Rittners School Of Floral Design
In Boston Presents....

Fall Arrangement #4

This design is a good example of what we would call a "variation on a theme." It contains pretty much the same contents as does Fall Design #1, however, the materials have been assembed here a bit differently. Sometimes its fun to come up with designs that are similar, yet different. By trying out different variations on a theme, it also opens up greater design options, and strengthens ones skills as a designer. The key factor here, is in the change in the placement of the materials.

What You Will Need

  • Wicker Basket Container and Liner
  • 8 Liatris
  • Yarrow
  • 2 Dried Strelitizia Leaves
  • Baker fern
  • 1/2-1 Bunch of Miniature Carnations
  • 1/2-1 Bunch of Pompons

  • This design is fun to assemble and yet quite easy to make. Start by placing a plastic liner inside a wicker basket base. This is necessary to prevent leakage. Place your foam into the liner and the wicker basket. You'll notice here that the basket used in this design has been painted. Wicker baskets are now coming into your local florist in a wide variety of colors and finishes. The brown and green finish of this basket provide a nice visual anchor for this design.

    Start with your foliage. In this particular case we are using baker fern also called leather leaf. Fill the base with your baker fern as shown in the picture. This covers the mechanics of the design. Because it is easier to place most of our foliage now than later, you'll note that the top of the base is covered with green. We've placed one larger piece to the back and several slightly longer stems to the left and to the right.

    This design is definitely a one sided design, meant to be viewed from one direction. In order to create height in this design we've started our flower placement with liatris or blazing star. Liatris is a great flower to use to achieve linear effects. Two liatris are placed high in the design, with one a bit taller than the other. Note how tall we are coming. Don't be shy in this area. Height adds to the importance of the design.

    Next we place two liatris, one on either side of the vase arrangement, parallel with the table. The first four liatris definitely set the overall shape of this design. Finally two more liatris are placed in between the top two and the side two.

    The design as shown in the last visual looks a bit sparse and very rigid. We need to somehow break the severity of the liatris. To do that we use a couple of pieces of dried strelitzia leaf. These are placed coming down in front of the first two liatris stems. Note the contrast!!

    Next we add a few pieces of dried yarrow, one up high, one slightly to the left, the other slightly to the right, framing as it were,the two pieces of dried streltizia .

    Next let's start to add some of our poms. The variety that we are using here are the daisy variety (for obvious reasons, they look like daisies!) These are placed on the top section of the design, and even more importantly, down near the base.

    Next let's add a few miniature carnations. Mini carnations are a very popular flower. They generally last well and come in a wide variety of colors. Start at the top of the design, and gradually work your way down.

    To add contrast and interest to the design let's put a few more yarrow in close towards the base. Finish the design by adding red miniature carnations as shown in the photograph.

    The overall effect is a very large, showy and impressive design with a lot of visual punch....Certainly one that would be nice in an entry way, on a reception desk, or perhaps grace a side table in a living room.

    Incidentally, change the poms to white ones, and in place of the baker fern, use pine and/or balsam and you would have a great floral design for Christmas and winter use.

    We hope that you really enjoyed this brief floral design lesson. At Rittners School of Floral Design in Boston we provide floral design instruction that includes a wide range of different styles and techniques. Please come and take one of our hands-on workshop programs!!

  • Rittners Floral Education Center returns you to our Floral Education Center.

    Your Webmaster is Dr. Steve Rittner, who may be reached at All photographs and text on this page are Copyright - Rittners School, and may not be reproduced, or used for any commercial purposes.


  • image