How to Create a Front-Facing Vase Arrangement

These step-by-step instructions show you how to arrange a vase of flowers in a simple but effective front-facing design.

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Add Flowers

Add the first variety of flower — usually those with the largest flower heads (image 1). Hold each flower stem at an angle in front of the vase where you think you would like to place it, then trim the end of the stem and insert it at an angle. At least one of these stems should be taller than the rest and stand at the back of the arrangement; stems placed at the front of the vase should be shortest.

Add the next variety of flower, angling each stem in front of the vase first to check its placing and height and then inserting it at an angle. Although you need to judge the length of each stem individually, the aim is to create a graduated shape that is low at the front and tall at the back (image 2).

Check the Arrangement From the Side

Turn the vase around so that you can view the display from the side and check on its graduated shape. If you use a clear vase, it's also worth glancing at the stems inside the vase at this point to check that they are positioned at an angle, which shows that you are building up the design in the correct way.

Spring BouquetEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - Fresh Flower Arranging © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Add More Flowers

Add the third variety of flower (image 1), checking the height and position of each flower before you add it to the design. Place these flowers evenly through the design where there are gaps.

Insert the stems of the last type of flower in the same way (image 2). Using four varieties of flower in a vase arrangement ensures a rich texture and range of color, and creates more movement through the arrangement.

Add small stems of foliage at the edges and front to hide the top of the vase. As these stems are shorter, ensure that they sit in water; top off the vase if necessary once you have positioned it. Change the water every few days and recut the stems; if you have used chicken wire, lift the whole arrangement, with the chicken wire intact, out of the vase, trim the stems and replace it in fresh water.

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Excerpted from Fresh Flower Arranging

© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2011

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