Arranging flowers scares many people. It’s as if there is a special school or skill they missed out on and that someone will know or find out and fault them for not doing the right thing. Sure, knowing a lot of flower types and understanding when and how they bloom helps. If you can add creativity, a few good instincts, theory on visual arrangements and composition and some basic understanding of design and color combinations, then you will be off and running creating above average flower displays. However, not all of us are that lucky, so it should be good news that, if you are of the creatively unblessed kind but still love flowers, that you really don’t need to be a knowledgeable floral artist to present beautiful flowers in a vase. Here is the quick and dirty “how-to” create an easy specimen flower arrangement.
First: It all starts with a vase – we at Cabonnay are fans of larger vases as it forgives a lot of sins – more flowers and more color means ones eyes cannot concentrate on that fatal flaw on the 5th flower and a feather composition. Large vases also allow you to not worry about cutting flower stems to little or too much since the flowers naturally fall and fan in larger vases.
Second. Decide if you want to mix lots of different flowers (non-specimen, skill helps more here) together or if you would rather do a specimen arrangement. We recommend specimen arrangements for the novice. With specimen arrangements we do not mean take white daisies and stick them in a vase, but rather, taking one type of flower or genus and buying it in a variety of colors or slight variations of the flower. So, for example, buy several bunches varied in color of Gerbera Daisies or Lilies.
Third. Once you have decided what specimen arrangement you will do and have picked out your colors and the volume of flowers needed (1 bunch or 4) get one type of accent flower, one only, that is completely different from the specimen to contrast and bring dynamics to the arrangement.
Fourth. In a specimen arrangement, do not cut the flower stems/bunches to various heights – most all flowers should be the same height. You can cut the very tip bottom of the stem off without shortening the stem - the theory is that it allows a fresh cut for water to be better absorbed by the plant.
We at Cabonnay recently arranged 10 bouquets together in specimen arrangements instead of multi-species together – for us this was the quickest and easiest way to make a beautiful arrangement without worrying about the right volumes and types and varieties of accent flowers. By doing a specimen planting you’ll avoid that feeling of “I really wish I had one extra blue hydrangea!” We chose oversized vases filled separately with Lilies, Daisies, and Roses. Our accent flower we stuck in almost all vases were hollyhocks – it created a beautiful tall fan like flair coming through the base arrangement like a firework in celebration.