When it comes to crafting the perfect , every detail, from the flatware to the linens, counts. Yet there's one element that typically stands out from the rest: the flower arrangement.
No one knows this quite as well as , a landscape, wedding and event designer who has created centerpieces for everyone from Chanel to Chopard. Whether you're hosting an elegant or an end-of-summer fête, it's safe to say he could teach us a thing or two about charming your guests.
Here, he breaks it down in five easy tips.
1. Master The Art Of The Mix
There are four types of , and it's a good rule of thumb to include a mix of each. Focal flowers, like garden roses, peonies, dahlias and sunflowers, command attention, while filler flowers, such as Alchemilla, Astrantia and Queen Anne's Lace, fill in the gaps. Long, tall flowers like Astilbe, Delphinium Belladonna and Larkspur are good examples of line flowers — blooms that define the shape of the arrangement. Foliage like ferns, Hosta leaves and bush ivy frame and add contrast.
Don't worry too much about how many of each you have.
"There are no unbreakable rules as to the ratio of focal flowers to other types of flowers," says Wendt. In other words, you really can't mess up this part.
2. Look To Colors And Nature For Inspiration
"If plants blooms together in nature, they will work in your arrangement," says Wendt. Likewise, if the types of flowers you're buying grow at the same time of year or if they're in the same color family, you're good to go.
3. It's All About The Curves
Once you've selected your flowers, it's time to choose the perfect glass. According to Wendt, the best vases are narrow at the neck and gradually get wider at the base; ginger jar shapes, cylinder vases that cinch in the middle, and globe-shaped vases work well, too. Why? The wider base allows you to set the flowers so they're not all sticking straight up, while the neck holds the flowers in place.
4. Use A Knife – Not Scissors
It's imperative that you don't use regular scissors as you're cutting your — they crush the stems. Use a knife or floral shears instead, cutting each flower at an angle as you place it in the vase, says Wendt.
5. Work From Biggest To Smallest
Time to actually put your flowers in the vase. Wendt suggests starting with the focal flowers to create the shape and body of the arrangement. Next, add foliage for support, then filler flowers and lastly, the line flowers. Ta-da! You just created one good-lookin' arrangement.