Basic Flower Arranging


Basic Flower Arranging

Don’t you just love the flower section at the grocery store?  All those colorful bunches of flowers, packed into buckets of water.  They look so happy and fresh!  So you bring home one of those cheery bouquets, and plop it down in a vase of water.

Basic Flower Arranging

Somehow the effect is always a little disappointing.  That pretty little bouquet that caught your eye in the grocery store suddenly looks a bit disheveled, haphazard, and not quite as charming as you had hoped.


But not to worry!  It’s nothing that a little bit of arranging won’t fix.  I know it looks like the flowers come pre-arranged but they still need some help.  So here’s a little step-by-step breakdown of basic floral arranging.

Start by opening your bouquet and laying all the flowers out onto the table.  Then sort them into the following three categories~

Basic Flower Arranging Most store-bought bouquets come with some greenery (all the leafy stuff that doesn’t have any flowers), several stems of small “cluster” flowers (meaning multiple-head small flowers), and a few big “showy” flowers (those are your large single flower stems like roses, lilies, large mums, etc).

Once you have them sorted, you want to take each stem and strip away any leaves that are on the bottom section of the stem.  If you can help it, you don’t want leaves submerged in the water.  It makes the water get yucky fast… flowers don’t like yucky water.

Basic Flower ArrangingI also pull off any damaged petals while I’m at it.

Basic Flower Arranging

Now you’re ready to begin arranging.  Start with your greenery.  This bouquet didn’t come with very much greenery, so I placed it all around the lip of the vase.  The rule of thumb with greenery is;  put any drooping greenery around the lip of the vase, and any tall, straight greenery in the center of the vase.  The straight greenery in the center of the arrangement should be slightly taller than the rest of the flowers.

Basic Flower ArrangingStarting with the greenery is important because it will give you the bones of your arrangement. It provides structure for the rest of the flowers.

Now you’re going to choose one kind of the smaller cluster flowers, and start adding them to the greenery.  I chose the purple Status flowers because I have the most of them.  As you add each stem be sure to trim a little of the end off.  The shorter stemmed flowers should go at the base of the arrangement and the taller ones in the center.

Basic Flower ArrangingOne at a time, add the rest of the cluster flowers.  You want to keep the bouquet balanced.  Don’t group all of one type of flower together, spread them out evenly.  Trim the stems as needed.  You want your bouquet to be nestled down into the vase, not standing two inches above it.

Basic Flower Arranging

Once you’ve added all your smaller cluster flowers it’s time to move onto the last type of flowers.

Basic Flower ArrangingNow it’s time for the fun part!  The showy flowers!  Again, add one stem at a time, keeping the taller flowers in the center and the shorter ones around the edge.  You don’t want any one flower to stick out too far, just have all of them nestled together.  It will take a little fussing with.  It’s a good idea to occasionally step back a few feet to see how the arrangement looks over all.

Basic Flower ArrangingAnd there you have it!  Not too hard right?

Here’s a little side-by-side comparison-

Basic Flower ArrangingI think the extra effort is worth it but maybe that’s just me.  I like playing with flowers.

Another bonus for the extra TLC; it helps your flowers last longer!

Basic Flower Arranging

Although if I had to choose, I think I prefer the carefree look of garden flowers, spilling out of pitchers or Ball jars.  No fuss, no particular color scheme, just lots and lots of pretty blooms!

Garden Flowers | InAnOrchard

But my most favorite of all, are the little arrangements that are picked with small grubby hands.  The flowers with the stems that are almost too short to get into a vase, the ones that a may or may not be weeds… but are given by blue-eyed boys with lots of love.

Favorite Flowers


5 thoughts on “Basic Flower Arranging

  1. Jenny K.

    Great tutorial. I like arranging flowers too, and I am totally with you on the little boy with a fist full of flowers, or even a big one!

  2. Clarita

    Love this, April! I worked at a floral shop for a while and these were the exact ways I was taught there. It is amazing how the same flowers can look so different, simply on placement!

    Love your three vases of fresh garden flowers – such bright pretty colors! And your little boy and his bouquet for you… ♥


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