Tips for Getting Started
Beautiful bouquets and flower arrangements can be shown off in
many different types of vases and containers. The possibilities
are endless -- from an antique teapot or brass urn, to an elegant
crystal vase or a simple glass jar. Avoid containers made of steel
- Tip -- Make sure your vase is leak-proof and has a neck and
water reservoir large enough for your flowers to fit comfortably.
For some flower arrangements you may also want to use a brick
of floral foam -- a substance that, when saturated, holds flowers
- Tip -- Be sure to soak your foam in water containing a floral
food solution. Let foam absorb water at its own rate. Cut it to
fit the shape of your container, leaving enough space for reserve
water. Floral foam cuts easier when it's wet.
If your flowers sometimes don't stand up straight ...
- Tip -- It could be your vase is too short for your flowers,
or your flowers are too tall for your vase! A good rule of thumb;
the height of your vase should be about half as tall as your flowers.
- Tip -- Build a grid across the top of your vase with clear tape.
Then place flowers within the grid.
Oh no! I've cut my flowers too short!
- Tip -- Don't worry. Just add pebbles or marbles to the bottom
of your vase or simply float the head of a broken flower in a
clear bowl for a charming display.
Splish, splash, my furniture is taking a bath!
- Tip -- To avoid spill over when watering your flowers, use a
kitchen bulb-type baster to reach into narrow vases and full arrangements.
The 1, 2, 3 on Floral Design: Line, Mass, and Filler Flowers
It's fascinating to know how different types of flowers and foliages
are combined to make beautiful bouquets. Flowers have distinct shapes,
fragrances, and colors. In learning about floral design, let nature
and your own creative inspiration be your guide. And above all,
Line flowers are tall, and as the name implies, give your bouquet
height, width, and a balanced look. Branches and tall foliage can
serve as line flowers. Most line flowers have buds growing up a
Examples of line flowers are: gladiolus, liatris, snapdragon, delphinium,
tuberose, veronica, curly willow, bells-of-Ireland, stock.
- Tip -- Line flowers, by themselves, look striking when placed
in a tall cylindrical vase.
Mass flowers will give your bouquet weight -- or mass -- and are
generally round and full faced. Sometimes they are referred to as
face flowers. They are usually the focal point of color and interest
in a bouquet. Most mass flowers come with only one flower on the
end of the stem.
Examples of mass flowers are: rose, carnation, gerbera, sunflower,
lily, daffodil, tulip, iris, freesia, zinnia, alstroemeria, protea,
- Tip -- Mass flowers are a good choice for a simple, quick vase
full of flowers and are often sold in bunches.
Filler flowers (stems with a lot of little flowers) and foliage
will round out your bouquet and give it a soft, full look. Casual,
fresh-from-the-garden bouquets use an abundance of filler flowers
to visually connect mass and line flowers.
Examples of filler flowers and foliage are: baby's breath, feverfew,
Queen Anne's lace, ferns, heather, statice, eucalyptus, aster.
- Tip -- Just a few sprigs of filler flowers, alone in a vase,
can give a sense of simple elegance to any room, and many filler
flowers are good candidates for drying.
Loose Flowers in a Vase
- Fill your clean vase with water (preferably containing floral
- Strip stems so that no leaves will be covered by water.
- Cut stems to about twice the height of your vase, leaving several
stems an inch or two longer for the center of your bouquet.
- First insert stems of foliage and filler flowers. Criss-cross
the stems as you insert them in your vase. This will create a
grid that will help hold other flowers in place.
- Starting at the rim of your vase and working toward the center,
add other flowers, spacing them as if they were points on a triangle.
- Place the longest stems in the center of your bouquet.
- Stand back and review your bouquet, making adjustments if needed.
Tip -- Start with marbles or small pebbles in your vase for extra
stem support or to simply give a favorite vase a new look.
The Bud Vase
||This simple design can bring the scent and beauty of flowers
into every room in your home. Plus it's an economical way to
try out new and different flowers!
- Select a narrow necked vase and fill with water (preferably
containing floral food.)
- Cut flower stem to about twice the height of your vase.
Strip stem so that no leaves will be covered by water. Place
flower in vase.
- To give added support and beauty, add a stem or two of
linear foliage or a curly twig.
- Last, to give your bud vase an elegant, balanced look,
insert a few small leaves at the rim of the vase.
- Tip -- Be imaginative with bud vases! Beautiful perfume
bottles, recycled spice jars, or antique apothecary bottles
can all hold a stem or two of flowers.
- Tip -- Bud vases can make inexpensive, personalized gifts.
Select a favorite flower and place it in a collectible vase.
Or to dress up a plain vase, simply wrap a pretty ribbon
around the neck.
The Table Centerpiece
- Fill a low container with wet floral foam (preferably soaked
in water with floral food.)
- Cut all flowers and foliage to (approximately) the same length,
leaving several stems an inch or two longer for use in the middle
of the arrangement.
- Starting from the middle of the foam and working outward in
a circular fashion, create a green foundation by inserting foliage.
The longest stems go in first.
- Next, repeat this process with your line and mass flowers, inserting
the tallest flowers first and working outward to a fan shape.
- Step back and look over your work. make adjustments if desired.
- Last, insert filler flowers to connect all flowers into a pleasing
- Tip -- Keep your arrangement under 16 tall so as not to obstruct
views across your dining table!
- Tip -- Stretch your flower purchase by cutting long multi flowered
stems into smaller sections.
As the name implies, this bouquet is made while holding flowers
in your hand. In addition to an abundance of flowers and foliage,
youll need a 24 length of twine, ribbon or raffia to complete this
- Start by stripping leaves from the lower half of all stems.
- Throughout the process in making a hand-tied bouquet, hold flowers
and foliage midway up the stems between your thumb and fingers.
- Pick up one flower and one foliage stem. Begin by placing one
stem directly on top of the other at about a 45-degree angle.
- Continue adding stems of flowers and foliage an an angle, building
your bouquet in a clockwise fashion. Keep your hand relaxed --
dont choke your flowers!
- Place similar colors across from one another to create a burst
- When you have a handful of flowers, bind with twine or ribbon
at the point where your hand is holding the bouquet.
- To secure binding, pull the twine up through the bottom stems
and tug gently.
- Last, trim stems evenly at the bottom.
- Tip -- Wrap your bouquet loosely in colored tissue paper for
a spectacular gift presentation.