Dear Eddie,

The flowers you did in the urns look absolutely beautiful.  But what if you are a spazz like me and can’t figure out how to get the flowers to look like that?  How do you make them stay in the urn and stand up like that?


Dear April,

Great question! But before I get to it, I just want to remind everyone about which flowers you’re referring to. A few weeks back, I did an arrangement in a pair of ironstone urns from an antique store in Trenton.


Back in the day, when I owned my own catering company, clients would often hire me to do big, beautiful arrangements on shoestring budgets. Truth is, a professional looking arrangement is not always about the best, most expensive flowers you can find. That helps, but it’s not necessary. Nor is it about those one or two vases in your cupboard that you think you always need to use. Great flowers are everywhere: the flower market, yes, but any decent grocery store and a lot of corner delis carry good varieties, and all for a lot less. The container you choose carries just as many possibilities. Think outside the vase! These old ironstone urns were not expensive at all, and neither were the flowers, but it’s how you put them together that makes all the difference. And that’s what I’m going to show you how to do.

First, I’ll give you an inside look into some of the tools-of-the-trade, including flower frogs, floral foam, rose dethorners and the all-important oasis. I’ll also show you some of my favorite containers for doing flowers and the secret to making them stand up. 

Next, after a few, quick tips on how to keep your flowers looking fresh, I’ll move onto the first important step in creating a great looking arrangement: building the dome. The flowers I’m using are from a deli just around the corner from my apartment. Roses in two beautiful shades of coral first caught my eye. To build the dome, I’ll begin with the lighter.

Then, to fill in, I’ll move onto the darker tones. Plus, a tip on how to get roses to open up like magic!   

On to the finish! To create a lush, full arrangement, the final touches are crucial, so be sure to watch. 

When people see an arrangement like this that looks professional, so often they think Oh, I could never do that or Well, if it’s going to impress people, I’d better just hire someone to do it for me. If you want my advice, invest in the tools, the ones the pros use but never tell you about. Then, next time you’re at the supermarket, find a few varieties you love, but stay away from those pre-made bouquets. They may look pulled together, but where’s the fun in that? When it comes time to choosing a container, take a risk! Ditch the vase for something totally unexpected, like a chic black transferware tea pot or a beautiful old soup tourine. Just remember: keep it natural and have fun!