Floral Arranging for Beginners
story and photography by Rebecca Giese
Since I was little, I have always loved fresh cut flowers and helping my mom arrange a vase. Well, that love has grown into a bit of hobby of mine. I love taking a mix of garden and yard clippings with store-bought stems to create a show-stopping arrangement, usually for my enjoyment but now I am going to share how you too can unleash your inner florist on a budget.
To create a floral arrangement that is large and impactful, you have to start with picking the container and build the support system. When picking a container, choose one that compliments the occasion and the florals you will be using. For this arrangement, I used my great grandmother’s soup tureen. I love highlighting family pieces with flowers, and this white soup tureen was perfect for the bright blooms, and abstract Mad Hatter tea party feel.
Once you have your container, you will need to pick and set up your frog. I suggest using frogs instead of floral foam because they are reusable and last for years. Mine are hand-me-downs from my grandmother. Cover the base of the frog with floral putty and press it firmly to the bottom of the dry container. Then use chicken wire as extra support. Cut a piece of chicken wire and fold it in of itself to fit nicely in the container. The layers of chicken wire will help hold stems in place especially if you are traveling with the arrangement to an event. Once the supports are in place, add water, I suggest filling about halfway or so and filling the rest of the way once done.
Next, I would gather and set up a game plan for the arrangement. I suggest starting with your greenery; this helps map out the shape before adding the statement stems (roses, hydrangeas, etc.). Greenery is where you can save a lot of money, by working with what you have in your yard. I just went outside with the pruning scissors and clipped off some branches, fern leaves, and other greenery.
After you are comfortable with the shape and arrangement of the greenery, move onto the statement stems. There are fewer of them and you want to make sure they are spaced out and balanced well. And don’t forget to think about where the floral arrangement is going, does it need a front or a 360-degree view? The answer to that question will help you figure out the best placement for the statement stems. And these flowers do not have to be costly; I got some from my yard (like the Iris) and some from the store.
Once the statement flowers are in place, fill in with your secondary florals like the Carnations or Ranunculus in my example piece. Again some of these were purchased, but most came from yard clippings. Use these flowers to fill in gaps, create layers and balance out the colors. Then lastly, add a little more greenery if needed to fill in a gap or two.
After that, you have a gorgeous floral arrangement perfect for any dinner party or bridal shower this season!
What’s on My Radar!
- Cute dog bandanas and bow tie collars, my favorites right now are from Crew Lala out of Charleston.
- Iris Festival in Sumter, South Carolina, May 24-26th. I love Irises and can’t imagine seeing thousands in bloom at the same time!
- Memorial Day is May 27th, let us take time to remember and honor those we have lost serving our country.
Currently residing in Hartsville, Rebecca Giese enjoys exploring the Pee Dee area, shopping local artisans, trying new restaurants, and finding inspiration from the history and culture surrounding her. When not out on an adventure, she’s telling stories on her blog, Southern’spirations.