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Tutorial: Colorful Spring Arrangement

Spring time really does bring out some incredible flowers and foliage. And there's no greater flower recipe than one dictated by the season. In today's tutorial, I am using a mercury glass footed pedestal, though any short vessel with a wide mouth will do. As always, we use a ball of chicken wire and fill to the brim with water. Then secure the chicken wire in place by taping an X over the mouth of the vessel. See here for more detailed instructions. Once all the mechanics are in place, I start by layering some foraged greenery with pieris and jasmine vines, in an asymmetric way. This builds a foundation for us to nestle our flowers.

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I then begin to fill in the space, focusing first on the center of the arrangement, clustering spring poppies, sweet peas, Queensland tulips, and ranunculus. I start at the center of the arrangement because (1) I need to make sure to cover the mechanics/chicken wire; and (2) this is where most of the attention will be. Make sure to vary the height of the stems you place into the arrangement, and also to face adjacent blooms in different directions. When I teach my students, I always tell them to make sure the flowers are "saying hello" to the observer. And you do that by allowing each stem to stand out, to have it's own space, and not to crowd them and hide them by making them the same height and same plane. To reinforce the height and natural arches of the arrangement, I also included snapdragon, and a few tall poppies. 

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To complete the look, continue adding flowers at different heights and planes, while simultaneously reinforcing the natural shape of the arrangement. Here you'll see that I have in the center some dead space - creating almost a U-shaped arrangement. You'll also see that several poppies and branches stick out far above the rest - and they don't look at all out of place, because we've reinforced the shape and made sure that we gradually added taller stems to create that gradation. It helps to draw the eye. Occasionally, in more avant-garde floral design, having a single stem stick far out is OK without gradual steps and layers, but that's a totally different look. I do encourage you to try it out though, and see what looks good to your eye! And here is the finished product:

It's only April and spring time will still be around for quite a few more weeks. But these flowers won't, so I'm trying to use them as much as possible while they are in season. There is something so cheerful about a bright poppy and the ruffles of the ranunculus. And this dreamy peachy-pink color palette is to die for! Hope you enjoyed this tutorial and stay tuned for the next one!

Trang Vo