Creating a Garden-Fresh Arrangement

Peg Bier, Merrifield Plant Specialist

The windowsill in my kitchen was always adorned with a love bouquet—a gathering of flowers picked from my garden and delivered slightly crushed by the small, loving hands of my children and grandchildren. Today one of my greatest joys is a walk through the garden with scissors in hand discovering unexpected treasures that combine into a beautiful arrangement.

Like anything, there are techniques you can use to create these arrangements. But what I’ve learned over the years is that the most important thing is to just do it! If it brings you joy and happiness, that’s all that matters.

Here are a few steps you can follow to design a fresh arrangement with materials from your garden.

Step One: Source Your Container

Select a vessel to use as your container. Don’t worry if you don’t have a collection of pots laying around, a water pitcher or small bucket can work great! Prep your container by cleaning it thoroughly and placing a pin holder in the bottom or taping off a support grid with waterproof tape. Once your support is secure, add fresh, cool water and floral preservative.


Step Two: Select Your Plant Material and Assemble Your Foundation

When you head out to your garden, select a combination of cuttings from plants such as annuals, perennials, shrubs, trees, herbs and vegetables to bring in different textures and colors. Aim to pull a mix of three to six materials to vary texture, color and height.

Cut your base plants at varying lengths to build a foundation to support your arrangement. Here we used hydrangea blooms (a shrub) and fennel (a perennial) and varied the placement to alternate textures.


Step Three: Layer in Flowers

Layer your flowers one variety at a time, beginning with the deepest and greatest volume to disperse color throughout the arrangement. Here we layered annual celosia and then brought in pops of color with verbena and rudbeckia.



Step Four: Add Your Focal Point

Finish your arrangement by placing your focal point flowers asymmetrically. In this arrangement, colorful annual zinnias become your focal point and provide the finishing touches.


It really is as simple as that! You can create your own unique display by heading outdoors to your garden today. I hope you enjoy the process as much as the final result!