Hello fleuristas. This is the last piece of the puzzle in teaching you how to create your arrangement at home. Before we begin, let's discuss the actual arranging part of this whole thing. Keep an asymmetrical shape in mind- an obtuse triangle, if you will. You really don't want your arrangement to look perfectly spherical- think organic and free flowing, just as flowers grow in nature. And remember this throughout the design process- it will guide your way to a successful end product!
Build a nice base layer with your greens along the mouth of the vessel.
Your face flower should be just off center- remember she's the star of the show. You can also place more face flowers on the opposite side of the arrangement.
Fill in with your supporters. I like clustering them in groups of 3. Stagger their height for a nice flow. Think: spilling out and over the edge. Tuck some in really low or have them coming straight out at your face. Multi-dimensional is what you're aiming for.
Fill in dead space with your items of interest (like the blackberries.)
Finally, add height and interest with long-stemmed blooms or buds (like the pink ranunculus) and your wispy, delicate things.
Once you think you're done, take a step back and look at your creation from all angles. Look for these things: flow, asymmetry, interest, and dimensionality. Fill in where you'd like but also remember dead space is okay- sometimes taking something out will help tremendously.
And voila! Hooray- you've made your first professional, (but perfectly imperfect!) floral arrangement at home. Place it somewhere you'll be able to admire it and show it off- your dining room table, your entryway, or even your bedside table.
It's hard to not have a one-sided arrangement. I often use an inexpensive rotating cake stand so I can turn my arrangement and see how it's looking all around during the process.
When choosing a color palette, be inspired by what's available. Many times, we have stuck in our head what we want- say, a dark ruby red palette- and perhaps, that color flower is nowhere to be found. Instead, look around and choose items that are related in color but varied. The green and pink ranunculus were my jumping off point for the whole arrangement. Everything I chose was pink(ish) and green(ish.) The blackberries were green but also purple, so I was able to tie in the deep purple ranunculus as well. I could also have brought in a yellow shade, as the stamen of the peony was a beautiful golden yellow. But pick and choose about 3 colors to work with and you'll be just fine.
When in doubt- go with white. White flowers are always available and usually cheaper! Especially when ordering online, you can never be too sure which shade of purple you'll actually get. Whites and creams always look great with greens and have never steered me wrong.
Don't feel obligated to use all your flowers. Turns out, I barely used the cockscomb and heather. That's okay, it happens. Think of another way to use them around the house.
Don't forget to give your arrangement fresh water daily. I take the entire thing to the sink and flush the water completely. Out with the old, in with the new!
And finally, my last tip is probably the most crucial: know when to stop. This is something that just takes time to learn. It's better to under-do it than to over-do it. Ask for a second opinion, take a break and re-visit later, and as I mentioned above, don't hesitate to actually take something out! As Coco Chanel once said, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off-” A great lesson I learned in fashion school that can be applied to everyday life and flower arranging, too!
Best of luck, fleuristas!