Guide to Picking the Best Blooms

Jaclyn and I love hosting flower classes, and showing people what they can create with a few fresh blooms and some greenery (if you’re interested in booking a class — CLICK HERE). One of the main questions we always get asked at our classes is “What flowers should I be buying?” Of course, everyone  has their own opinion on this subject, but I am going to share our best tips to picking the prettiest flowers, no matter your budget. 

First thing is first, how would you categorize your design experience?

A) Highly experienced — You feel very comfortable making any sort of floral arrangement. 

B) Moderately experienced — You make the occasional floral arrangement for your dinner table, but have never been formally taught. 

C) Completely inexperienced — You can’t tell the difference between a carnation and a rose. 

If you chose highly experienced, we say go for gold! Shop for variety and experiment with different size blooms and textural greenery. 

Examples: Hydrangeas, Football Mums, Spray Roses, Stock, Mini Green Hydrangeas and lots of mixed greenery (such as Eucalyptus, Italian Ruscus and Salal). You can design in a short container or tall! Just make sure your flower stems are proportioned to the vase (rule of thumb: flower stems should always be about 1 1/2 - 2 times the height of your vase). Too short, your arrangement will look squatty, too tall and your vase will look dwarfed.  

Flowers pictured: Antique hydrangeas, Japanese Aster, Spray Roses, Hypericum Berries, Alstroemeria, Lisianthus, Israeli Ruscus

Flowers pictured: Antique hydrangeas, Japanese Aster, Spray Roses, Hypericum Berries, Alstroemeria, Lisianthus, Israeli Ruscus


Thinking you’re more of a moderately experienced gal? We recommend going for a monochromatic, short style arrangement. Why monochromatic? We find that designing with all one color is easier than mixed colors, because you don’t have to worry about the arrangement not looking balanced. Choose 2-3 different flowers from your local shop and pick the same color for each (different tones are okay). 

Examples: Light pink Japanese Asters and hot pink Spray Roses (pictured below) or yellow Mums, Sunflowers and yellow Roses. Next, choose a single type of greenery that has a short stem and full leaves (such as Salal or Pittosporum). This type of greenery is easiest for filling in holes in arrangements. 


The easiest and most foolproof design for beginners is a simple drop-in style arrangement. Choose one type of flower (multiple colors is fine) and gather all the stems in your hands, arranging them so you like the orientation of each bloom. Next, snip all the stems to the same length and drop in a tall, medium or short vase (remember to keep stems proportionate to height of vase). There is no look I love more than a ton of Roses, Hydrangeas (pictured below) or fluffy Stock dropped into a large pitcher or vase. The look is elegant, effortless and classic. 


Of course, no matter your skill level, remember that flowers are meant to be fun, and designs are meant to be your own. No arrangement ever looks perfect. So embrace the beautifully imperfect look and let your creative juices flow. Try something that’s outside of your comfort zone, and we promise you’ll have fun doing it! Share down below what is your favorite flower to design with! 


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header photo by: High Five for Love