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If you’re like me, building even just one bouquet can take on the upwards of a half an hour, trying to piece together flowers that complement one another, constantly adding and subtracting for just the right look. However, after recently taking a local cut flower workshop, I realize it actually is possibly to build several bouquets, even enough to take to market, within a much more reasonable time. In fact, treating your bouquets like any other end-product, there is a clear and simple recipe for constructing the most beautiful market arrangements without stumbling over aesthetics as each new flower is added to the bundle. Try this “recipe” to start building your best bouquets yet!

All bouquets should have the following ingredients. It’s important to note that these ingredients should be added to the bouquet in the sequential order as well.


Focal flowers are the largest, most eye-catching flowers in the bouquet. Choose just one focal, adding in one stem for a small bouquet or two stems for a large bouquet. Some popular focals include sunflowers, zinnias, dahlias, and ranunculus.


Spikes should be added just after the focals. Spikes get their name simply from the actual shape of the flowers. Spike flowers are often quite colorful, adding a vertical dimension to the bouquet and attracting onlookers. Experiment with snapdragons, stock, lupine, or foxgloves to add this necessary element to your bouquets. Three stems often suffice; however, larger bouquets might have five spike stems inside.


Disks are flowers that are similar to focal flowers but are often smaller in size and take on a nice rounded shape. Disks are essentially bouquet bulk builders, filling in empty space and increasing the lushness of the bouquet. Common disks include perennial rudbeckia, asters, crested cockscomb, and cosmos. Try 3-5 disk stems for your bouquet.


All bouquets have filler–the green foliage that adds life and texture to the bouquet. Fillers can also act as a border for the bouquet, offering more of a color “pop” with the accented green. Traditional fillers include amaranth, basil, raspberry, or apple mint, just to name a few! Here you’ll need about 3-5 stems to complete your bouquet.


Adding flowers that have an airy-like quality are attractive with the added element of movement and lightness. Bachelor buttons, Chinese forget-me-nots, scabiosa, some grasses, and even poppy pods are an excellent place to start! Adding this final element to your bouquet will certainly boost your market appeal. Just 2-3 stems per bouquet should do the trick!

Prepare yourself by laying each of the flower types into its own pile in sequential order from focals through air elements. Just like an assembly line, starting with your focal, add the allotted number of stems to your bouquet until to the end, gently turning the bouquet as your move down the line. Try not to get too caught up in what it looks like during the process as this will slow your productivity! Enjoy the surprise of the beauty of this recipe will naturally create. Tie off the stems with a rubber band, chop the ends of the stems, and package in a nice floral sleeve. With this process, you’ll never spend more than an hour on your entire market share of bouquets!

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I used to think that any flower can be used in bouquets as long as they look pretty and smell good. I still have a lot to learn! I guess it’s also important to limit ourselves to the number of flowers or stems to use to save time without going overboard.

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