Spring Floral Series: Choosing your Flowers

how to choose flowers for an arrangement

this post is sponsored by bing

You asked and I listened!  I get so so many requests for more floral design posts, so this spring (starting this first day of spring) I’m going to do a whole series of floral design posts.  They’ll teach you everything from how to pick things out to some different takes on basic arrangements to some fun ideas you can use at parties and dinners! Let’s get started!

choosing flowers for an arrangement

We’re starting out this week with choosing flowers.  When they come in a pre-picked bunch, it’s easy to just pick them up and go, but what do you do when you want to mix your own?  There are tons of markets and super markets that have separated varieties there for you to mix and match, but where do you start? It can be overwhelming, but here are a few key tricks to get you going.

First, do a little research!  If there is a flower you love, find it online to get the name, or see what other colors it comes in. I always start with a flower I just happen to love.  Second, create your color scheme.  After you choose one flower, take a look at the color.  Think about what other colors will go well with it.  I usually pop onto Bing.com my phone and take a look at a color wheel.

I spoke about last week, but sneak into your iPhone IOS settings and switch your search engine to Bing.  Then, create a Bing Rewards account and you can get points (good for gift cards) for doing internet searches on your iphone too.  Pop on Bing Rewards for details, but if you do a lot on surfing on your phone, it’s worth signing up. It costs nothing and you get points (you’re welcome).  Now get back to that color wheel.

flower market choices

bing rewards devices

I love choosing analogous colors, which are all right next to each other on the color wheel, for example, red, orange, and yellow.  But seriously, pop onto Bing and REALLY look at a color wheel.  You can choose:

  • Monochromatic: All the same color, just different levels
  • Analogous: Adjacent colors
  • Complementary: Directly across the wheel from each other
  • Split Complementary: two colors on one side of the wheel, one color opposite

…and more… there are triangle configurations, squares, etc…

Colors within these configurations are usually the best to put in one design.  Random colors usually end up looking jarring or messy together, so this is definitely something to watch out for.

Third, think about varying shapes!  Snapdragons, stock, and phlox are all tall and narrow whereas roses, peonies, and ranunculus are all round.  Choose a few different shapes.  I’d recommend:

  • Two rounds in different sizes, like the garden rose and ranunculus I have above.
  • One different shape, I used a parrot tulip, but you could use anything!  This is the wildcard!
  • One ‘filler’ which are feathery like stems with lots of little flowers.  This baby’s breath, astilbe, or the wax flower I’ve used here.
  • At least one greenery.  I’m a huge fan of seeded eucalyptus or lemon leaves.


So here is the breakdown… you’ve choses a variety of sizes, shapes, and types of flowers, but they’re all in a pleasing color scheme built around your favorite flower to work with.  It’s a great place to start.  Next in the series, will be putting all of these flowers together in smaller tabletop arrangements to scatter through your house! I can’t WAIT to show you how to put your selections together.

In the meantime, go to your market or search online.  I love Flower Muse, who provided me with these flowers, because their website is clear, well photographed and nicely labeled.  You can just creep around and learn about the different varieties, their names and figure out what you like. When you’re at the store, put some of that knowledge to use and look at the individually packaged blossoms.  What would you choose based on this new knowledge!  Get ready with some stems because in two weeks, we’ll have our first hands-on tutorial!


I’m excited, are you?



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