Floral Artist Maurice Harris

In his show CENTERPIECE, floral artist Maurice Harris of Bloom & Plume in L.A. puts his creativity and fun personality on full display. Capture some of his artistry in your arrangements with his “Keen on Green” how-to from our July/August 2015 issue

A lot has happened in floral artist Maurice Harris’s career since we last caught up with him in Flower magazine’s July/August 2015 issue. In 2019, he appeared in the book Blooms: Contemporary Floral Design (Phaidon Press Limited), which showcases the most innovative talents working with flowers today, and he shared his story and art with the world in a commercial for Microsoft’s Surface tablet. Now he’s hosting and executive producing the show Centerpiece on Quibi.

On the show, which premiered in spring 2020, Maurice puts his creativity and fun personality on full display, even enlisting his mom to play the church organ. Each episode begins with a celebrity interview and ends with a fantastical floral portrait that reflects their personality. Viewers can always expect the unexpected. In Episode 2, Maurice and his guest, actress Rashida Jones, break into a choreographed dance at the reveal of her floral portrait (see the clip at the end of this post).

Capture some of Maurice’s floral artistry in your own arrangements with this step-by-step tutorial previously published in Flower.

Floral Tutorial with Maurice Harris

Bloom & Plume

“My inspiration for this design is the color green, which I’m all about right now,” Maurice told Flower in 2015 when he created this lush arrangement for the magazine. “Every morning I wake up to a verdant garden papered on my bedroom walls. It’s energizing. With so many different intensities, green is a naturally rich choice, but it’s often pushed aside in floral arrangements—and I like giving presence to the underdog. To turn my arrangements into leading ladies, I give each one a name. This one is Green Goddess. She’s got a little bit of everything, including some scented herbs, funky texture, and tall branches that give her height. There’s something very chic about sporting different shades of a specific color.”

Materials for “Keen on Green” Arrangement

  • Geranium leaves
  • Poppies
  • Poppy pods
  • Thistle
  • Safflower buds
  • Dog-eye euphorbia
  • Artichokes
  • Almond branches
  • Kangaroo paw
  • Berzelia
  • Oregano
  • Mint
  • Manzanita

Step-by-Step Instructions

Click the arrows (or swipe if on a mobile device) for step-by-step photos and instructions

Click the arrows on the image above (or swipe if on a mobile device) for step-by-step photos and instructions.
Tools & Supplies: vase, clippers, flat floral wire, floral knife, snips
Step 1 | First cut a long piece of flat floral wire, and crumple it into loose folds inside the vase—it’s so easy and takes two seconds. Some designers use flat wire decoratively, but I use it functionally instead of a frog or floral foam. Then fill the vase with water.
Step 2 | Add several stems of mint—one of my favorite ingredients—at an angle on opposite sides. This is the start of the arrangement’s winged shape.
Step 3 | Cover the lip of the vase with geranium leaves around the perimeter.
Step 4 | After cutting each to your desired length, add a few safflower stems and manzanita stems on both sides. Then place some berzelia down low.
Step 5 | Continue layering the taller elements such as the dog-eye euphorbia, and peel any leaves off the part of the stem that will be underwater. Group some wispy oregano stems across from the berzelia, but place each stem individually.
Step 6 | To really bring in some height, add a few stems of kangaroo paw on one side. It should look like it’s flying away but still integrated into the design.
Step 7 | Artichokes are harder to add because of their bulky stems, so a little trick is to shave them down with a knife to make them thinner. Just be sure to only shave the section that will be underwater. Then add a few artichokes grouped in the center.
Step 8 | Place some poppy pods throughout the arrangement at varying heights. This is when you’ll really start to see some magic.
Step 9 | The blue in the thistle adds dimension, but it’s still in a green vein. It’s OK to pull off some lower stems before adding it. Never be afraid to manicure your flowers! Continue with the almond branches. They have woody stems, so cut them with clippers before adding a few to the design.
Step 10 | The poppy bloom is just a detail, so place it where it won’t overpower. Finally, add the playful poppy buds as flyaways—just one last thing to make the arrangement take off. Voila!

“Layering taller elements on opposite sides of a design gives it movement and makes your eye undulate throughout. Everything should feel balanced and organic. I like my flowers to look very natural, as though they’re doing exactly what they want.” — Maurice Harris

Exclusive Clip from Centerpiece

Watch an exclusive clip from Episode 2 of Maurice Harris’s show Centerpiece featuring guest Rashida Jones. At the reveal of the custom floral installation he creates for Rashida, the two take to the dance floor (choreography by ion point). ‬

Introduction by Terri Robertson | “Keen on Green” tutorial produced by Abby Braswell | Photos by Jessica Sample | Video clip courtesy of Quibi