Centerpiece One - Spring Bounty: Vibrant pink blossoms are complemented by fresh green artichokes and asparagus
Spring Bounty: Vibrant pink blossoms are complemented by fresh green artichokes and asparagus
MATERIALS: 2 cube glass vases, one large (6") and one small (4"); 1 small square (approximately 4" x 4" x 3\8") of floral clay; 4"-square flower frog; 5 floral stakes; 2 bunches peonies (approximately 10 stems) in two shades of pink; 1 bunch of lilacs; 1 bunch of miniature kale; 2 bunches of thin asparagus; 5 baby artichokes; 2' pink and green ribbon
EQUIPMENT: cutting board; pruning shears; scissors; ruler; awl; chef's knife; double-sided tape
Place the floral clay in the center of the larger vase and the smaller vase on top of the clay. Asparagus stalks should be cut to approximately 5" before being placed in between the two vases. Use a pick or skewer to scoot them closer together. Add water to the outer vase so all stalks are covered by at least 1".
The flower frog—a heavy piece of lead with small spikes that sits at the bottom of the vase and holds the flowers in place—should be placed inside the smaller vase.
Cut off the stems of the artichokes. Push floral stakes deep into artichoke centers so their weight will be fully supported. If the artichokes are very hard, make an initial hole using the awl.
Fill the smaller vase halfway with water (2"). Cut peonies, lilacs, and kale to 8" to 10" and slot them randomly into the flower frog so they stay in place—longer stems should be in the middle so they stick up, shorter stems on the sides so they curl under.
Artichoke stakes should be cut to 9" or 10½" and inserted so they sit higher than the flowers. The arrangement should look very full.
Choose a ribbon that pulls together the colors used. Attach double-sided tape to the back on both sides and wrap around the square vase, ensuring it is centered before affixing.
Centerpiece Two - Branches & Vines: Flowering quince and bunches of grapes are paired with blushing peach stock and deep-pink anemones
Branches & Vines: Flowering quince and bunches of grapes are paired with blushing peach stock and deep-pink anemones
MATERIALS: 13.5" cylindrical glass vase; 1 bunch deep-pink anemones; 1 bunch roses (we used Hot Chocolate roses); 1 bunch peach stock (also known as gillyflower); 2 branches flowering quince; 2 bunches grapes (1 red and 1 green); floral stakes; floral tape; two large rectangular sheets of contrasting paper (one patterned, one plain); 18' thin ribbon
EQUIPMENT: cutting board; heavy-duty pruning shears; scissors; double-sided tape; ruler
The quince shrub is one of the first to bloom and has come to symbolize the start of spring. If you need to force the buds to flower, branches should be cut on a diagonal with pruning shears and placed in clean warm water in a humid place, out of direct sunlight. When you are ready to prepare the arrangement, determine how tall you would like the branches to be (ours are up to 30" high) and make fresh cuts on the diagonal. Fill cylindrical vase halfway with room-temperature water and place branches in the vase.
Choose firm grapes with sturdy stems and cut into small bunches. Wrap 3/8"-thick floral tape around the stem and stake, smoothing the tape with your thumb as you go and continuing to pull it taut so it sticks to itself, binding the two together. You will need to wrap approximately 1" down the stake to ensure the grapes are truly secure.
Keep flowers tall (roses 15"; stock 20") and remove any ragged upper leaves. Add stems randomly to the vase—they should support each other by crisscrossing in the center of the vase.
Taller bunches of grapes (stakes cut to 20") should go in the center and sit up a bit from the rest of the arrangement; shorter bunches (stakes cut to 15") should be placed on the edges of the arrangement and tumble over the sides.
To make the decorative band that wraps around the vase, you need to create two rectangles using the colored papers: One should be 8" tall and the other 10" tall; width on both should match the circumference of the vase. Use double-sided tape to position the smaller rectangle in the center of the larger rectangle. Place tape underneath each corner of the larger piece and wrap the paper horizontally around the center of the vase, ensuring it is straight before affixing.
Loop approximately 18' of ribbon around your hands six times so you have six 3' circles. Wrap the entire circle around the vase and tie in a double knot before cutting the ends so they hang loose. Tie two separate bows and then cut the ends so they hang at varying lengths. Separate and fan the ribbon out around the middle of the vase.
Three - Fragrant Herbs and Flowers: Aromatic kitchen herbs bring a savory note to a bouquet of sweet-scented yellow lilies
Fragrant Herbs and Flowers: Aromatic kitchen herbs bring a savory note to a bouquet of sweet-scented yellow lilies
MATERIALS: household can (we used a 1 lb., 12 oz. tomato can); 4–6 floral tubes; 4–6 floral wires; 1 bunch yellow calla lilies (8 to 10 stems); 1 bunch cream stock; 1 package fresh rosemary stalks; 1 package fresh sage; 1 package fresh thyme; 1 package fresh bay leaves
EQUIPMENT: pruning shears; cutting board
Strip the ends of the rosemary, thyme, and sage sprigs of leaves and wrap small bundles (a little of each herb, including a bay leaf) together using floral wire.
Fill floral tubes three quarters of the way with water and cut a crosshatch into the hole so you can easily insert the bundles of herbs. The tubes will keep the herbs fresher by ensuring that they get the water they need.
Fill the can halfway with water before arranging the flowers. We cut the lilies and stock to 8" to 10" for a can that stands 4" and 3/4" tall. Place stems randomly in the can—taller stems in the middle, shorter stems on the sides.
Add the bundles of herbs to the arrangement and fill any gaps with additional sprigs of rosemary.
The perfect addition to a spring table, this unassuming arrangement makes creative use of a found household object—we like cans with graphic vintage-inspired designs and prefer ones with images printed directly on the metal. The bundles of fresh green herbs add an intoxicating savory scent to a bright centerpiece of yellow lilies and cream-colored stock.