Portrait of floral designer Kirk Whitfield, wearing dark jeans and a tan cable knit shawl-style sweater, sitting next to a vase of pink peonies accented with smaller blue and white flowers

The Inspiration

“For the how-to arrangement I wanted to explore colors that one might not necessarily consider using together. Texture helps bring the palette together along with the green elements.” — Kirk Whitfield of K & Co Flowers

Find Kirk’s step-by-step tutorial for the arrangement above at the end of this post.

The Floral Designs

A purple floral arrangement by Kirk Whitfield of K & Co Flowers in a room painted royal blue. The arrangement, which includes sweet peas, hydrangea, and clematis, fills a large bowl set on a dark wood sideboard. An abstract painting, also featuring blue tones, hangs in the background

Materials List

  • Variegated sweet peas
  • Hydrangea
  • Clematis

Floral designer Kirk Whitfield placed a peach-color floral arrangement, featuring hyacinth, ranunculus, and hellebores, in a woven tray beside a pair of crystal decanters. The room beyond, which boasts a tall window, is painted a soft pale green.

Materials List

  • Hyacinth
  • Ranunculus
  • Hellebores

A vibrant yellow floral arrangement of dianthus, roses, snapdragons, scented geranium, and asclepia (milkweed) contrasts with the royal blue wall.

Materials List

  • Dianthus
  • Roses
  • Snapdragons
  • Scented geranium
  • Asclepia (milkweed)

Kirk Whitfield’s Floral Tutorial

 

How-To Materials List

  • ‘Butterfly’ double ranunculus
  • Peonies
  • Tweedia
  • Asclepia (milkweed)
  • Lysimachia (gooseneck loosestrife)

Step 1

Make a grid on the top of the container using clear tape, which is easier to hide than green florist tape. Then add a line of tape around the top edge to make it more secure, and add water.

floral designer Kirk Whitfield demonstrates how to make a tape grid on the top of a flower vase (step 1)

Step 2

Strip the bottom leaves from the ‘Butterfly’ ranunculus, and fill the arrangement with the stems, creating a base with their foliage.

step 2 photo - floral how-to

Step 3

Trim the peonies and place them throughout the whole arrangement. I used about 20 stems.

step 3 photo - floral how-to

Step 4

I love the baby-blue shade of tweedia with its touch of pink that plays well with the peonies. Place 10 stems throughout the container.

step 4 photo - floral how-to

Step 5

Now for the final touches. I added asclepia (milkweed) for texture and to help bridge the colors.

step 5 - adding asclepia (milkweed) blooms

Step 6

Then I finished with some lysimachia (gooseneck loosestrife) for their shape and “pokey” quality.

floral designer Kirk Whitfield places blooms of milkweed as the finishing touch to her vase of pink peonies, blue tweedia, and white butterfly ranunculus


Produced by Alice Welsh Doyle | Photography by Laurey Glenn | Floral design by Kirk Whitfield of K & Co Flowers kandcoflowers.com

This story appears in Flower magazine’s Jan/Feb 2021 issue. Subscribe to the magazine or sign up for our free e-newsletter.

Flower magazine cover for January Febrary 2021

On the Cover, Jan/Feb 2021: Blue accents, including a vinyl wallpaper and a light-reflecting ceiling, bring color to the kitchen in an “estate condition” New York apartment designed by Phillip Thomas. Photographed by Michael Mundy. See story.

More Spring Flower Arrangements