Gerbera daisies (Gerbera jamesonii) were first discovered in South Africa in 1880 by Robert Jameson, a Scotsman operating a gold mine. The flowers were first grown in North America in the early 1920s, and went into mass production during the 1970s. Gerbera daisies are perfect to use in centrepieces for weddings and parties. Their bright colours--red, orange, yellow, salmon, pink and white--will give any table a fresh, bold, modern look.
A low centrepiece, featuring cut blossoms floating in water, is an elegant choice, and has the advantage of not obstructing the sight lines of those at the table. Gerbera daisy blossoms are perfect because of their durability--they can float in water for many hours without wilting. Choose flowers in a single colour, or combine two contrasting colours.
Floating centrepieces can be designed a number of ways. One easy solution is to buy small, clear, square glass containers just large enough to hold a single blossom. Fill the containers with water and float a blossom in each. For a romantic effect, place votive candles in half the containers, and flowers in the rest. Create a display alternating candles with flowers. If your table is round, arrange the blossoms in a circle at the centre of the table. For a square table, arrange the containers into a grid. If your table is oblong, run a line of blossoms down the centre of the table.
Larger glass vessels will also work for floating centrepieces. Any clear glass container will do--a punch bowl or a even a fish bowl. For larger containers, fill the lower section with something colourful, to match or compliment the colour of your flowers. You could use glass marbles, coloured stones, shells, raw cranberries or even jelly beans. Add water and float your blossoms on top. For a candlelit effect, wrap clear glass votive holders with coloured paper, to match your flowers. Fill the holders with candles and place them around the glass container with the floating Gerbera blossoms.
Blossoms and Stems
Full stems of Gerbera daisies look beautiful displayed in tall containers. If you happen to have some tall, glass bud vases, use these to create a row of flowers, with one or two stems per vase.
Another solution is to cover used cans of crisps or tennis balls in decorative paper to match the flowers. Fill the cans with water and cut the stems just enough so that the blossom peeks over the top. If you only have short cans, don't worry--simply cut your stems shorter. Your display will look more professional if the container sizes are uniform. Choose containers of all one height or a couple of different heights.