Encircling Color: Arranging Tulips in a Bowl

Colorful tulips and some bear grass arranged in a clear fishbowl make a stylish, soft-looking display that just begs to be viewed from all angles. This display will sit pretty in a bathroom or contemporary dining area.
Tulip Fishbowl Dinner Party Centerpiece

Tulip Fishbowl Dinner Party Centerpiece

Photo by: DK - Fresh Flower Arranging © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Fresh Flower Arranging, 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited


Flowers and Foliage
7–9 French parrot tulips
1 bunch bear grass

Other Materials
fishbowl (10 inches high)
sterilizing tablet or flower food
florist’s scissors

French parrot tulips tend to collect sand at the base of their bottom leaf where it joins the stem. Rinse this sand or grit off under running water before you arrange the flowers to prevent it from ruining the clear water.

We chose French parrot tulips for their larger heads and extravagent petals, but you can use any tulips. Calla lilies and Singapore orchids would work well, also. China grass is a good substitute for ultra-pliable bear grass.

French Parrot Tulips and Bear Grass

French Parrot Tulips and Bear Grass

Photo by: DK - Fresh Flower Arranging © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Fresh Flower Arranging, 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

How to Arrange

1. Fill the bowl with 2–2 1/2 inches of water and add a sterilizing tablet.

2. Separate the bunch of grass into two smaller bunches of about 10 stems each. Place the ends of one bunch in the water and loop the lengths around inside the bowl so they rise up and fall in a circular swirl.

3. Turn the bowl about a third of the way around, add the second bunch of grass, and create the same swirling effect.

4. Trim the ends of the tulips and take off any leaves that might touch or sit in the water. Bend each stem gently to arrange it inside the bowl; if it feels like it might snap, gently massage the stem with your thumb and forefinger, moving from the base to the tip so that the flower droops towards the floor. Arrange the stem in between the grasses so that the flower head rests about two-thirds of the way up the side of the bowl. Arrange the rest of the tulips in a similar way to create a loose, slightly random, all-around arrangement of blooms.

Insider Tip
Tulips continue to grow after they have been cut, about 1 inch a night if left in water. You might need to position the flower heads a little lower in the vase to compensate for this extra growth.

This arrangement should last for a week if you keep the flowers in good condition.

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