As a child I learned to make garden-style arrangements in my Grandmother's backyard in Nashville, Georgia while she decorated for parties, weddings, funerals and other events. Now I live in one of Atlanta's historic suburbs: Roswell. I create designs from my workroom, freelance opportunities, booths at community events, and videos.
Over the years I picked up a few tricks to creating bunches of luxurious blooms. I am sharing a secret or two so you can brighten your home and life, as much. Creating lush, natural, easy to make compositions brings joy to me. I hope it does you, too!
Colonial House of Flowers Tips for Arrangements
- Use an abundance of blooms and greenery intentionally creating a combination of plant materials using different colors, textures, and shapes. Use fern fronds, ivy, jasmine, eucalyptus or moss to frame the flowers and to fill out hand held and vase floral arrangements
- Look for blooms with pretty and interesting leaves and buds in all stages from those just starting to open to those that are just before wilting. Recut all stems, and stand them in a bucket of cool water and flower preservative until it’s time to arrange them. You can use warm water if you need the blooms to be more open.
- Balance the luxe and lushness of your arrangements with simple containers such as baskets, clay pots, glass vases, and iron urns. Or, simple plant material like weeds and berries found foraging on site.
The Magic Piece
Unexpected darker tone berries found nearby highlight the light and organic hues of this arrangement held in hand. Foraged material is the magic ingredient that makes it all come to life to me. I believe it gives the arrangement a sense of time and place, and personality... and authenticity.
Colonial House of Flowers Arrangement DIY
To make an composition like one pictured, choose the blooms you will use and begin layering them in your left hand. To support the arrangement, crisscross heavy stems, use florist tape, rubber bands or zip ties to secure the stems once you have them placed, and then move the stems in and out as desired and shake it (even above your head) to loosen the gathering and provide movement.
The framework by inserting greenery stems like the eucalyptus and jasmine vine at an angle, so that the stems appear to spring from the center of the arrangement. Strive for asymmetry when arranging garden-style bouquets. The aesthetic can change as you work on the design.
Additional Arranging How-To
I recommend putting in one kind of flower at time in multiples of three -- at first. You can always go down or up but three is a magic number to keep things organized. If you space the flowers at intervals it creates a pattern. Mathematical patterns are common in the natural world as I believe adds to the authenticity of the garden-style compositions.
My mind thinks creatively and dyslexic-ally --that means less lateral and in a straight line. Tending to be drawn to repetition, I rely on the universe for instructions. The world around me in it's raw form provides a diagram for arrangements.
Surprisingly, the Fibonacci Sequence (0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144...) is one of the most efficient and beautiful and fascinating things around. I spot these patterns and then play with them. Just because I start with a pattern doesn't mean I have to stick to it.
Cool thing: the Fibonacci effect can be applied to many species of flowers in relation to their number of petals.Check out these:
- 3 Petals: lily, iris
- 5 Petals: buttercup, wild rose, larkspur, columbine
- 8 Petals: delphiniums
- 13 Petals: ragwort, corn marigold, cineraria
- 21 Petals: aster, black-eyed susan, chicory
- 34 Petals: plantain, pytethrum
- 55, 89 Petals: michelmas daisies, the asteraceae family
So next time you’re admiring a bouquet of flowers whether it is mine or Mother nature's, take a closer look and you might just see the miracle of science as well as the beauty of nature.
More DIY Tips
Large headed flowers like big garden roses, protea and Lillies can be placed deeper into the leaves of the other flowers.
An old rule (and good) rule to use is that arrangements can be about one and half time the height of your container. I bring this to bouquets, too. I try to go about one and half times past the point I feel like is center to create organic asymmetry.
CHOF Garden-Style Arrangements
A CHOF garden-style arrangements is a classic composition using large and small blooms that typically grow in the same season. I use techniques to look natural, authentic, effortless lush and uncontrived and avoid an aesthetic that is pretentious and overly styled. Our designs are created to be traditional with a hint of whimsical surprise and wonder.
I love creating luxuriousgarden-style arrangements that people find emotional and moody. I often use ranunculus, jasmine, roses, tulips, berries, fruit, olive, eucalyptus and well honestly, I use just about anything that has stem on it!
I hope these tips and secrets help you create something pretty at home. Remember, it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful!
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