Antique shops and used book stores often have books on flower arranging that were published many years ago. I recently found a 1950s book by the well known English flower arranger, Constance Spry.
The information is timeless, so they make good reading for anyone who loves flowers. Spry says that evergreens are thirsty things and that when we use them in arrangements we should be vigilant about replenishing their water.
At Christmas-time, ivy, laurel and the foliage conifers provide an architectural feeling either alone or in a vase with flowers. As we prepare our homes for the holidays some of Spry's comments may be helpful.
When discussing the color red she says,
Striking and beautiful effects may be obtained by mixing strongly contrasting shades of red and by adding red fruits and berries.
You get brilliance rather than hardness by combining many shades and tones in an arrangement; rose, vermillion, crimson, magenta and so on provide a strong warm effect that is comparable in color to the sound of a trumpet blast.
She also advises using white flowers as highlights. As you select fresh flowers to arrange for the holidays, Spry's advice is to choose what you love and enjoy arranging them.