The Perfect Floral Recipe

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"Don't make things ugly"

This is really the only rule we have at Lola Creative, unless we’re going for ugly-pretty or ugly-scary/cool. But when it comes to bouquets for weddings, pretty-pretty is the minimum. What we really try for is more like, “HOLY HANDFUL OF DRIPPING EARTHLY MAGNIFICENCE!” – or something of that nature.

My first bouquets were barely pushing pretty-pretty. Mainly because I learned from the You Tube. My roses weren’t fully open, flower diversity was so-so, and the shape looked like my bouquet had been squeezed through my sweater sleeve. This changed while on a business trip to New York. I snuck out of my then ‘real’ job to take an intro bouquet class at the New York Botanical Garden. I learned a couple of simple tricks to get a full bouquet that looks like each flower could just continue on growing. We’ll go over that at our GARDENESQUE BOUQUET WORKSHOP. 

But today we’ll just breeze over some terms for different types of flowers and how they are working in this bouquet, inspired by St. Patty’s Day.

And here are the yummy, American and Lower Left Canadian flowers.

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Our flower classification is similar to others you may have seen but relate to their job in a bouquet.

Base: 

These are flowers we start out with, I typically start with three. Their main purpose is to support the other flowers ON TOP OF THEM and be a barrier for flowers around them that want to squeeze into the center. So don’t get too attached to them because you aren’t going to see very much of them. They are back up dancers. Now you could use them also as secondary, but I did not.

Focal: 

This is the one or two flowers to drool over and often the most expensive. We don’t want too many. These are typically near the middle and typically one is smack on top of my base flower so it has maximum room to stretch out and be fantastic.

Secondary: 

These are flowers to add color and build your bouquet out. They go all over the dang place. I typically choose one or two types.

Sprouties: 

These are flowers that are smaller and hover over the other flowers giving it some movement and lightness. For gardeney bouquets I use a lot of these and place them throughout. The stems need to be longer than your base and focal flowersSprouties can be flowers, pods, or small, delicate foliage.

Foliage: 

Here I use a few foliage to get a good garden variety. the rigidity and loveliness varies. For example, the box, which goes a bit unnoticed is rigid and will help keep flowers from squishing in and can help in supporting big floppy flowers. The delicate geranium is used a bit more like a feature because of its graceful arch.

Drapey bits: 

Not shown in the image above is drapey bits like the pieris, Placed near the outer ring or along the outside, they will make the profile of your bouquet look fab, add grace, and an elegant drippy quality.

Special bits: 

These are the pieces that I add last, after most everything is secured and I’ve had a chance to inspect the bouquet in a full length mirror. I then decide where these go to bring focus and character to where it needs it.

And THAT, flower friends, is the anatomy of a gardenesque bouquet!

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