It's okay to not mix flowers in an arrangement. In fact, you'll get more style mileage out of a group that's separated for contrast.
-- Form a small bouquet of sweet peas and sweet William. Place in vase.
-- Fill the opposite side of the vase with violet blue triteleia.
-- Cluster a few pink flowers beneath the triteleia.
Line Them Up
Peonies, one of the lushest flowers in the garden, get a fresh spin in this casual, blush pink-and-white arrangement.
-- Large blossoms give you lots of impact and are easy to arrange. Just "stripe" the blossoms.
-- Anchor one side of the arrangement with flowered cabbage; place a large white hydrangea on the opposite side.
-- Line the middle with ruffly pink peonies, including a few buds for interest.
Flowers filled with personality, such as cheery sunflowers, make great one-color bouquets.
-- Cut flowers to different heights.
-- Place in a fun container, such as the antique white pitcher we used here.
-- Fill in any gaps with sunflower buds, if you have them.
The most successful one-color arrangement uses an assortment of shapes, sizes, and textures for interest.
-- We chose fuzzy bachelor's buttons, bell-shape Stachys macrantha 'Superba', pale pink stacked clusters of Phlomis tuberosa 'amazone', and wine-color Siberian iris for variety.
-- Arrange the flowers in your hand first, then transfer to a vase when you're satisfied with the way it looks.
-- Tweak the arrangement to evenly distribute the different types of flowers.
Glads on Board
Here's a beautiful and unusual centerpiece that's low enough to enhance rather than impede sight lines between dinner guests.
-- Fill a boat-shape baking dish with enough water to supply cut gladiolus stems, which are simply laid in place, first one way and then the other.
-- Wrap jute garden twine around the dish at three points to secure the stems and add texture.
-- To take the arrangement one step further, float individual gladiolus florets in water-filled votives at each place setting.
Do the Twist
Conventional flowers in unconventional colors make you look twice. Try it with this lime-green arrangement.
-- Start with the long, arching stems of yellow-green cymbidium orchids. Place two or three in a container, letting them fall to the side.
-- Add a few large clusters of bright green 'Annabelle' hydrangea clusters.
-- Nestle velvety-soft 'Limbo' roses in the center.
Energy-giving red creates the framework for this bouquet.
-- Place the currants in the vase first, letting them casually lean wherever they fall for an asymmetrical outline.
-- Anchor the far-reaching twigs with a pink-hue hydrangea and deep red roses.
Bunches of Pink
Choose one color and run with it, arranging flowers in every shade.
-- Start by arranging the flowers in your hand, placing the larger flowers near the base of the group.
-- Pay attention to height and shape by arranging taller lilac stems near the top and back.
-- Lightly bind the stems with twine and place in a vase.
-- Fill in the gaps with sweet peas or other small blooms.
-- Insert a few leaves of greenery near the bottom to form a casual "rim" for the arrangement.
Easy Three-Tiered Arranging
Long-stem flowers are great for large, full bouquets -- and it's hard to mess up when they're all from the same color family.
-- Choose a few shades of the same color to balance light and dark in the arrangement. We chose China asters and zinnias in all shades of pink.
-- Strip stems of any leaves that would otherwise be standing in water.
-- Place the tallest flowers in the vase, then cut the stems of half of the remaining flowers so the heads fall an inch or two beneath the tallest flower. Place in vase and evenly arrange.
-- Cut the remaining stems to gather just over the lip of the vase and place in bunches at the bottom.
-- Fill in gaps with wild verbena.
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