You wouldn’t expect a lawyer to have a knack for floral arrangements, and yet in a weird way it makes perfect sense. The precision, intuition, and out-of the-box thinking required in court can help turn a wild pile of botanicals into a stunning and totally unique bouquet. We recently witnessed it for ourselves when lawyer, mama and founder of Flower Firm LA, Madison Karsenty, stopped by the TCM HQ to teach us how to arrange flowers like we actually know what we’re doing.
Take notes on Madison’s step-by-step tips below and you’ll be able to turn any flowers — whether foraged or scooped up at the farmers market — into a gorgeous and professional-looking arrangement…
How To Arrange Flowers Like a Pro
Gather the Goods. Collect a variety of botanicals. I used the following: peach ranunuclus, kumquats on the branch, date strands, mimosa (the yellow greenery), daffodils, white tulips, forsynthia (yellow flowering branches), white, roses, and various greens.
Start With A Trim. Begin by clipping all of the flowers stems at a sharp angle to help maximize the surface area and ensure they drink plenty of water. For thicker stems (more woody) you may want to use a hammer to crush the ends.
Get A Sense of Space. Begin by looking at your vessel and selecting a shape for your arrangement. Do you want it tight? Do you want it more open and airy? Should it have height or do you want it to splay over the sides more? This is a personal preference. For a centerpiece at a table it’s nice to have some space in the middle of the arrangement so you can talk to someone across the table unencumbered.
Build A Foundation. To create structure for my arrangement, I like to begin with some florist tape and plastic chicken wire (the regular old wire works fine too but the plastic doesn’t taint the water). I use the plastic chicken wire because it achieves the same effect as floral foam, without being toxic. Plus, you can reuse it so it’s more eco! Cut a piece of chicken wire and size it to the inside of your vessel so that it creates a dome shape on the inside. Then, secure it in place by creating a grid with tape along the top of the vessel. Now you are ready to arrange.
Go GReen. Begin with greens and fill in the sides a little bit higher for a more dramatic arrangement. Put some short pieces in the center. I used strands of dates for a cascading look, which I tucked gently under the greens so that they are just peaking out in front. I also put some kumquat branches around the sides so you can see little fruits hanging down. After you’ve created a nice stage with all of your greenery you can move onto the flowers.
Bring In The Blooms. When positioning your flowers, you can put like varieties together in clusters or spread them throughout the arrangemet. I like to put the same types together so it looks like they are growing in a little patch in my arrangement. Twirl your arrangement around as you go and keep stepping back to look at it from different angles. If your roses are tight, try to massage the petals very gently to open them up, and you can even peel back some of the petals for an organic blooming look. Once your arrangement feels full without looking crowded, you are finished! Add some branches tucked between blooms to complete the look.
Explore our roundup of the dreamiest vases for another beautiful way to display your fresh flowers.