Design your own flower arrangement


If like me,  you like to eat, you like to have guests over, and enjoy making them delicious dinners, then you likely will also enjoy having a fall flower arrangement centerpiece on your dinner table. If you do want to design your own fall garden-style flower arrangement read on.

Ideally you will have field where you can pick your own flowers close to your house, or your own garden. Below a photo of the flower field next to our house. It’s wonderful walking up and down the rows of flowers thinking about what will work and how the finished product might look. Fortunately flower arrangement techniques are not difficult to master:  all you really need is

  •  flower arrangement foam (make sure to get the green stuff for fresh flowers, grey floral foam doesn’t soak up water and is used for dry arrangements)
  • some flowers and some foliage for floristry (or any green bits you happen upon as you walk..). Also you might like to add  some cones or twigs, leaves probably work better in dry arrangements, unless you have access to some of the ivies that are variegated or that change colour in the autumn, they always add some extra beauty.
  • A container. Make sure to either pick a water-proof container, or if the container is not fully water-proof, make sure you place something water-proof underneath your flower arrangement centrepiece when you are done.


I am lucky enough to have a flower field full of beautiful dahlias and many other flowers, it’s a rainbow of colours – it is, dahlia flower season, after all! 

So, as promised, making floral centrepieces is simple and inexpensive and it is a very creative process too, so it’s fun, which is important in any endeavour. Pick your container, if this is the first time you are arranging flowers, then perhaps start with a small container. Soak the green floral foam in water and then cut it to fit the container, if you do it this way the foam doesn’t crumble upon being cut. However, if you have a large piece  of floral foam and don’t want to use it all, feel free to carve off a smaller piece the approximate size of you container before soaking.  The fun part is figuring out what flowers to select. On my balcony I have hydrangeas and rue  (ruta graveloens) plants. Rue I think makes an excellent and very pretty foliage plant for flower arrangements.


Visiting the flower field I decided that some dahlias would fit really well with the other two flowers.

Designing your flower arrangement centrepiece

Firstly decide how high your arrangement needs to be. And whether you would like a round centrepiece, or if you’d like a more natural, garden-style flower arrangement. You will need to place the flower stalks into the foam to a certain depth to ensure the flowers stay in position, this also depends on the types of stalks you are working with, firm or not so firm. Aim for about 3-4 cm ideally. Also depending on where in the arrangement your blossoms and foliage will sit, you may need different lengths. I cut each stem as I go.

For my arrangement  I picked a pink container and used the approach below.

The simplest approach is to place the hydrangea blooms, or other filler materials, into the foam first, to cover the foam. Also keep an eye out to ensure that the rim of your container is no longer visible. Depending on the shape of your container and the blooms size slip the stems in at an almost horizontal angle to the foam. Next add in the rue, or other foliage plant. I like the shape of the rue leaf. And then place your dahlias, taking care not to group colours together in clumps.

Et voila. A simple, inexpensive and pretty fall floral arrangement with dahlias, rue and hydrangea.


Time invested: about 15 minutes, the joy of creating something and seeing the recipients happy face? Priceless!

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