Control the Stems and Arrange in your Hand: Roanne's first tip was to arrange in your hand (vs. in the container). This way you can hold the flowers in just the place you want them. She also advises that it is better to make the stems all lay in the same direction. Crossing stems is less tidy and organized and by hand arranging you can control the way that the stems lay. When you are ready to finish your hand tied arrangement, you can twist them and tie them into a tidy gathering. Once you have your hand tied bunch, cut the stems all the same length and place them in the container of your choice.
Group by Color or Texture: If you have 3 of the same color dahlias from your garden, don't be afraid to put them all together rather than spreading them throughout the whole arrangement. These bold statements of color or texture make for a more visually striking arrangement.
Odd Numbers: Follow the one of the classic rules of all design....work in odd numbers. Three of something is better than four. Five is better than six (unless you make 6 into 3 clumps of 2 each). Odd numbers find a better natural balance in most designs and floristry is no different.
So, now that you have learned how and when to pick and how to condition your blooms in preparation for arrangement, you can have a hand at arranging. Feel free to share links to images of your own summer arrangements in the comments.
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Images by Roanne Robbins for Leaf Magazine