Flowers add such a cheerful touch to your home, a floral table centerpiece can make an ordinary meal feel like a special occasion. Buying pre-made arrangements from the florist can get very expensive so I like to pick up my flowers from vendors at Camberwell or Oakleigh Sunday Markets for only a few dollars per bunch. Flowers in vases look awesome, but if you are sitting down for a meal a tall vase can get in the way of conversation – low flower arrangements in bowls are the perfect solution.
If you’ve ever tried to arrange flowers in an ordinary bowl you may have ended up with a floppy mess, I’m here to show you the secret of how to make a super pretty flower arrangement that looks a million bucks. You can use any sort of container to make your arrangement, I’ve used a couple of bright vintage bowls from my collection and matched them with some cheap and cheerful supermarket flowers.
Get creative with containers and flowers, try using succulents in metal camping mugs or hydrangeas from a garden in a teapot. You are limited only by your imagination and think of all the money you could save by arranging your own flowers for a wedding or special event.
You will need:
- Flowers and foliage, bought or from your garden
- Small bowls, I’ve used a couple of vintage ones
- Florist foam or Flower Frog
What is a Flower Frog?
Oh I’m so glad you asked! You may have seen one before at a thrift store without knowing what it was. Essentially it’s a little contraption that holds flower arrangements in place. They went a little out of style when florist foam came along, but it turns out that florist foam is not very environmentally friendly, so hopefully the humble flower frog will come back into style. You only need one or two to enjoy a lifetime of flower arranging, this one only cost me $1 at the Op Shop.
They come in a few styles:
Pin – The most common type and easiest to use. It consists of a heavy metal base with protruding spikes that you stick the flower stems into. Sometimes called a Kenzan and used in Japanese Ikebana flower arranging.
Glass – A heavy piece of glass with several vertical holes to hold stems upright. Some may be designed to sit on the top of a vase.
Cage – These come in 2 different styles, either a dome or square cage made of plastic or wire designed to sit on the bottom of a vessel; or a decorative bowl with a lid that has criss-cross wires across the top. Occasionally you’ll see a cage frog with a pin frog base. You can improvise a cage style frog with some chicken wire.
How to arrange Flowers in a Bowl:
If you are using florist foam, cut it to size with a knife, so it sits snugly in your bowl. The directions are the same whether you are using a metal flower frog or florist foam.
- Choose a nice bunch of flowers and some foliage. Flowers with chunky stems are better suited to a pin style frog.
- Starting with your biggest (feature) flower cut the stem to a length about double the height of the bowl.
- Working from center start sticking the stems in the pins (or foam) and work your way out.
- Keep adding flowers till you have a pleasing arrangement. Keep turning the bowl to make sure the composition is balanced.
- Now add some foliage to fill in any gaps.
- All done! Add some water to the bowl to give your flowers a drink.