Flower Arrangement Tips For Your Next Table

Finding the Perfect Flowers for Your Table Arrangement

Floral table arrangements add a touch of elegance to dinner parties, holiday gatherings and other special events. Creating your own arrangements saves money and allows you to get creative color. You don’t have to be a pro to put together beautiful collections of flowers. A little planning is all it takes to get everything just right.

Consider the Season

The best flowers for any party are those currently in bloom. Instead of driving yourself crazy trying to find “exotic” flowers to grace your tables, look for seasonal flowers the same way you shop for seasonal produce. Some of the most popular flowers by season are:

• Spring: anemones, apple blossoms, daffodils, hyacinths, lilacs, peonies, sweet pea, tulips and ranunculus
• Summer: alliums, chrysanthemums, forget-me-nots, foxglove, freesias, gardenias, hydrangeas, lavender, lilies and snapdragons
• Fall: aster, baby’s breath, dahlias, marigolds, orchids, Queen Ann’s lace, roses, sunflowers and zinnias
• Winter: amaryllis, carnations, holly, jasmine, poinsettias, star of Bethlehem, star gazer lilies and pansies

Keep in mind some seasonal flowers have very heavy scents. Stick with lightly scented or scent-free flowers to accommodate guests with allergies and sensitivities. Tulips, roses, lilies and ranunculus are all good choices.

Look for Local

Finding seasonal flowers is easy if you buy from local growers. Around 80 percent of all flowers found in U.S. arrangements come from other locations, so sticking close to home not only means you get fresher foliage but also keeps your money in the community.

Farmers markets and nurseries are good sources for local flowers. Growers know which blooms are best for every season, and you may be able to find varieties unavailable in commercial flower shops or online.

Pick a Color Scheme

Shopping local and seasonal automatically narrows down your color choices in flower arrangements, but you still have plenty of options for every occasion. For example, flowers in season around Christmas tend to be red and white, so all you need to do to finish off an arrangement is to add some extra greenery. Flowers in school colors are fun for graduation parties, and a Thanksgiving feast is more festive with shades mimicking fall foliage.

If your party isn’t celebrating a particular event, go with colors you love. Choose reds and oranges for a bold scheme, or keep things calm with blues, purples and light yellows. Decorate the dining area in the same colors, including coordinating table settings, to create a balanced look.

Celebrate the Occasion

Just like when sending flowers as gifts, the flowers you choose for decoration should send the proper message. Decking tables out in lavish arrangements of roses and orchids may not be appropriate if your guests are mostly business associates, and too many carnations and daisies at a formal dinner could come across as too casual. Show appreciation for your guests with colorful lilies, and celebrate anniversaries with delicate seasonal blossoms. For birthday parties, making arrangements featuring the guest of honor’s favorite flower is the best choice. The official flower of his or her birth month is also acceptable.

Go for Longevity

Hardy flowers are the best if you’re new to creating your own flower arrangements. Some blooms can fade quickly without proper care, and anything too delicate can’t be prepared very far in advance. If you prefer to have your arrangements done before the occasion and still want them to look fresh by the time your party gets underway, try these robust blooms:

• Alstroemeria
• Carnation
• Chrysanthemum
• Dahlia
• Freesia
• Gladiola
• Lily
• Orchid
• Peony
• Ranunculus
• Rose

Look for flowers just beginning to open so that they’ll be fully in bloom on the day of your event.

As you plan decorative table arrangements, you’ll start to hone your ability to pick appropriate flowers and combine them into pleasing displays. There may still be some times when you want to hire a professional to take care of the decorating for you, but when you’re hosting your own small event, creating customized flower arrangements can give you a sense of satisfaction. You get to enjoy the results of your handiwork during the party, and your guests will appreciate the time and effort you invested to bring a little natural beauty to the occasion.