A beautifully-arranged vase of fresh-cut flowers is a delightful way to bring a bit of your summer garden indoors. Now in full bloom, summer gardens are filled with a wonderful variety of flowers in every size, shape and color that are perfect for cutting. When cutting flowers for indoor display, most gardeners keep it simple. They fill a vase with a single flower such as cheerful, brightly-colored Gerbera Daisies. Or they cut an armful of fragrant mixed flowers and plop them unceremoniously into a vase to create a free-spirited, freeform display. Both are effective ways to showcase cut flowers from your garden; but you can create far more dramatic floral displays by employing three basic flower-arranging techniques.
Always begin with a clean vase. As you place each flower into the arrangement, trim the stem to the desired height, cutting at a 45-degree angle. An angled cut allows flowers to absorb more water which will prolong the life of your flower arrangement. You should also strip from the stem any leaves that will sit below the waterline in the finished arrangement. Not only will getting rid of this extra bulk make it easier to place flowers into the arrangement, but water-logged greenery will begin to decompose, shortening the life of your arrangement and generating an unpleasant odor.
- Create a foundation to provide basic structure to your arrangement. Choose leafy, airy plants such as fronds of Hearty Fern or stems of Perovskia, also called Russian Sage and arrange them in a loose, asymmetrical triangle to give the arrangement height and width.
- Select 5 large-blossomed flowers to serve as focal points. Dahlias, roses and peonies are good choices. Following a diamond pattern, place each stem into the arrangement, positioning the extra flower near the center of the diamond.
- Add stems of small-flowered plants to fill in and give the arrangement body.