Easy Flower Arranging

On Mother’s Day (May 10) impress your mom — and yourself! — by crafting a simple yet sophisticated seasonal arrangement from The Flower Recipe Book (Artisan Books) by Alethea Harampolis and Jill Rizzo of Studio Choo Florists.

Anemone in a pot


Photo by Paige Green
Anemones sport cute black (and sometimes green) button centers and frilly petal collars. They can be challenging to use in arrangements when they have really bendy stems, but the right display accentuates their curves.


Anemone with Company




  1. Trim and place stems of geranium and agonis in bowl so that lowest leaves rest at its rim.
  2. Trim and add five stems of anemone to rest on geranium leaves in center of bowl, and remaining two stems so that they’re a few inches higher on the left and right.
  3. Trim and tuck jasmine vines so that two drape over edges of bowl and one reaches out to top of arrangement.
  4. Add only a few inches of water. Anemone stems are hollow and will rot quickly in deep water.

Peony flowers in pots.


Photo by Paige Green
The Coral Charm variety undergoes an amazing transformation, opening from a tight ball to a giant, hot-pink flower that fades to antique cream just before its petals drop. Select buds that are just open enough to show their colors so that you can enjoy them as long as possible.


Peony Recipe




  1. Trim and add three stems to the first jar so that the blooms rest 2 inches above the rim.
  2. Trim and add four stems to the same jar so that the bottoms of the blooms sit just above the first three flowers, creating a tight mass of blooms.
  3. Trim and add the last two stems to the second jar so that the blooms sit at slightly different heights, a few inches above the rim.

Poppy in a vase


Photo by Paige Green
With tissue paper petals and skinny, tendril-like stems, poppies are so ethereal, they seem to practically float on air. Their tight, furry, unopened buds are a striking combination next to the colorful explosion of an open bloom.


Poppy Recipe




  1. Attach a flower frog to the bottom of the vase with floral putty.
  2. Trim and burn the stems* and add the poppies to the base at varying heights so that each stem has its own space within the arrangement, and no blooms are touching.

*Stem Burning. We’ve found that burning the stems of poppies allows them to open and stay intact for quite a while. The technique is simple: Just hold the newly cut end of a poppy’s stem in the flame of a lighter for a few seconds.

Cover for The Flower Recipe Book
Excerpted from The Flower Recipe Book by Alethea Harampolis and Jill Rizzo (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2013.