Aug 9, 2012

how to make a wildflower arrangement

Many moons ago I graduated from college with a degree in Ornamental Horticulture. At the time, I had aspirations of owning a Nursery but after I graduated, my life took another path more in direction of the art world. That being said, for a short stint, I did some freelance floral arranging for weddings and parties when I was in my twenties. What I learned from that was this: professional floral designers work very, very hard. I also learned the best floral designing secret ever: wildflower arrangements are pretty much fool-proof, especially if you keep them kind of low and compact. 

Why? Because the arrangement is supposed to look free and natural--perfectly imperfect so no need to sweat it.

Here are some tips and steps for making your own wildflower arrangement:

Step 1, Collecting Plant Material: 

First, before you make your arrangement, you'll obviously need to begin by collecting your roadside or wildflowers. To do this, you'll need some pruner's and I suggest you wear long pants should you need to walk through an area that may have poison oak or ivy. Look for flowers, greenery and plants with berries or fruit, which will add interest to your arrangement. Make sure you search for differing textures, leaf sizes and colors. Mixing textures is the key, in my opinion. Even if you keep your arrangement monochromatic, mixing textures makes the design more interesting and attractive.

Step 2, Divide and Get Ready: 

Once you have collected your flowers, separate them out so you can see what you have. Normally, I take inventory, then I divide my flowers and plants based on texture, and color. Choose a few vases (I like to use large mason jars filled with water for this part) to separate your findings.

Step 3, Designing the Arrangement: 

For this arrangement, I used a small, blue and white china mug as my vase. I trimmed my stems so that my arrangement would be about 1 1/4 times the height of my vessel.

I like to start with the "frame" of my arrangement and for this particular one, I chose all of my purple wildflowers. Next, I used the wild orchid, the brightest of colors (orange) as my focal point.
(Note: warm colors (reds, oranges, yellows) work well as focal points since they advance, while cool colors (purples, blues, greens) will recede in the arrangement)

After I chose my focal point, I then started filling in the arrangement with "fillers". For this arrangement, I used a soft, delicate, white wildflower and my greenery of varying textures as fillers.

Wildflower arrangements don't have to be perfectly symmetrical. In fact, they look best when they are left looking more natural. The bottom line? Go for it!

Pin It!


sheri said...

Caroline! I had no idea that you had a horticulture background!! This post is beautiful and the arrangement is exactly my favorite kind!

Caroline said...

Sheri, Than you SO much! I do have a background in horticulture, but honestly, I'm more than a little rusty. I made this arrangement for my mom when we were on vacation and thought it would make a fun post just to mix it up a bit.

Korinthia Klein said...

So pretty!

Unknown said...

Stunning! And what a cool thing to have a degree in!

Susan Anderson said...

I love wildflowers best of all. And I love the arrangement.