For as long as I can remember I have loved all things flowers. I love how they smell, how they brighten a home, how they lift your spirits immediately.
If I had to choose between buying a Starbucks coffee or a small bunch of daisies to bring home while shopping at the grocery store, I would almost always choose the daisies. And that’s saying a lot. Fresh flowers in the home are amazing.
I’ve coordinated and arranged flowers for several weddings, including my own (that was sort of a crazy budget idea but it ended up working out really well). Over the years I’ve sort of self-taught on the different varieties, and have experimented with how long they’ll last in water, in the fridge, poked into a bowl of succulents… I know all of the secret places to purchase in mass bulk or just as onesie twosies :).
All of that said, I’m just a hobbyist beginner. My baby florist skills need some serious work and I love to learn new tips and ideas.
My girlfriend and I recently hosted a ‘You Are My Sunshine’ baby shower for a friend and I made up a handful of centerpieces the morning of. I thought I’d share my thought process for assembling.
Choosing Your Flowers:
Like choosing patterns, I almost always choose a large bloom (sunflowers, hydrangeas, zinnias, dahlias…), a medium bloom (such as peonies, daisies, alstromeria, tulips, roses – or a succulent/greenery with medium-sized leaves), a small bloom (godecia, small daisies, snap dragons, stock, also could be leaves) and then a very small something or other (baby’s breath, fern leaves, mimosa, genesta, astilbe). Variety is the spice of life.
When it comes to colors, I think you can go really any direction. The color wheel is nice to keep in mind (yellow pairs nicely with purple, red with green…), likewise choosing all ‘bright’ colors like pink, yellow and orange or all ‘deep’ colors like purple, burgundy and red are awesome.
For my example here I chose yellow as my main color and white and a variety of greens (and even deep burgundies) in the succulents as accents. Something dark, something light, something that really contrasts. Here’s a side shot of the very top floral arrangement.
I usually start with the bigger blooms or chunks (like a snip of an entire succulent branch) so that my heights are about right for these ‘structural’ pieces. I like a variety of height, and in general, for blooms to be about twice the size of the vase that they’re in (meaning if a vase is 6″, the bouquet will come out the top about 6″ for a total of 12″ in height). But that’s not a hard and fast rule.
Once the larger blooms are in, I group medium and smaller blooms/greenery together. I don’t like solos going on anywhere in the vase usually. I don’t think that the odd number rule really applies here (the design rule that groupings should be in 3, 5, 7). Pairings sometimes are perfectly acceptable. Miniature blooms, generally speaking, look best in a large group.
For a backside shot, see three photos above.
I adore having something droop out of the vase. It could be a flower that tends to dip a little bit (like freesias) or a long piece of greenery. I chose eucalyptus for this centerpiece. One side should drip more than the other, one side should feel heavier with movement.
So here’s my final full vase. It’s not perfect. In hindsight I am really wishing I had done something to cover up the stems in the clear vase (usually a large banana leaf curled up in there or even twine wrapped around the outside would do it). I also don’t love how the miniature daisies are poking to the left instead of ‘spilling’, but I put a bunch of these together in about a half hour so it’s all good :).
There’s a novice’s opinion on how to quickly assemble a floral centerpiece! Happy mid-week.