$15 Vertical Floral Arrangement With Delphinium - Reiko Handcrafted
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High Impact Flower Arrangement For $15

I’m by no means a flower expert but I love putting together arrangements at home. Since I started my floral design basics class at a local community college I now have a reason to practice!

I had picked up 2 large delphinium from a flower shop to share with my class and decided to turn these into a vertical arrangement to practice. The rest of the flowers I purchased at Trader Joe’s in 2 small bundles “garden bouquet” for $4 and “premium filler” for $3. I paid $5 for the delphinium so just $12 on flowers altogether! I had leftover foam from doing my own wedding flowers so I just grabbed a vase and got started.

For this tall, vertical style I was aiming for a height roughly double the width + height of my vase. 8 in + 4 in = 12 in so a total of 24 inches or 2 feet from the edge of the container (28 inches off the table).

You can use either a tall, sturdy flower or tall piece of foliage to set the height for your piece. Think about creating the tip of a triangle which will widen at the base. Knowing I only had a few other large flowers to work with, I planned for an asymmetrical triangle. Insert each stem 2-3 inches into the foam for support. Place focal flowers starting near the base and working up. I brought my single rose up to where the flowers begin on the tallest delphinium stem.

At this point we’ve got a few goals: 1) hide the floral foam (and any tape) completely, 2) fill in any gaps (hi giant hole in the center!), all while 3) adding interest and maintaining balance. The queen anne’s lace and baby’s breath I had were cut into many small pieces to use throughout the front and back as cover. My eryngium thistle stems had lots of small branches which I cut to use separately, letting a few poke out here and there. The side branches of my delphinium I used to fill in between the rose and mums. If you change your mind, small pieces can easily be moved by inserting to form a new hole in the foam.

 

Vertical Floral Arrangement Instructions

Supplies:

  • Vase – I used an 8x5x4 inch oval
  • Floral foam – 2/3 standard brick (Oasis brand, Advantage)
  • Floral knife or shears
  • Floral tape (optional) – not bouquet wrap
  • Flowers
    • Delphinium x2
      • substitute: snapdragon
    • Mum x2
      • substitute: gerbera daisy, carnation
    • Rose x1
  • Filler Flowers
    • Eryngium Thistle x2
    • Queen Anne’s Lace x2
    • Baby’s Breath x1
    • Purple Flower x2
  • Filler Foliage
    • Boxwood x1
      • substitute: myrtle
    • Solidago x1
    • Galax Leaves x3
    • Ming Fern x1

Instructions:

  1. Prep your container

    1. Cut your floral foam down to fit roughly in your container, then soak it by floating it in a deep bowl of water perforated side (all the tiny holes) down. You’ll see the color change to dark green as the foam absorbs water and sinks which should only take a few minutes. Do not force into the water or you will create air pockets.
    2. Trim foam as needed to fit into vase leaving at least 1 “reservoir” gap to water the arrangement. Allow your foam to come above the container about an inch or less.
    3. *Optional* Secure your foam in the vase by taping at least once across and then around the edge.
  2. Prep your flowers and greenery

    1. Make sure all flowers have been properly hydrated for several hours before you begin. They will continue to drink from the floral foam but you don’t want to start with very thirsty flowers. 
  3. Establish height

    1. You want to aim for a height roughly 2 times the sum of the length and height of your vase, measured from the edge of the vase.
      1. Example for the vase used here: Length of 8 inches + Height of 4 inches = 12 inches. 12 inches x 2 = 24 inches from the top of the vase.
    2. If using delphiniums, separate any small stems from the main center stem. We will use smaller pieces separately.
    3. Using your tallest flowers or foliage, set the height for the piece. Hold the first flower up to the vase to estimate where you will cut, adding 2-3 inches that will be inserted into the foam.
    4. Cut at a 45 degree angle and insert firmly into the center close to the back of the foam. Repeat with additional tall stems each cut slightly shorter than the previous. You want to think about forming a rough triangular shape.
  4. Create a focal point

    1. In this vertical triangular arrangement we will use some larger blooms to draw the eyes down towards the vase opening.
      1. With your 2 mums, place the larger close to the vase opening with the smaller mum staggered above it. Place the rose opposite the mums with the bloom higher for balance.
  5. Start adding filler flowers

    1. At this point you’ll have your filler flowers and foliage remaining to complete the arrangement. I started filling in space by using baby’s breath and queen anne’s lace around the base.
    2. Fill in any taller gaps with additional pieces from your delphinium and eryngium thistle.
  6. Don’t forget the back

    1. This is a one-sided arrangement but we still want to make sure all the floral foam and tape are hidden from the back view as well. Use short pieces of filler flowers and greens around the back and sides.
  7. Use foliage to complete

    1. Attach galax leaves in a group so they lay over the edge of your container. These work great to hide tape! Cut small pieces of ming fern and attach as needed to fill in any remaining space on all sides of the arrangement.
    2. I didn’t have much greenery for this arrangement, so I used my queen anne’s lace and baby’s breath to cover visible floral foam and gaps as well.

Final front and back of the arrangement. Now that I examine these pictures I see where I could have used another bloom or two, but overall not bad for $12 worth of flowers!

If you started with healthy, high quality flowers you should be able to enjoy this arrangement for at least 1 week! Continue to hydrate the foam through the reservoir every few days. My mums started shedding after the 1 week mark while everything else still looked pretty good, even the delphinium!

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