Arranging Winter Flowers

Fresh flowers brighten up winter days.

By Katharine Goodbody


Fresh flowers brighten a room and at no time is this truer than in the dark of winter. Your dining table or living room coffee table will look lovely with a floral arrangement that you put together yourself. 

You will have to buy the flowers from a local florist unless you happen to live in the tropics, but you can augment the storebought flowers with greens cut from shrubbery in your own yard. 

Here are a few things you should keep in mind when creating your arrangements.

Where will the arrangement be placed: When creating a flower arrangement, first consider where it will be displayed. A small vase with short flowers would be lost in a large entrance hall. Likewise, an arrangement that is too tall for its location can look out of place. The color of the arrangement should not compete with the color of its location, either.

What container will you use: When choosing a container remember that it is part of the arrangement and should be in scale with the size of the flowers and plant material, as well as with the arrangement’s location.

Almost any vessel that holds water can be used as a container for fresh flowers; don’t limit yourself to traditional vases. A pitcher, a jar, or a large mixing bowl all work. Even a cereal bowl works with the right flowers!

If your desired container won’t hold water, line it with a jar or plastic bowl that will. This way, you can use items such as baskets for display.

Flowers and greenery: Choose flowers and other plant material that you like. For interest, look for a variety of textures and shapes. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

Greens and interesting sticks and twigs, even individual leaves, add interest to your arrangement. Don’t be afraid to move things around when arranging and be sure to look at the arrangement from all sides. Arranging on a turntable (or lazy susan) is helpful.

Practical tips.

  1. Always cut your plant material with a sharp knife or scissors and store in water.
  2. Always strip leaves that will be underwater to prevent contaminating the water
  3. Many containers will require either floral foam or a pin holder to keep the plant material in place. The foam must be soaked briefly before using and it may require floral tape or something else to keep it anchored. All of these supplies are available in crafts stores.
  4. To prolong its life, make sure the arrangement has sufficient and clean water. Change it regularly.

With just a little attention, fresh, colorful blooms can grace your home as gloriously as they do in the summer!

Katharine Goodbody is a member of the New Haven Garden Club and has won awards for flower arranging.