As florists, we’re always looking for ways to hone our craft and improve our practices whenever and wherever we can. Many of us will have floristry styles that have evolved – and continue to evolve – over time, as we design in ways that feel very different to when we first learnt our craft.

Expert floral arranging tips

Being part of a creative industry also means that every event we take on is different, even when we’re essentially using the same natural materials each time. In an increasingly saturated and competitive landscape, how can we create a point of difference with our floral design and keep our creations feeling fresh, contemporary and unique?

Of course there’s no golden bullet, but read on for what we believe to be the recipe for success when it comes to improving and elevating your floral design.

1. Using British flowers wherever possible

This isn’t easy to do all year round, but seasonal British flowers truly make a difference in both small and large scale floral design. Whether you’re making a single bouquet or building a vast installation, the shape, texture, colour and overall look of your creation will be hugely improved by including stems that have been grown on home soil.

Imported flowers certainly have their place, but their uniform look, shape and size do not always allow for the most beautiful, natural and interesting looking pieces.

2. Foam free is the way to be

Over the last few years there has been a big move away from floral foam in our industry and with good reason; we are all now painfully aware of the toxic and harmful side effects these products have on the environment.

However, if you needed another cause to consider using more sustainable mechanics, think about how these structures inform the overall look of the piece you’re creating. It’s certainly the case that you can achieve far more light, airy and delicate designs when using (and re-using) elements such as chicken wire or floral pin frogs, instead of the denser and more one-dimensional look you often get from floral foam.

GAIA vessels were designed with sustainability in mind meaning you don’t need to use any floral foam to create your arrangements. Simply cut a small length of chicken wire and mould it into a small ball shape, drop it into your Bowl (on top of a flower frog, if you want to use one for additional anchoring) and secure in place using floristry tape before filling the vessel with water.

3. Pick a tonal colour palette

Using a tonal colour palette not only adds dimension and depth to floral design, but also helps to make arrangements look more natural. If you think about how things grow together in nature, it’s very rare to come across colours that feel jarring when placed next to each other.

That doesn’t mean that colours can’t be very different – for example, purple and yellow can work together if they’re both in a soft tone as lilac and lemon. If you’re someone who uses lots and lots of various colours when creating your designs, then switching up your style to only working tonally will be a game changer.

4. Ditch the old rule book and embrace modern practices

Many of us were taught to design in a very specific and prescriptive way when we learnt floristry. The reality of modern floral design is that there are no rules. You don’t have to start with foliage first when creating a centrepiece for example – you don’t even have to use foliage at all for a beautiful and effective design!

The most important thing is just to ensure you start off with the right vessel for the job.

First and foremost, you need something watertight to avoid leaks and ensure all your stems are able to get a decent drink. Next you need something sturdy and weighty that won’t easily tip over or spill when filled with both water and flowers.

Finally, you need to consider how deep and wide the vessel is – a vessel with both a decent height and depth is important for getting the proportions of your arrangement right.

Our vessels have been designed with all of this in mind; the Low Bowl even has a ready-made recess for your flower frog at the bottom. Just pop it in and away you go.

"It’s a fantastic opportunity to close off the analytical side of our brains and plug into the intuitive, creative side."

The main thing is not to be put off if something doesn’t work or look quite right; let’s not forget that the beauty of floral design is that there’s nothing that can’t be undone; you can take stems out, add them back in, and play with the piece until it feels right.

The joy really is in the process of creating the piece – it’s a fantastic opportunity to close off the analytical side of our brains and plug into the intuitive, creative side.

There’s nothing better than seeing a few single stems turn into a whole and beautiful arrangement; it’s a little piece of floral magic.