Flower Garden Arrangement

This refreshing design by Mimi Brown conjures up a cool breeze and a tall glass of lemonade
flower garden arrangement
Can’t wait for spring (or summer) to get here? Mimi Brown shares step-by-step instructions for making this flower garden arrangement.

This “planted flower garden” arrangement is perfect for the season—it’s fresh, bright, and easily adapts to your space. I chose to use plastic Oasis pans (you can purchase them at your local wholesaler or florist), because they are disposable and made to hold exactly one block of Oasis. If you have a long dining room table, sideboard, or console you may want to use three pans instead of just two. One is also fine if your space is small.

My cool blue and green color combo gives off the serenity of a pool or lake on a hot summer day. I added pale yellow to pop against the electric blue.

When choosing materials for this planted garden, I looked with the following ideas in mind:

  • Something to be tall and sturdy—agapanthus, gentiana (try red or yellow dogwood or snapdragons as well)
  • Flowers to “dance up”—ranunculus, anemones
  • Flowers to “grow”—hyacinths, tulips, muscari (daffodils work as well)
  • Something to fill in—hydrangea, salal, trachelium, kermits (Azalea or camellias would work nice also, although azalea doesn’t hold up well in Oasis for too long.)

flower garden arrangement, mimi brownBefore you begin, soak your Oasis and clean off the greenery from your flowers, leaving some pretty leaves on the tulips and hyacinths. [See Tips for Cutting Tulips.]
flower garden arrangement, mimi brownFLOWER LIST: Agapanthus, ‘Jade’ roses, ‘Kermit’ mums, gentiana, ranunculus, anemones, tulips,
hyacinths, hydrangea, ‘Jade’ trachelium, muscari, salal, galax

How to Make the Flower Garden Arrangement

flower garden arrangement, mimi brown
I start by squeezing a full block of soaked Oasis into each Oasis pan and securing with Oasis tape.
flower garden arrangement, mimi brown
Because these pans are made to fit one block precisely, it isn’t necessary to shave or trim the Oasis. The tape sticks to itself so wrap it around the block and under the pan.
flower garden arrangement, mimi brown

Use one bunch of galax leaves to make a “collar” covering the Oasis pans. Add the Salal to fill in and give you a nice green base. Because I have big hydrangeas to work with I did not put as much greenery in as usual. Also, I love to add hosta or scented geranium here.

flower garden arrangement, mimi brown

It’s important to put the agapanthus in now because they need to go in the middle of the Oasis, before all the other flowers start to fill up the room. Put them in a line down the middle of the garden and vary the heights; don’t get them too low or you will not have enough room for the second tier of the garden to “grow.” Add a few gentiana here too in the same manner.

flower garden arrangement, mimi brown

Next, add the hydrangea. These are bright New Zealand blue and you can use cut stems or plants. Just be sure, if you cut them out of your yard, to let your hydrangeas drink in a bucket of water before putting them in the Oasis. Cut the hydrangea into pieces to make them go farther.

flower garden arrangement, mimi brown

Add the trachelium like the hydrangea, cutting off the lower shoots and spreading them. Pay attention to the bottom of the Oasis pan; be sure and add some smaller pieces of hydrangea and trachelium down there. Your arrangement should graze the surface on which it is placed. Leave no gaps between your table and the Oasis pans.

flower garden arrangement, mimi brown

At this point, “Jade” roses are added in groups (don’t you love how they pop out against those hydrangeas? Can’t beat it!). As I’m adding the roses, I leave most of the area in the middle of the Oasis next to and in between the agapanthus and gentiana blank so I will have room for my flowers to “grow” and “dance” up above the hydrangea and roses.

flower garden arrangement, mimi brown
For the second tier, insert the hyacinths first because their stems are the biggest and weakest. There are several important tips to note here. When cutting hyacinths, just barely shave off the bottom of the bulb—do not cut it completely off. Leaving the bulb on makes the flower last longer and is easier to put in the Oasis because it’s sturdier. Also, gently spread the leaves out from the stems so they literally look like they are “growing” up from the arrangement. You can wash the dirt off the leaves for a clean look (I did) or leave it for a natural effect.
flower garden arrangement, mimi brown
If the hyacinths start to lean over or fall down, secure them to any nearby agapanthus with a piece of raffia.
flower garden arrangement, mimi brown
At this point, after carefully looking at the arrangement, I pulled out all but three of the gentiana because they were blocking my view, and I needed more room for the second tier of the garden. The ranunculi are one of my favorite parts to this “garden.” I love to watch their heads bob; it adds movement. Place them here and there. I cut the stems so that the ranunculi are higher than the hyacinths but not as tall as the agapanthus. Varying the heights adds interest and keeps one flower from competing with another.
flower garden arrangement, mimi brown
I include the tulips near the roses because I decided I had enough to “grow and dance” and I liked having another texture beside the roses and hydrangea.
flower garden arrangement, mimi brown
Anemones and muscari (my absolute favorite!) go in when the flower garden arrangement is mostly finished.
flower garden arrangement, mimi brown

I sporadically placed both muscari and anemones because I want it to look natural like a garden and not too planned or contrived. Instead, add your own accents to keep it interesting. How cute are the muscari, popping up here and there and off to the sides!

flower garden arrangement, mimi brown
Finally, Kermit mums fill in small holes and give a nice fresh burst of vibrant lime green. And, Voilá! An indoor flower garden is created!

Please add to, substitute with, and most importantly, cut from your own garden for this arrangement. Hosta leaves, Solomon’s seal, daisies, snapdragons, etc., from your yard give that special touch and allow you to enjoy the fruit of your hard work indoors as well as out.

By Mimi Brown | Photography by Jason Wallis

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