowers alive and looking their best for as long as possible.
First, keep cut flowers away from your fruit bowl, as the gas given off by fruit can cause them to fade faster. Second, give bouquets a refresh every few days by re-trimming their stems and filling your vase with fresh, cool water.
Finally, flowers like a good dose of a soft drink, sugar or even vodka to keep them looking well. Try two tablespoons of clear soda like Sprite, or a mixture of a few drops of vodka and two teaspoons of white table sugar dissolved in your vase before adding flowers. And if you've picked up a bunch of tulips, drop a copper coin in the water when they start to droop!