Readers often tell us how much they appreciate the listing of materials, the “flower list,” that accompanies many arrangements featured in Flower magazine. Arrangement how-tos include the list and sometimes feature a materials photo: a table loaded with vases; buckets; and heaps of stems, greenery, and blossoms. Browsing through the lists and pictures, you might assume that a gorgeous design requires a flower shop full of posies. Not so! Many of the most popular designers featured in the magazine accomplish an elegant look with only two or three materials. We’ve gathered a collection of simple flower arrangements (none of them with more than three ingredients) to reassure and inspire budding designers.
Simple Flower Arrangements
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Lounging by the pool, two types of purple blossoms arranged by Christina Springfield of Nouveau Events and Flowers can take the heat. Photo by Paul Johnson Photography
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In this arrangement from her book, Seasonal Flower Arranging, Ariella Chezar shows off the power of just one ingredient. The entire display consists of four clematis vines. The red of the ‘Madame Julia Correvon’ variety makes a strong statement, especially when placed against a wall and mantel in a beautiful shade of blue. The arrangement also shows that floral beauty does not need to be complicated. Simply trim the vines and place them to flow to the right and left, with at least one straight up. For added drama, Chezar wove some vines around and through the candlesticks.
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For wedding chair markers, Sayles Livingston Design filled vintage, aqua Mason jars with 'Coral Charm' peonies and variegated pittosporum, along with seashells from the couple's hometown beaches on the Atlantic Ocean and the Caspian Sea.
More Peony Arrangements
With two varieties of orange tulips, Palm Beach floral designer Tom Mathieu created a lush, blazing arrangement. Photo by Jessica Glynn
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New Orleans floral designer Stephen Sonnier of Dunn & Sonnier Antiques and Flowers gives timeless treasures a fresh, new look. This elegant but simple flower arrangement in all-white balances the ornate gilding and carving on this Venetian starburst-topped mirror. Photo by Eugenia Uhl
Centerpieces for a Fourth of July barbecue hosted by Martha Stewart are filled with two varieties of allium from her garden and agapanthus from her greenhouse. Photo by Hugh Stewart, courtesy of Martha Stewart Living, ©2006
See Stewart's Summer House, Sklyands
Washington D.C. chef and floral designer Sidra Forman says, "Flower arranging for me is a lot like cooking. I assess what I have to work with and select the best available ingredients, very much like I would put together a meal." Sometimes two ingredients in the right proportions to create something delish! Photo by Erik Kvalsik
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Designer Mimi Brown shows how to make an ethereal blue, silver and white flower arrangement with only three materials. Photo by Becky Luigart-Stayner
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Atlanta designer Bonnie Garrison of Pollen says, "I remember the huge hydrangea hedge we had when I was a little girl, and cutting armloads to bring inside. Today they're still my go-to flower, but I've since discovered so many different varieties. I love the saturated color and weight they bring to an arrangement." Photo by Sarah Dorio
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How low can you go? Mimi Brown shows that a single variety of tulips can create a wow! Opening and reflexing the flowers dramatically changes their look.
More Tips for Arranging Grocery Store Flowers
Torryne Choate of Birch in San Francisco fashions arrangements with dramatic flair, even when only using three elements. Photo by Eric Wolfinger
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Brooklyn-based designer Ingrid Carozzi designed this pink effusion of blossoms with only two types of flowers. She reveals secrets of the trade and step-by-step instructions on how to achieve her organic, lush look in her book, Handpicked. Photo by Paul Brissman
More Carozzi Arrangements
Palm Beach floral designer Tom Mathieu ties a bunch of peachy amaryllis and anchors them in a bowl of citrus to create a chic, simple arrangement. Photo by Jessica Glynn
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New Orleans floral designer Kim Starr Wise made a wow moment using moss and two varieties of clematis (and a unique vessel). Photo by Eugenia Uhl
See More of Wise's Arrangements
FLOWER LIST: fritillaria, ginestra
Designer Mimi Brown shows how striking a simple arrangement can be using only slender stems of ginestra and lily-like fritillaria. She says, "I think flowers can be intimidating. A lot of people just stick their flowers in water as is, and really all you need are a few steps to make them a little more exciting."
See More of Mimi Brown's Arrangements
Demure little wallflowers? Not a chance! DeJuan Stroud's flirtatious pink arrangement is sitting pretty on an antique chair. Photo by Monica Buck
See Stroud's Centerpiece of Bouquets
Whether she’s at home in Los Angeles or Manhattan, decorating rooms for beloved clients, or spending time in the garden, Suzanne Rheinstein is always informed—and inspired—by the botanical world. Here she fills an engraved silver cup with creamy roses and sprightly clematis flowers.
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Designer Ariella Chezar says, "Branch arrangements are the easiest way to fill a room with flowers. If set against a white wall, the arching branches need no augmentation. The drama is in the placement of the branches, which should arch as if still on the bush.” Here, she proves her point with a vase of Philadelphus coronarius (Sweet mock orange). Photo by Erin Kunkel
Chezar's Tips for Branch Arrangements
Massing deep-red flowers in this heart-shaped silver vase adds a dramatic exclamation point to this neutral corner. Ray Jordan and Janet Jackson of Birmingham’s FlowerBuds created this and five more arrangements to complement and celebrate the colors of winter.
See More of FowerBuds' Designs
Mimi Brown combined blossoms from the supermarket to create this simple beauty in a clear drinking glass.
More Tips for Arranging Grocery Store Flowers
Jane Packer's informal lime-green flowers of viburnum and bells of Ireland are arranged in layers to bring freshness and vitality to the dressing area. Photo courtesy of Ryland Peters & Small
More Jane Packer Designs