Eight Tips For The Art of Flower Arranging

Arrangement created by Mindy Rosenberg Design 

Recently, I attended a class given by Mindy in her beautiful backyard. We were each given a notebook to record our notes. 

My notes:
1.  Pick Your Vessel--as it determines the mechanics to hold the flowers in place:
     A. Floral foam--commonly used by florists (completely soak the foam in a big bucket with added fertilizer)
    B.  Chicken wire--I choose this method as I had never used it before
    C.  Tape a grid
    D.  Keep crossing stems for a grid network (this is what I usually do at home as I used to watch the florists at the stands in Paris for long periods of time, mesmerized, when we lived there).
My blank canvas.

2.  Start with greenery.  This is where you all with gardens are lucky (not a city dweller like me)...go out there and pick branches of boxwood, lemon leaves, rosemary, mint (nice for scents), hydrangeas, palm, etc.  Just go crazy.

3. Cut all the stems at an angle and remove all the leaves below the water line as they will clog the stems. 

Mindy had tons of beautiful flowers from which to choose for our bouquets.

 4.  Use a turntable (even a less expensive spice "Rubbermaid" type) so that you can easily view your arrangement from all sides.

5.  Change the water in your vessel every day for the first three days.  Use warm water with a drop of bleach and a little sugar as a preservative.

Mindy is turning back the rose petals for a showpiece in her arrangement.
6.  After you have your base of greenery, arrange blooms in threes of different heights
 7.  Flowers should radiate from the center out and make sure you remember the base of the arrangement.
 8.  Invest in a good pair of clippers.

I learned a lot more than these eight tips...and perhaps I will do a follow-up after I take another class!

We were each given goodie bags to take home.  Mindy had lovely refreshments (forgot to take photos).  Mindy, may I have your hummus recipe, please?

Here is my arrangement...I was going for a loose, garden picked look.  
I love it but I think it could have been better if I listened to Mindy's tip to start with more of a base of greenery.  I was too excited to get to the flowers.  Also, I wish I would have done the blooms in threes--I just winged it.

A little off topic, but I was given a copy of 
Windsor Smith's Homefront to review.  I LOVE her style...
Windsor loves flowers, too.  It's now one of my FAVORITE design books.  Seriously.  A lot of good inspiration here.

Back to Mindy...if you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, you will want to attend one of her classes.  She can even tailor a class for a bridal shower or birthday party.  Contact her at info@mindyrosenberg.com.

And follow her on Instagram like I do!



  1. Great tips! Would love to attend a class like this!

  2. What fun it must have been to attend Mindy's class! I'd love to do that one day. Her arrangement is beautiful and so is yours!

  3. LOVED this post!!! Thanks for all the tips, some I knew but turning back petals is a new one for me and makes such perfect sense. Great tutorial:)

  4. I love arranging flowers and I wish there was a class like this by me! Those arrangements are gorgeous!

  5. Dear Mary Ann I adore your arrangement and all of the tips are perfect for a hand picked floral bouquet!
    The book by Windsor and Mindy's generosity must have made the class even more fun!

    The Arts by Karena

  6. What a pretty post, Mary Ann! How fun to attend a class and get to home with a beautiful arrangement. I've heard her book is fabulous!

  7. Flowers...how I love thee...let me count the ways! What a fun class to take and her array of beautiful flowers to choose from was amazing! I would have been in "hog" heaven! I did learn that I've been doing it wrong...I've always added the greens at the end! Oops! Your arrangement is gorgeous and I love the relaxed "picked from the garden" feel of it. Great job. Will have to check out Windsor Smith's Homefront...looks divine!!!
    We're getting rain, so the flowers here will be happy for a few days! xoxo Gail

  8. Really nice, Mary Ann and such helpful, useful tips. I get either to excited or too overwhelmed when trying for a "real" arrangement (as opposed to something small and casual to put in the kitchen..) The choices can seem so endless. I do think chicken wire is a great idea: Julie at Peonies & Posies uses it all the time and very successfully! Have a lovely weekend!

  9. Mindy knows her stuff...I want to hear more about the grids. I have some flower frog containers but otherwise I can't seem to achieve that. I knew about the varying heights...that's so important.

    Such a helpful post!

    Jane x

  10. I would so love to go to one of Mindy's classes - that sounds like the perfect afternoon to me! Such a fabulous idea for a bridal shower - I'll have to keep that in mind for my niece who is likely to be engaged soon.....I have been planning her wedding in my head for years and now I'm adding "floral arranging bridal shower" to my list :) Your arrangement came out so pretty - I am curious about using blooms in 3s for a mixed arrangement. That is a rule of thumb? You are so full of wonderful tips - thank you for inspiring as always!

  11. Is there anything you can't do?? Your arrangement is beautiful and I love all of Mindy's tips. Now I'm going to have to save this post and try myself! Happy weekend ~

  12. Beautiful arrangements, Mary Ann! I bet it was so much fun attending the class and learning from a pro like Mindy!


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