What’s Your Favorite Color?


Flower Tutorial: Large Vase Arrangement

In this floral tutorial (number 4!), we’ll go through the process of making a large, one-sided vase arrangement. One-sided means that all the flowers will be viewed from the front, and this time of arrangement is suitable for locations where the back will not be viewed, such as against a wall.

For this, I used:

  • a large class vase, filled with water and a small amount of bleach
  • 1 dozen garden roses
  • 1 bunch bupleurum
  • 2 bunches scabiosa
  • 1 bunch brunia


Green Placement

Use your main greens to fill in the vase. Here, your goal is to provide a structure to support for your flowers and accent greens. Although I really love the look of bupleurum, it’s also a great green for this purpose, as each stem has many smaller branches to provide both volume and height. The closeup (right), show how dense the bupleurum is–a great support for the heavy roses in this design.

Focal Flower Placement


The next step is to add the focal flowers. In general, it is best to insert flowers in order of stem thickness, and in most cases these are your focal flowers. More than once I have gotten to the last few flowers and cannot insert them because there isn’t enough space.

The best way to insert your focal flowers is to use math: I had 12 roses, so I tried to divide them up evenly throughout the vase. Because people will see the most at the lower front, put more flowers there, especially very pretty or unusual ones that will be nicer to look at. Anything less sightly should go in the back. Measure stems against the vase to see where they should be cut.

Filler Flower Placement

Here, both the brunia (with the pale berries) and scabiosa (pink and purple flowers) are fillers. However, the brunia stems were quite thick, so they went in first (left). Finally, the scabiosa are distributed (mostly evenly) in areas that provide interest and break up the paler colors.

Finished Arrangement

This is one of my favorite arrangements of the last few months with the soft colors and ruffly textures. It looks very lush and full.



In many places, I tried to pair up the two colors of scabiosa (1 pink, 1 purple). This arrangement has vary solid filler flowers, so this created a larger punctuation of color to create more impact against the roses, which were very large.



Here, numbers were used to distribute the roses throughout the arrangement, instead of with blocking as in the last tutorial. More were focused at the bottom edge of the vase than at the very back.



The use of the edge of a container can help set the mood or type of arrangement. Here, the lowest rose sits partially below the edge of the vase, breaking up the round curve. This further softens the arrangement and adds interest. It can also add to the idea, as here, that the flowers are so full that they are “bursting” out of the vase, which I often like.