Basics of Flower Arranging

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Learn all the basics of flower arranging and how to make a simple flower arrangement in just minutes for you to enjoy in your home.

Flower arrangements are a great way to bring beauty and freshness into your home. With just the right flowers and knowing the basics of flower arranging, you can create an arrangement that will look stunning on any table in your home.

The arrangements do not have to be elaborate, but you can be pretty straightforward. If you have one, you can use an assortment of flowers from your garden, the grocery store, or the local flower market.

I live in Southern California, where we have the Los Angeles Flower Market. It is a real treat to visit the flower market and shop for flowers. However, there are many times I don’t have time to go downtown, so I either cut flowers from my garden or go to our local grocery store.

The original flower market, Los Angeles the Basics of Flower Arranging
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Basics of flower arranging :

What to look for when purchasing your flowers

First, decide how many types of flowers and what colors you want for your flower arrangement.

Typically three to four types of flowers are enough for a basic arrangement. However, there are many times I only use one or two.

When choosing your flowers, look for the freshest flowers you can find. Check the bottom of the stems and ensure they are not black or moldy. Check the leaves and the blooms to make sure they are fresh, and there are no brown spots on them.

The second thing you want to consider is the flowers and heights you need for the arrangement.

Learning the role each flower plays in an arrangement is key to the basics of flower arranging.

Line Flowers

Line flowers are tall, linear-shaped flowers that form an outline for designs. Many Linear flowers have individual flowers that work their way down a stem, allowing your eyes to follow them from top to bottom. Some examples are gladiolas, stock, delphiniums, and fox gloves.

Form Flowers

Form flowers make up the most significant part of a flower arrangement and give it weight. Examples include roses, carnations, chrysanthemums, dahlias, gerberas, ranunculus, poppies, and zinnias.

Feature Flowers

Feature flowers are usually the largest, most expensive flowers used in an arrangement. . Three to five are often enough. Feature flowers include large roses, hydrangeas, peonies, anthuriums, tulips, and iris.

Filler Flowers

Filler flowers are small flowers that are used between the main flowers. Fillers help to give a light, airy look to your flower arrangement. Examples are gypsophila ( BabBaby’sath), waxflower, static, Queen AnneAnne’se, and many more.

Peonies, Basics of Flower Arranging
bee on red zinnia. Basics of Flower Arranging
Hydrangeas, Basics of Flower Arranging

Greenery or Foliage

Foliage is the base of most of your flower arrangements. There are many kinds, including different types of eucalyptus, ferns, boxwood, magnolia leaves, pine, and salal ( lemon leaves).


Today I chose Roses and Hydrangeas for a simple arrangement I will make for my living room.

wendy- LA flower market, Basics of Flower Arranging

Once you are home with your flowers, here is what you need to do.

Flower cleaning is one of the keys to the basics of flower arranging

Remove all of the wrappers and rubber bands from all of your flowers. Remove any outer petals and leaves that may be brown or bruised.

Strip the leaves on the bottom part of the stem in the water. You do not want any foliage or flowers to be in your water.

Give each stem a fresh cut and place it in a bucket of fresh water.

Clean flowers in watering can, Basics of Flower Arranging

Choosing Your Container is an essential basic for flower arranging

There are so many beautiful options for flower containers. You can use a plain glass vase or a ceramic pot. Think outside of the box and use something a bit more unusual. I have used watering cans, suitcases, wood boxes, tool boxes, and other unique ideas.

For today’s arrangement, I am using a glass bowl. I have created a grid on the top using scotch tape. The tape helps keep the flowers in place. You can use this method on several kinds of containers.

how to make a fresh floral arrangement. Basics of Flower Arranging

I chose not to use greenery for this particular arrangement, as I wanted it to be quick and straightforward.

If I were using greenery, I would create a base with my greenery first and then start with my tallest flowers. Like I have in the two images below.

floral arrangment with oranges and greenery 
Basics of Flower Arranging
flower arrangement with greenery oink roses 
Basics of Flower Arranging

I also enjoy adding fruits and vegetables to my floral designs. This element adds texture and character to my bouquets.

how to make a fresh floral arrangement
Basics of Flower Arranging

Products to keep your flowers fresh longer

I use a product called quick dip. Before inserting the flower into the vase, I put a fresh angular cut on each stem and dip it in a small container of quick dip. This solution helps open the flower’s veins and keeps them fresh.

My other favorite flower designing product is called leaf shine. This stuff is gold in a can. A little spray, and your greenery is so shiny. I used it on all of my green plants around the house.

Lastly, I added in a few roses. Again, try to put your stems in on an angle as it makes such a pretty presentation.

how to make a fresh floral arrangement

So what are you waiting for? Get started on your very own flower design today! Then, be sure to subscribe to my blog for more inspiration. I can’t wait to see what beautiful creations you design.

If you enjoyed this post, you would enjoy the following posts.

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4 Comments

  1. Hi Wendy, I’ve never been to a flower arranging class, but I feel like I know tons more after reading this post. Real flowers have gotten so expensive in retail. It would absolutely be more cost efficient to go to a flower market if you had multiple arrangements to create. Love your rose/hydrangea grouping in the old galvanized watering can. I’m sharing your post Monday evening on All About Home. Thanks so much for coming by and joining in!

    • wendy says:

      Thank you so much Debra. I appreciate you kind comment and for sharing me on your link party.
      I had sent you a message on IG a while back. I enjoy reading your beautiful blog, but for some reason I am not
      able to comment :((( what platform are you using? I was going to try again and see what can be done. Have you
      encountered this issue before?

  2. Tammy says:

    Love all of your great tips for floral arrangements. I wish we had a large flower market close by to snag some flowers.

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