Making Arrangements

Flower farmer Beth Harris show us how to create a bountiful floral display

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There’s something about a floral centerpiece that elevates even a simple table setting into something special. Today’s versions aren’t the tightly manicured bunches of even a few years ago. Often housed in atypical vessels, modern centerpieces celebrate the wild forms and colors of nature and almost anything goes. Think branch clippings still covered with leaves, berries, and buds; unkempt fragrant herbs; and of course, flowers at varying heights.

Assembling one yourself isn’t as difficult as it seems. We asked Beth Harris, owner of Fairest Flowers Farm in North Scituate, for tips on how to create a beautiful and impressive display. Beth grows and sells a stunning variety of flowers, including dahlias with delightful names like sunkissed, daydreamer, and moonstruck. From her website she sells dahlia bulbs, or “tubers,” but offline, drive along Route 116 to Trimtown Road in North Scituate and be instantly smitten with her charming flower cart filled with jars of spectacular seasonal offerings. Bring cash to the roadside attraction and treat yourself to a fresh bouquet. See what’s blooming on Beth’s Instagram at @FairestFlowers.

Prep

Before starting, you’ll need something at the base of the container to insert stems and secure the arrangement in place. This can be done using floral foam cut to fit and saturated with water. Alternatively, for a more eco-friendly foundation, use a flower frog (those flat disks with upright pins or half spheres with holes); construct a grid affixed toward the base using floral tape; or scrunch a small section of chicken wire.
 

Create

1. Place selected foundation at the bottom of your container. Fill with water.

2. Gather your flowers and foliage and cut stems at a slant to increase water intake.

3. Cut leafy greens shortest and work your way up in length to the flowers you want to stand tall.

4. Begin by inserting shorter leafy stems around the inside rim to conceal the top of the container.

5. Next, add medium sized blooms working your way inward, followed by increasingly larger blooms toward the center.

6. Finish with long sprigs of flowers or branches in an almost random pattern.