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A Handy-Dandy Guide to Flower Arrangement: DIY Tips From a Pro

Who knew placing peonies in a vase could be so complicated? For those of us lacking talent in the floral-design department (that’s us!), knowing easy tricks and techniques to creating show-stopping floral arrangements at home is essential. Michael Gaffney, celebrity florist and author of Design Star: Lessons from the New York School of Flower Design, dishes on some of his super simple floral arranging techniques and shows us the types of flowers that any blossoming bud designer can use.

Mass Appeal
Gaffney suggests sticking to “line” and “mass” flowers for easy home floral designing. Yeah, we don’t know what that means either. But here’s the gist: The long and lean line style includes, well, long and lean buds like gladiolas, snapdragons, and larkspurs. Mass flowers, such as peonies, roses, sunflowers, and hydrangeas, have a singular focus. “I recommend trying a European floral design that uses all mass flowers,” Gaffney says. “Just collect lots of flowers head to head in a dome shape, which creates a tight and full arrangement.”

Arranging Made Simple
For a foolproof arrangement, Gaffney suggests following these easy-peasy guidelines:

  • Use only one type of flower for easy designing.
  • Try angling flowers across the vase to get a full dome effect.
  • Open spaces between your flowers? Fill them with greenery. “Greenery will also help hold flowers in place while you design,” says Gaffney.
  • Spritz a flower sealant, such as Crowning Glory, when you’re finished to keep flowers fresher longer.
  • When in doubt, imitate other designers. (Martha, we’re looking at you!) “Pick up a magazine or book and copy the great designers,” Gaffney notes. “Place your flowers where they’re pictured [in the book or magazine] to help guide you.”

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05.3.2013 / 01:30 AM EDT by Lauren Mang
Related: Moms

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