Five Tips for Creating Your Best Spring Bouquet Ever

(All photos and video © Genevieve Garruppo/Lonny) 
Spring is finally in the air and we couldn't think of a better way to celebrate than by paying a visit to Nicolette Owen's Brooklyn studio, where she was prepping for an upcoming Little Flower School class.

Nicolette Owens |
(Nicolette Owen in her Brooklyn studio.)
We tasked the Vogue-approved floral designer with creating the March bouquet for our new monthly flower installment and asked her to share her well honed tips and tricks along the way. The result: an utterly gorgeous arrangement packed with spring blooms (poppies! tulips! daffodils!) composed in Owen's signature opulent organic style. Scroll down to see the top five takeaways from our visit, plus a sweet video of how it all came together. Click here to see a slideshow version of this article.

Nicolette Owens flower school |
The Flowers
Owen—who prefers to start with a muted, monochromatic palette, incorporating a few pops of color as she goes—chose dusty-toned flowers in pale peaches, yellows, and pinks with hits of the same colors in slightly brighter shades. The lineup: daffodils, fritillaria, hellebores, lilac, poppies, ranunculus, spirea, sweet peas, and tulips.

Making the Bouquet
It all starts with the vase; in this case, it's vintage, footed, and opaque—Owen's preferred vessel style. "This vase gives flowers a nice lift," says Owen. Next, the bouquet is arranged in three stages: the foundation, the focal flowers and the wispy gestures.

Nicolette Owens flower school |
The Foundation: Wood-stemmed lilac and spirea create a sort of web in the vase, making it easier to place the other blooms.

Focal Flowers: These are the more delicate blossoms—tulips, daffodils, ranunculus—that you'll use to begin to create the shape of the bouquet, which can be up to one-and-a-half times the height of your vessel. Group similar flowers that follow the lines of your foundation flowers in pairs or trios to get Owen's nature-inspired look. For example, she paired hellebores with the spirea because they share the same natural arch.

Wispy Gestures: Place the most delicate or showstopping flowers—in this bouquet, sweet peas and poppies—last. By doing this, they'll sit above the rest of the arrangement and get the most attention.

Nicolette Owens flower school |
Et voilà—the finished product!

Our Top Five Tips from Nicolette Owen
1. Use a lazy Susan when making your arrangement to get a 360-degree view of the bouquet. This will allow you to fill in any holes easily. 

2. Cut stems at an angle, which increases surface area and lets the flower absorb water more quickly. You can take that concept one step further with woodsy flowers like lilac and quince branches: simply cut the bottom of the stem straight up the middle—just an inch or so—for maximum water intake.

3. Owen likes to create nature-inspired bouquets that feel like she just walked out into a field and gathered a bundle to wildflowers. The key to this look is making an asymmetrical arrangement that isn’t too tight and gives each bloom room to shine.

4. We used nine different flowers for our March arrangement, but you really just need three different varieties to get the same effect. Keep the three-step process—foundation, focal, and wispy gesture—in mind when choosing your blooms.

5. Instead of  flower foam, which isn't good for the environment or the flowers, use a flower frog or a balled up piece of chicken wire in the bottom of your vessel as an extra measure for creating a sturdy foundation and to help place flowers exactly where you want them.
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