Flower Arranging 101

Flower arranging

Flower arranging is a fun and creative hobby that can enhance any room in the home. It can also be a great way to spend time with friends and family.

The key to any floral design is balance. This is the visual flow of your arrangement that invites your eye to move around the flowers.


Color is a powerful design element that can offer a wide range of moods. Bright and vivid hues can communicate intense energy while soft, delicate shades can suggest gentle romance or fresh springtime beauty.

Colors can work in tandem to create a visual harmony in floral arrangements. Florists use a variety of color schemes in their designs to complement different themes and occasions.

Complementary colors appear across from one another on the color wheel, such as red and green or blue and orange. When placed side-by-side they intensify each other’s brightness and can be used to form radiant, vibrant floral arrangements.

Florists also match Analogous colors (colored next to each other on the wheel) together to develop harmonies that are soothing and harmonious. For example, yellow and chartreuse blend well for somber or cheerful themes.


Foliage is the foundation of most floral arrangements, defining their shape and creating a canvas to make your focal flowers really stand out. It can also add texture and color, and it’s the mainstay of almost all designs.

Adding scented foliage like lavender or rosemary makes an arrangement even more beautiful and aromatic. And, leafy foliage with sweeping lines, like seeded eucalyptus or acai palm, creates drama and depth.

Foliage also helps extend the life of an arrangement. Make sure your foliage is fresh by cutting it close to the stem and removing any leaves below the water line that will cause bacterial buildup. It’s also important to change the water regularly and add flower food.


Flowers come in many shapes and forms. Using flowers of different sizes in the same arrangement can add depth and dimension to the overall look. Each flower has a natural movement, shape, and stance, so work with those features instead of fighting them.

Using a linear design can create a simple yet elegant appearance. Narrow containers like bud vases or mason jars are ideal for creating line arrangements, while larger bowls are best for a more mass-like look.

Focal flowers, such as roses, peonies, and dahlias, are great for adding a dramatic focal point to an arrangement. These are usually placed in the middle of the arrangement and serve as the first thing the eye catches sight of. Use filler flowers to add balance and texture to the design, such as snapdragons, larkspur, or alstroemeria.


Flowers can be combined in a variety of ways. For example, pairing a formal flower like roses with a more informal flower like tulips adds contrast and interest to an arrangement. Classic color combinations include contrasting hues and matching complementary tones.

The shape of the vase you choose to use for your floral arrangement also plays a role in its final outcome. A tall, skinny vase might produce a stiff, columnar arrangement; a short, shallow vase might yield a droopy bouquet.

Before starting to put together an arrangement, make sure the flowers are hydrated. Marino recommends soaking them for at least an hour in tepid water. This will prevent them from taking in air bubbles and blocking their ability to absorb water. It’s also important to trim the leaves off each stem.

Seasonal Flowers

Flower arranging is not only a creative hobby but also a fun bonding activity to do with family and friends. And while you can get beautiful bouquets from professional florists, it’s easy to learn the basics for your own DIY creations.

For a stunning floral arrangement, play with color. Contrasting hues can offer a bold, even loud, look, while subtle differences in shades communicate something softer. Adding texture is another key to creating an interesting arrangement. Aim for variety with foliage and flowers like hydrangeas, dahlias, ranunculuses, and larkspur. For a summer bouquet, consider sunflowers or zinnias for a pop of vibrant color. Then, incorporate blooms that are hardy in the heat, such as agapanthus or larkspur. This helps ensure that your flowers will last longer.

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