DESIGN 1 Textural Design

YOUR FIRST FLORAL ARRANGEMENT (Any terminology that you don't understand? Go to Glossary Page.)

CHOOSING the component parts of your arrangement is your first task, so let's make it fairly simple.

Use whatever you have at hand, in the garden or can collect on your walks, or purchase from the florist shop/market stall/supermarket.​


Container - this needs to be flat or shallow and size of a dinner plate.

Plant Material - 3 groups are required that roughly cover one third of your plate and leave a border around the edge.



Place your three groupings in the middle of your plate/dish

Move them around until you have a pleasing design that is suitable for a table so you can look at it from above.

When you are happy with the arrangement take a photograph for your file.​

NEXT: you can experiment by adding another group/piece of plant material or whatever you think is necessary for your design.

The designs you can create are endless.

NOTE: If using fresh plant material (flowers, leaves) which need water to stay alive then perhaps you can hide a small eggcup or jar for water.

Some examples are shown below. A variation in the shapes and/or textures makes for a more interesting arrangement.

Dried pomegranates, Pinecone, 

Seedpod open with volumetric space

Black on white, all dried plant material. Willow balls (man-made) gourds with smooth texture, beans covering a sphere and Honestry seeds.

Mix of dried and fresh plant material - Pomegranates, pine cones, glycerine Aspidistra leaves with fresh Heuchera leaf, conifer and Sedum. The Heuchera is in a test tube of water. Conifer & Sedum will remain turgid for duration of time required.

All fresh material of Hydrangea, Berberis, Heuchera, Sedum & Conifer.

A small dish of water with a pinholder keeps the plant material fresh.

Fresh plant material and this time we have added fruit/vegetable of shiny textured sweet peppers with Hydrangea, Ivy leaves, rolled Aspidistra leaf and Dahlias, with same water source.

You can experiment further by adding an interesting branch or bark cutting across the design. Also adding further plant material giving height.

It is important to have contrasting shapes and forms next to each other (juxtaposition) and as much as possible use different textures. Colour can match or contrast with the plate/shallow dish (container) and with each of the plant material.

Different stories/themes can be told for country landscape, coast, tropics, rustic, opulent and many more.

Lots for you to think about. TRY SOME OF THEM.

DESIGN 2  All-round arrangement for any room in your house or even as a hand-tied to give as a gift.


Container of your choice - it could be china, glass or even a plant pot cover, teapot, jug or other household item It needs to be filled with clean water.

Foliage and Flowers of your choice. You could use foliage only.

Sharp scissors.


This is preparing your flowers and foliage to give them the best chance of being long lasting.

*Start by removing any leaves or buds that will be below the water. If not removed they will rot and provide bacteria which will shorten the life of       stems. The bacteria will attach and close the end of the stems.

*Now re-cut all of the stems by 1 or 2 cms and on the diagonal. If the stems are woody then a small clean cut up the stem will enable more water to   be  taken up.

*It is a good idea to now allow the stems to stand in some clean water to drink and make the stems and flowers turgid. One or two hours is enough.


*Decide which are your more special flowers and leave until last.

*Now you need to decide on the height that you want your design. It can be the double the height of your vase or just above the rim by a few cms. or somewhere between. It can look oval or round as the overall shape. If it is a tight bunch then it is more of a Beidermier shape. 

*Start by cutting a few stems to the required height and put them into the vase one at a time and always slanting in one direction in either a clockwise or anticlockwise direction. Turn the vase as you go.

*If not doing a Beidermier then leave more space between the stems. Some stems can be cut a little shorter and put in between the taller stems, but do continue to insert in the same direction. Don't stuff the container.

*Finally put in the  special flowers and allow them to be seen as the 'stars' of your arrangement.

Place your finished design away from sun or heat and don't forget to keep topped with water.

If you want to give as a gift then put a soft twine around the foliage/flowers at the top of your vase and carefully tie into a bunch. The stems should all be spiralling around in the same direction. Now to finish tie with ribbon and tie a bow.



Here are a few images to help you with your arrangement.

Buy some flowers and foliage or cut from the garden. Take a bucket with water if possible so the stems can go immediately into water. 

Next remove excess foliage and cut the stems at an angle. Put them back into the bucket and give them a long drink.

Next morning I found a glass vase and half filled with water. 

I'm using an icing turntable. Placing foliage around the edge and turning and inserting in the same direction.

As you can see the stems all spiral in the same direction.I started by cutting the length of the stems to one and a half times the height of the vase.

Continuing with the spiral I've added Poppy heads, Berberis and seedheads of Bergenia.

Next added is larger Heuchera leaves.Stems can now be inserted into the centre and the spiralled stems hold them in place.

Close up showing different forms and textures of foliage and seedbeds.

Three flag Iris are added into centre.

Close up of centre of arrangement.

Some garden roses are added, two around the edge and the larger one in the centre. Some fine pieces of Copper Beech are added to break up the flat top and create some space.

 Close up of finished design.


If you find it difficult to get your stems to stay in place then scrunch some 5cm gauge wire netting and gently add it to your vase.

Don't make it too tight as you need space to insert your stems.

Beidermier style

Arrangement in situ and repetition of the colour of the cushions.

All-round oval and circular shapes

Ming Veevers-Carter

This is your first lesson of practical arrangements.                                     

The other lessons of practicals will be listed below - click on them to open.  

All-round Ovals & Circles

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