Handcrafting Beautiful Bloom Arrangements

Local florist Lindsay Carter walks our managing editor through the art of flower arranging and offers some professional tips to try

Photos by Parker Smith

I have always loved the sight of a fresh, unique bouquet inside my home. Not only do flowers incite mood-enhancing qualities, but they also add just the right pop of color to a room. And while I enjoy my weekly routine of picking up premade bunches from a store, I thought it would be fun to learn how to create an arrangement using dried/preserved flowers, which are gaining popularity in home decor and at events. They’re also low maintenance since they don’t require changing of water and can be swapped throughout the seasons. To learn the art of flower arranging, I enlisted the help of Lindsay Carter, owner of Bloom by Lindsay in Stuart. Her love of plants and gardening has led to a career spent fashioning gorgeous designs for weddings, events, and home goods like wall installations and wreaths. Follow along below to design your own floral arrangement. 

Gathering Materials

Start by choosing a vase ideal for the space it will inhabit and large enough to accommodate the finished product. Carter recommends checking out local thrift stores for interesting designs. If you’re using a wide, short vase, fill it with chicken wire to help keep the flower stems in place and maintain the structure of the arrangement. You’ll also need a good pair of gardening shears.

Creating a Vision

Before purchasing flowers, create a mood board with a color scheme and floral style inspiration. “I try to focus on texture and color so it’s something exciting for your eye to look at,” says Carter. Work with flowers in the same palette but use varying shades. Carter also stresses that it’s important to incorporate height variation in your flowers. While she tends to work with wholesalers, she recommends visiting afloral.com for a variety of flower options.

Executing the Design

For a rustic, fall-inspired arrangement, choose flowers in shades of burgundy, muted pink, brown, and cream. (The arrangement pictured above used pampas grass, reed grass, ruscus, strawflowers, troll and bunny tail grass, fan palms in different shapes, and variations of protea.) Start with the largest flowers (like the fan palms and ruscus), especially if using chicken wire, as these will act as the focal point of the arrangement. Cut the stems to the appropriate length you see fit and place in the vase. Here’s a tip: If you place a lazy Susan under your vase, you can easily view all sides of the arrangement to spot any holes/gaps. Add texture by placing the reed grass, followed by “blushing bride” protea, pink pampas, and the rest of your selections. If flowers come in multiples, feel free to clip them apart before adding, or work in bunches of two or three for a more natural look. The daintiest of flowers should go in last. Finally, fill in any remaining holes‚—and your creation is ready for display.

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