TSG Tip 161
Image by Christina Hussey Photography

The first official day of summer is just days away. In celebration, we sought out advice for creating a statement-making floral arrangement that reflects the beauty and carefree feeling of the season. Here, Karisa Pennell, owner of Charlotte, North Carolina-based floral design studio Nectar, offers expertise and inspiration for creating a stunning summery design.

Step 1: Gather the Elements

  • Select seasonal blooms. Pennell recommends peonies (particularly the Coral Charm variety), foxglove, astilbe, coxcomb, clematis, fritillaria, allium, and tillandsia.
  • Consider your color options. Cool and dusty tones combined with pops of coral, yellow, and spring green create a lovely mix.
  • Add elements for fragrance. Mixing in foraged herbs like sage and assorted mints will add softer tones to the overall look (and smell wonderful). 
  • Include an unexpected addition. Pennell advises slicing open lemon or kiwi and inserting them into the arrangement or placing them at the base.
  • Let the season dictate the style. In terms of design, think light, airy, and dainty, rather than full and dense. 
  • Prepare a summery vessel. Pennell recommends linen-covered glass, or wrapping a simple container in your favorite summer scarf or dyed cheesecloth. 

Step 2: Assemble the Arrangement 

  1. Create your form with hydrangea, greens, and/or a flower frog. This will serve as your foundation and base.
  2. Create your line with long flowers or greens. This creates movement within the arrangement, and provides your shape. For a light, whimsical, summery feel, Pennell says to think about “stretching” your design by making the lines longer than you would think.
  3. Add focal flowers—most often these are the largest, most expensive, or most colorful flowers.
  4. Add accent flowers. Use these to fill in space and create layering depths. They should not compete with your focal flowers, but complement them and create repetition of color and texture.  
  5. Finish off by adding in herbs, air plants, or fruits, and adding in extra greens to collar your vase. Be sure to fill in any holes or gaps.
  6. Immediately after you’re done designing, change the water, which should always be room temperature. To keep your arrangement fresh, change the water daily. 

TSG Tip 161 provided by Karisa Pennell of Nectar in Charlotte, North Carolina.