In March I gave a presentation to the Naval Academy Garden Club with twelve sweet and simple spring designs in a nod to Pantone’s Color of the Year 2017 “Greenery” using lilies, tulips, and iris from

I had promised the group I’d offer them some fast, fun, simple and easy styling techniques for creating arrangements themselves. So they could enjoy more flowers, for more reasons, more often!

I told the attendees that Design-It -Yourself is the most cost effective way to enjoy fresh cut flowers on a regular basis and that they had an advantage over most people because they have landscape foliage in the gardens that they can use to keep their flower costs down.

The video below was done with images from that garden club program. All the foliage in the designs was cut from my yard. One of the guests asked whether I placed foliages or flowers in the arrangements first. So, at the bottom of this post (under the video) I listed the technique and sequence used for each arrangement. Enjoy.

Design by Design Details


FGM Styling TecQ: Divide & Conquer

This little cardboard gift box was painted green. A fresh ribbon handle was added. A square deli container was used as a liner. It was divided into quarters with ribbon then filled with water. Camelia foliage was placed in each section of the liner followed by 8 tulips (2 per each section), and 4 iris (one per each section). Four roses were added during the program to finish the arrangement. 



FGM Styling TecQ: Interior Wire Armature

Heavy gauge wire from Smithers Oasis was coiled into a clear glass vase from Syndicate Sales and finished off with a twist at the top of the vase. Rhododendron foliage was placed in the vase. Three iris and 3 tulips were placed low in the vase – one each was placed taller. The design was finished off during the program with the addition of 5 roses.


FGM Styling TecQ: Exterior Natural Armature

This recycled frosted green vase was embellished with beads. A loose natural armature was made of curly willow and placed in the vase. Ten iris were distributed around the vase and throughout the armature in sets of three: low, middle and tall with the tallest one being placed in the center. Then wisps of scotch broom were added in for graceful movement. During the program campanula was added to the design.


FGM Styling TecQ: Lovely Liners

Plastic bowls lined these green metallic tins. A base of variegated foliage was placed in the container. Ten tulips were distributed – 6 at the base and 4 at the center. Mini carnations were added during the program.


FGM Styling TecQ: Popular Paraphernalia

Green glass stones were placed in this little green glass tumbler. Ten iris were deliberately cut to save their foliage. They were distributed: 5 short at the base, 4 longer in the middle, and one tall iris at the top. The iris foliage was added between the blooms. Orange alstromeria were added during the program.


FGM Styling TecQ: Maxi-Mini Clusters

A recycled glass candle bowl was embellished with wide green flat wire from Smithers Oasis. Five mini clusters of 3 tulips and foliage each were banded together with green bind wire. All were cut to same length and placed into the bowl.    



FGM Styling TecQ: Handy Hand-tied

We embellished a standard clear glass styling vase by coiling green bark cord at the base of the vase and tying off coins at the top. Two permanent berry bushes were used as the mechanics to begin this hand-tied of 6 tightly closed white lilies. A cuff of magnolia from the yard finished the design off. The overall look of this long lasting design is green but as the lilies open white will pervade.


FGM Styling TecQ: Rubber Band

A nicely shaped simple green glass vase was used here. The first 5 iris were rubber banded at the bottom and spread around the vase in a flared shape. Scotch broom was placed between the 5 iris to hold them in place. Then more iris, lilies and tulips were added in. Finally short tulips were inserted at base of the vase.



FGM Styling TecQ: Interior Natural Armature

A shallow acrylic design bowl (looks like glass) was accented with heavy deco wire, glass stones were added for weight, a honeysuckle vine from the yard was twirled inside bowl. Then tulips were “persuaded” (gently massaged into a curve) to rest inside the swirl. Gerbera daisies were added during the garden club program.



FGM Styling TecQ: Exterior Wire Armature

To make three skinny green glass budvases look a little more substantial they were temporarily glued to a dinner plate and a wire armature was draped over and anchored to them. Curly willow was distributed equally in each vase and tightly budded white lilies were placed in the vases to make another long lasting design that will change dramatically as the flowers open. During the garden club program alstromeria was included to add color.



FGM Styling TecQ: Foliage Basing

Three rings of wide green flat wire were placed on a clear glass flared cylinder vase to make it more interesting. A base of nandina and myrtle foliage filled the vase and gave it a great textural beginning. Then iris and lilies were layered in for a handsome green and blue design. By the time the lilies open some of the iris will be expired and the design will become green and white.


“One of the most attractive things

about a flower arrangement…

is how it transforms

over time.”


FGM Styling TecQ: Line-Em-Up

As you know this is my favorite technique. Here 6 plain old cylinder budvases were strung together with four rows of green bark wire to make one really versatile vessel.

I started the “fill” with a little bit of foliage: myrtle, scotch broom and curly willow. Then randomly distributed 10 iris and 10 tulips. The design can be used straight down the middle of a table or on any side table. Or, it can be curved into shaped and placed on a plate to become a round centerpiece. The plate makes it easy to be moved. How cool is that?


Happy “Designing-It-Yourself”, Flower Lovers.

Hope you found these helpful.

Feel free to touch base if you need a speaker or presenter for your club, cause or organization. 

Warm regards and enjoy your floral journey.