Flower arranging basics like a pro

Flower arranging basics like a pro

Backyard Blooms teaches gardening with Gutner the basics of flower arranging.

PORTLAND, Maine — It was early June when Gardening with Gutner last spoke with Backyard Blooms about how to plant dahlia tubers and we're back learning how to arrange flowers, including now fully grown dahlias.



Owners Jason Aquin and Kate Hanavan-Ross invited Gardening with Gutner to their studio to learn the basics.


“Long-lasting flower arranging starts with really clean equipment,” Aucoin said.

The flower farm owner recommended starting with a clean vase, water, and scissors. Wipe the razor with alcohol to kill bacteria. Aucoin also strongly advocated using a can of flower food in the water before starting.

The main components of a flower arrangement are divided into five categories.


“The first thing we do is decorate our vase with green. What do I mean by that?,” Hanavan-Ross announced as she added the Chocolate Mint Geranium, which has a minty scent, to her Mason jar vase. .


There are a few design guides when arranging flowers. Odd numbers of flowers look best and use the compass layout as a visual guide as you add flowers.

For this arrangement, lilies were chosen as group flowers. As a side note, lilies contain anthers that will stain any fabric when dropped, so Hanavan-Ross recommends removing them.

“The first thing you want to do is just put your hand around the anther and hold it in your hand,” the floral designer explained.


The focal flowers were dahlias and lisianthus from Backyard Blooms Fields.

“You don't place your flowers straight up and down. You kind of want to cheat on a diagonal, because that actually takes your flower arrangement out of the vase and adds volume,” Hannavan Ross directed.

Scabiosa and zinnias were used to complement the focal flowers while Sedum was used to add texture to the arrangement.


Aucoin suggests using a lazy susan for easy tidying and a 360-degree look at your collection.

While flowers are the main focus, greenery plays an important role. Hanavan Ross added the Freezing Blast Grass as one of the final items. The grass has a fluffy finish that looks like a small explosion of green. This adds air to the arrangement.

Finally, a few stalks of millet were added to the side as a quirky note to the arrangement.


Mixing gorgeous flowers and greenery so that they go together perfectly balanced is why flower arranging is an art form.

To see the beautiful work created by Jason Aucoin and Kate Hanavan-Ross, click here.

To see all sectors of gardening with Jöttner click here.

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