There is something very decadent about turning up to a dinner party with a bowl full of blooms. The bowl can be any shape or size, just make sure it’s watertight. I remember when I was little a friend of my mum’s turning up for a “grown up” dinner party with an ornate silver bowl filled with floating waterlilies—it looked magical!
I like to make this sort of arrangement very flower-heavy and keep it low to the bowl, as it looks fuller and more luxurious this way. It also means that your host can put it on the table as a glorious centerpiece that won’t disrupt the flow of conversation.
Here, I keep the stems on the flowers for a more structured arrangement, but you could simply fill the bowl with water and float flower heads in it; the only thing you might struggle with is transporting it without spilling all the water. If you do want to float flower heads, carnations, roses and Ranunculus work well.
Floral Tutorial with Rowan Blossom
- Berried ivy, camellia, and pistache foliage
- ‘Carey’ rose (David Austin)
- Double Frill anemone
- ‘Kate’ rose (David Austin)
- ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ peony
- Sweet pea flowers and tendrils
- Florist frog
- Adhesive fix
- Decorative bowl
- Chicken wire
- Florist pot tape
1 | Stick some adhesive fix to the bottom of the florist frog and push it into the bottom of the bowl. Cut a piece of chicken wire and squash it into a loose ball inside the bowl.
2 | Secure the chicken wire with a crisscross of florist pot tape over the lip of the bowl. Fill the bowl about half-full with water.
3 | Push foliage through the chicken wire into the water and on to the florist frog. The chicken wire should give you enough support to keep the basic structure in place. Don’t be alarmed if the stems move; persevere and keep adding more.
4 | Continue to add foliage until you have loosely covered the lip of the bowl—the leaves should look as though they’re growing out of the bowl. Keep everything loose and natural.
“I wanted to make this arrangement really luxurious and flower-heavy, so I used a ratio of one-quarter foliage to three-quarters flower.”—Rowan Blossom
5 | The flowers should be kept quite tight at this stage, nestling within the foliage. Make sure you sit a big-headed flower in the center to cover the florist frog, as this arrangement will be seen from above. Add the flowers in groups of two and three. The roundness of all the flowers used here means they complement one another and add luxuriousness. I’ve also added some wayward stems; the anemone on the left and ‘Double Frill’ anemones on the right seem to be tumbling out of the arrangement.
6 | Now add more free-spirited flowers, varying the height and direction. Here the sweet peas and hellebores dance merrily out of the bowl.
Excerpt from Living with Flowers: Blooms & Bouquets for the Home by Rowan Blossom (Laurence King, 2019), $25
More Arrangement How-tos
- Start with Supermarket Flowers
- Lush Arrangement in Lime and Blush
- Giverny Greens: A French Monochromatic Arrangement