Shape Up Your Arrangement by Choosing the Right One

Who knew that eight basic flower shapes could hold a world of difference? Use shape to achieve your design goal, whether the simple or dramatic result of using one shape en masse, or creating a particular effect in mixed arrangements.


Hydrangea and cockscomb flowers are dominant blooms in these designs. Their strong domes dictate the shape of the display.

Floral Cupcakes
Including hydrangea with roses and peonies adds weight and drama to this design, and echoes the shapes of the full-blown peonies(image 1).

Fruit Cube
Dense-headed, textural red and green cockscomb create interest and impact when arranged as a seasonal hand-tied bouquet and placed in a vase (image 2).

Hydrangea Ball
Dome-shaped flowers often work well on their own in a display, as this curved fishbowl of domed hydrangea flower heads with short stems shows (image 3).


Flowers such as trachelium and dill can be used in both tall displays and in low floral foam arrangements to define shape and add texture.

Winter Wedding Table Centerpiece
These frosty trachelium are a perfect contrast to the other flowers: their abundance of small, dainty flower heads break up the intense clusters of freesia and rose petals (image 1).

Summer Long and Low
The dark dill flowers in this design create a smooth contour and help to define its shape. They also add depth of color to what could be an all-too-pink display (image 2).

Vegetable and Fruit Bouquet
Using purple trachelium in this quirky, hand-tied bouquet helps to inject color and texture in what is otherwise a dense, all-green design (image 3).


Flowers that have a regular shape work well in many designs, and add symmetry to minimalist arrangements.

Gerbera in Lines
This display is a perfect example of how to use regular flowers in a modern, architectural design to create uniformity and order (image 1).

Daffodil Tree
Using these daffodils to create a topiary tree in effect creates another regular shape: the gathered blooms look like one large flower (image 2).

Sunflower Vase
Although this arrangement uses different varieties of sunflowers — all of which are a regular shape — it still has impact because of the contrasting colors (image 3).


These tall, spear-shaped flowers add drama and often height to traditional and contemporary designs alike.

Delphiniums and Hydrangeas in Blue
The tall delphiniums in this modern vase display add height and drama to the short-stemmed hydrangeas (image 1).

Lilac Garden Pitcher
This is an example of how to use a shorter spear flower, such as garden lilac, to add texture and interest to this simple vase design (image 2).

Towering Liatris
An arrangement such as this uses just one variety of spear-shaped flower to make a strong statement in a tall column vase (image 3).


Proteas, alliums and tulips are all flowers that retain their inherent round shape well in an arrangement once their petals have opened.

Gelatin Mold Mix
The tulips in this mixed arrangement show off their globe shape beautifully against the other small, spire-shaped flowers (image 1).

Tulips in a Bowl
A fishbowl display is a lovely way to enjoy these glamorous French parrot tulips. Their round heads contrast well with the long, razor-sharp grasses (image 2).

Autumn Bouquet
Globe-shaped varieties of the exotic protea flower look spectacular in a compact hand-tied bouquet, as they echo the rounded shape of the arrangement (image 3).


The great thing about spray flowers is that they are versatile; they work well in many designs, including hand-tied bouquets and floral foam.

Country Summer Wedding Table Centerpiece
In this floral foam design the spray roses are ideal as a filler and add interest to the arrangement (image 1).

Winter Bridal Bouquet
The white spray roses in this bouquet blend well with a mass of white freesias to provide a backdrop for the large single roses that are the main feature (image 2).

Asian Fan
In this modern design, spray rose stems are cut short to echo the shape created by tall calla lilies, and provide an intense burst of color at the heart of the design (image 3).


Spire flowers are often quite delicate, but their pointed flower heads add height and interest to mixed flower arrangements.

Summer Harmony
The small purple spires of veronica in this front-facing display soften its edges and balance out the large, round, eye-catching hydrangeas and roses (image 1).

Cream Basket
Stocks are used here for their scent and shape, which breaks up and adds height to a long and low design. This helps to give it a more relaxed, informal look (image 2).

Summer Bouquet
This hand-tied bunch includes deep pink loosestrife, which have been deliberately left long to make the bunch more informal and less rounded (image 3).


These flowers, with petals that open in a rosette, circular shape, make great feature blooms. Some varieties, such as carnations, work well en masse.

Spring Bouquet
These orange ranunculas, set among other spring flowers, contrast beautifully with the grape hyacinths. They are grouped in threes for a stronger look (image 1).

Green Bouquet
Roses are a typical rosette flower, and here they hold their own — even when mixed with large, brightly colored flowers such as these anthuriums (image 2).

Carnation Sculpture
A large quantity of carnation flower heads pressed into a floral foam ball together create a dense geometric shape that echoes the shape of a single carnation (image 3).

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