Do you remember the potluck dinner parties our parents’ and grandparents’ used to throw? Mom or Grandma would get a bundle of grocery store flowers (mums or carnations, anyone?!?) and plop them in a big pitcher or some random family heirloom vase. A giant stack of plates would get posted on the end of the banquet and that was that.
Well, we thought it’d be fun to take a little inspiration from classic Dutch paintings and make a non-traditional, traditional floral arrangement to go with our modern take on the family buffet. Everything old is new!
We’ve never shown how to arrange in a tall vase or pitcher like this before, and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to show how!
First, make sure the inside of the pitcher is totally clean. Bacteria significantly shortens flower’s lifespan, and if you had a bunch of flowers that previously rotted away in said vase/pitcher (I know, I know, we never let that happen…) there’s most likely old gunk that needs to be bleached out.
Second, tape off the top of the pitcher with floral tape. This is going to give us a base structure to build off as we get started.
Start by adding in your tallest, most full stems that also have the most movement. Remove any leaves from going into the water, but allow enough up top to assist in supporting other stems going in.
The key to this arrangement and keeping it feel effortless but not messy is going to be blocking together flower types and colors. Think of when you pick flowers in a field, you pick a handful of each type, then put it in your basket or arm or hand. The end result is each type of flower being together but at all different heights.
This time of year grocery stores start to get in really great floral product at really reasonable prices. Thanks to interest and demand, we are now getting flower types that previously we didn’t see much of before! If you can, snatch up some fancier florals like these golden ranunculus that add so much texture to the arrangement.
I am working off the natural shape of this pitcher and using the spout to serve almost like a landing strip for stems. I want the shape of this arrangement to not feel stiff and super upright, so I’m using stems that are loser and naturally drape to be tucked in lower and cascade down the side.
Notice how stiffer, brighter stems (like the light blue Delphinium you see) are used to bring the eye up.
I snipped pansies off of a couple little plants I got at the nursery (and then potted and put on the front porch) and tucked those down into the base of the arrangement since they don’t have long stems. They add such a fun little pop of color with their big, bold faces!
Pulling colors from our flowers, we mix and matched colors and textures in our linens and plates, and then used seasonal produce and extra little blooms to style a fresh, non-traditional traditional banquet that is luxe and chic, but still feels approachable.
TIP #1: This big ole arrangement is going to drink a whole lot of water! Make sure you add fresh water everyday!!!
TIP #2: Not sure what colors to pull for a giant color fest like this? We pulled inspiration from two different complementary color combinations from the color wheel. If you’re in the store, not sure what to get and feeling stuck color wise, google ‘complimentary colors’ and use that as a guide. I do it all the time!