Kathy’s Flower Arranging Tips

I love fresh flowers in any room, and I know it seems like a big mystery how to arrange them. Well here is the big secret… the less complicated you get, the easier, and more elegant it is. And it doesn’t matter where your flowers come from… the only two places I have ever gotten flowers to arrange is either my garden, or the grocery store! But I’m going to try to bring you a few tips from some of the big experts, some tricks to use along the way, and even a couple of photos that you can use as “models” until you get brave. Remember above everything else though, nothing in nature is perfect. You can’t mess this up!




First, some picking and buying tips:

  • When cutting your own flowers, cut in the morning when it’s still cool. Keep in the shade in a bucket of water until ready to use.
  • Always recut flowers under running water before you arrange them, whether store bought or fresh cut. The sap seals over the stem from absorbing more water, so the fresh cut allows it to last longer in the vase. Long lasting flowers should have their stems re-cut every few days for the same reason.
  • When choosing flowers from the store, make sure to pick ones that haven’t fully opened yet. Also, don’t choose flowers with lots of brown petals, that have wily stems, or just seem…tired. That’s a sure sign they have been out of water too long at some point, and they will not last as long.

Arranging Tips

  • Floral foam, stones, or even tape criss crossed over the mouth of the container will help hold your flowers in place. Use them!
  • Remember the rule of three in a mixed bouquet…three different shapes, three different flowers, three different textures. I take it back…the “guideline” of three. You know I hate rules!
  • Generally, in a tall arrangement you want the arrangement to be one and a half times as tall as the empty container.



Steps for Arranging Mixed Bouquets

  1. Start with your four or five strongest stems, and create a loose shape.
  2. Fill with your “heroes” as The Flower School would say. Don’t place those flowers directly on center.
  3. Fill in gaps with filler.
  4. Stop before you think you should. Less is more.
  5. Enjoy!

Ok, time to get started. Thanks to designer Kevin Sharkey, Im going to give you four easy bouquets to try, why they work, and a photo to get you thinking. Think of these as your beginning repertoire.

More is More

This is an easy bouquet, because it utilizes just one type of flower per container. Simple to do, with one tip… use more! To make this work, you need to pack the container full with flowers. Consider using one of the floral foam or tape solutions. For a tall single bouquet, arrange on your hand first and secure with a rubber band to hold the blooms tightly together.



Single Blooms, Multiple Vases

Pretty self explanatory here. Make sure the bloom is either the same flower or the same color for impact. And don’t be afraid to cut your blooms down short!




Mixed Flowers, Same Colors

This one seems like it gets a little more complicated, but just remember to keep the same color family and you will be fine! (And remember the step by step for mixed bouquets, above!)




Same Flower, Different Colors

Kevin shows how we can take a simple arrangement and boost it up a notch. He recommends using a grid of tape to hold these flowers in place.


So give a couple easy flower arrangements a try… It doesn’t matter what container you use, whether you want a country pitcher of daisies, or a sophisticated line of orchids down your dining table… This is something you can, and should do!

Image Credits: BHG, Martha, BHG, Kevin Sharkey, BHG


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