I’m a sucker for a farmer’s market, and always feel drawn to the gorgeous and colourful flower stalls and displays. But buying a bunch of flowers is the fun and easy part, knowing what to do with them when I get home is another story! Typically I would trim the stems, then haphazardly shove them into any vase that they’ll fit into – not exactly an Insta-worthy scene. So join me as I learn how to arrange flowers properly, and do these beauties justice!
When picking your flowers, a good place to start is to either choose three different types of flowers, or select one type of flower in different colours, depending on how much variety you’re after in your arrangement. When it comes to picking your colour palette, you can opt for blooms in contrasting colours for a bold statement, or play it safe with varying shades of the one colour for a more simple and elegant look. A popular inbetween choice is to stick with tonal colours from the same family (eg. all warm tones, all cool tones, all pastel colours etc).
Foliage is a great way to make your arrangement look full and luscious without having to spend a fortune on expensive flowers. Make sure you select foliage with different textures and shades of green, and don’t discount the greenery that you can source from your own garden too! For additional variety, texture and interest, you can also include some accents such as berries, feathers, cotton flowers or nuts.
Image source: @coco.camellia_
Trim + Tidy
Now that you’ve selected your flowers and foliage, you’ll need to prepare them correctly, so make sure you have a large tabletop to work with. Using a pair of sharp scissors or garden shears, trim all the stems diagonally, so that they’ll be able to drink up some fresh water immediately.
Have you ever noticed that the water in vases gets stinky and murky quite quickly? This is due to the leaves rotting and bacteria forming – gross! To avoid this problem, remove all the leaves from your stems that would be under the water level.
Image source: interflora.com.au
Prepare Your Vessel
Picking the right vase for your flowers is an important and often overlooked step – generally speaking, the larger the mouth of the vase, the more flowers and foliage you’ll need, otherwise your arrangement will look sparse and lacking. The same applies if you have a vase that flares out at the opening (as opposed to being straight like a column vase), as you will need a very full arrangement to avoid having your flowers splaying outwards awkwardly. The height and mouth of the vase you choose should complement the flowers and foilage that you’ve gathered, but if all you have on hand is a vase with a wide opening, then don’t worry - you can always provide support for your flowers by using chicken wire, or by placing sticky tape at the top of the vase to create a grid and help hold stems in place.
Put some cold tap water into your vase, and add a teaspoon of sugar to make your flowers last longer. If you’re using sticky tape to support your flowers, remember to fill your vase with water before adding the sticky tape! ;)
Now you’re ready to start arranging! Firstly, use your greenery to create the base, outlining the arrangement’s overall shape. Add the stems into the vase one at a time, inserting them on an angle and interlocking them from opposing directions so that they create a strong structure that can support the other stems.
The Odd Bunch
Next, thread in the fuller feature flowers that will be front and centre of your arrangement. Visually, odd numbers look better than even numbers, so use 3 or 5 of each variety or colour. Once you’re happy with your superstar flowers, fill in the gaps with the other smaller flowers and your accents.
Image source: @oh.eight.oh.nine
Keep turning your vase to check if there are any gaps, adding more foliage and smaller flowers as desired. You may need to trim some stems further to make sure you have some contrasting heights throughout.
Your overall arrangement should look balanced, but keep in mind that this doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to be evenly spaced out – most of my favourite arrangements feature loosely grouped clusters of flowers in an asymmetrical and dramatic statement.
Image source: @myflowerroom_melbourne
Ready to create your floral masterpiece? Browse our collection of vases, and don’t forget to send us a pic of the finished product!
Banner source image: @coco.camellia_