How to Arrange Flowers

Today I am sharing how to arrange flowers for your home. Having fresh flowers in my home is something that makes me really happy.

It used to feel fancy and a bit of an exception to have fresh flowers in my home, but now that fresh flowers are more accessible, at farmer’s markets, grocery stores, etc. it’s so easy. Whenever I buy fresh flowers I do everything I can to help them to last as long as possible. So today, let’s share some of my tips and tricks to make them last.

How to Arrange Fresh Flowers
Make it Pretty

How to Arrange Fresh Flowers

pink carnations in a wooden crate in front of a window

Fresh flowers are the best. I am fortunate enough to be able to shop at the LA Flower Mart and our local Trader Joe’s for fresh flowers. Now I am going to share how I arranged fresh flowers in fun containers for our home.

This is the ombre table I created last year. You can find everything about how I created this arrangement in my blog post about creating a beautiful pink ombre table.

Ombre Flowers Table

Let me share how I arranged these flowers for my ombre table.

I wanted the flowers to be low in the vase so that the centerpiece would be uniform in shape and size all the way down the table. The only variation would be color.

How to Arrange Flowers in a Vase

To hold the flower heads up above the top of the vase, so that they wouldn’t slip down into the bottom of the vase, I built a lattice out of scotch tape, placing strips in each direction. Creating this lattice makes it easy to build a low-profile arrangement. Once the lattice is in place, start filling the top of the vase.

I started with the darkest color first. I used peonies, old-fashioned carnations, hyacinths, and large magenta roses. Once I had three of the square vases equally filled, I moved on to the medium color pink.

For the three square vases to hold the medium/light-colored pink flowers, I used old-fashioned carnations, light pink tea roses, light pink sweet peas, and light pink ranunculus. For the blush/white flowers, I used white tea roses, blush hydrangeas, and iceberg roses from my garden.

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Re-Using Flowers

A few days after we created the ombre table, I took all of the flowers out of the glass vases, recut them, and then re-arranged them. If you recut and add fresh water you will love how much longer your flowers will last!

I chose to arrange the mid-range pink flowers in my vintage crocks. I just love these! If you want to know more about my crocks, you can read my blog post about Vintage Crocks and Spring Floral Arrangements.

How to Arrange Fresh Flowers in the Dining Room

I also arranged some in a vintage basket.

Fresh Flowers in a White Kitchen

I put the lightest pink flowers in small vases and placed the vases in my vintage rattan basket. I put the basket in our kitchen next to the ice cream maker with the tissue paper cherry blossoms that I made.

Fresh Flowers in The Kitchen

Since I had some extra pink blossoms, I put them in a clear vase and put them on the other side of the small sink in my kitchen.

Fresh Flowers in a White Kitchen

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My New Favorite Flower

I never, in a million years thought I would say that my new favorite flower is a carnation.

It’s an old-fashioned carnation and it is called a Chabaud carnation. It has more petals than a regular carnation and it looks a bit like a peony.

And they were very inexpensive at the Flower Mart.


Aren’t these gorgeous?

Recutting Pink Double Carnations

I love these so much that I just ordered seeds to grow in my garden. Here is the link to the seeds that I purchased.

Pink Double Carnations

When I was younger, I remember when carnations were not well-loved flowers. They were kind of a “cheap rose”. Well, these old-fashioned carnations are my “cheap peony” and I love them!

I can promise you I will be going back to the Flower Mart to buy some more.

Old Fashioned Carnations

Lastly, I rearranged the dark purple flowers and put them on our bar cart. The bright pink is such a pretty color.

Apothecary Glass Jars in the Butlers Pantry

Frequently Asked Questions

What are old-fashioned carnations?

An old-fashioned carnation is called a Chabaud carnation. It has more petals than a regular carnation and it looks like a peony.

Where do carnations grow best?

Carnations need sunlight and should be planted in an area that gets four to six hours of sunlight per day. When deciding where to plant, keep in mind carnations prefer sunlight to shade. Also, be sure to use well-drained soil that is fertile and slightly alkalized.

What is the difference between carnations and dianthus?

Dianthus, the scientific name for carnations, means flower of God. Dianthus chinensis has flowers that may have white edges or other unusual markings. Carnations are also long-stemmed with substantial blooms while Dianthus are relatively short-stemmed with smaller more dainty blooms.

Doesn’t my basket of flowers look wonderful in our backyard?

Fresh Flowers in a Basket Outside

Finally, I thought I would share all of the flowers in our kitchen. All I can say is that I wish they would last forever.

Fresh Flowers in My Kitchen

Here are some great options to grow your own Old Fashioned Carnations or use faux flowers. I also included items to arrange flowers.

More Fresh Flower Ideas


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French Dining Table

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three crocks filled with pink flowers on a table

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  1. Gorgeous! Fresh flowers are so uplifting. Bright and cheery and the smell! We just came off a snowy cold snap in Massachusetts. We have around 6 inches of snow on the ground, which is beautiful and it makes flowers in the house so welcome. I have 10 amaryllis almost ready to pop and can’t wait to see their huge happy blooms 😊 I am starting a cutting garden this year and might include these Chabaud carnations.

    1. Oh I am so excited that you might try the Chabaud carnations Siobhan! Please let me know how yours grow and what you think!

  2. Your flower arangements look lovely and as some of your followers wrote I bet they smell amazing.Spring is just around the corner and it looks like you’ve all ready started. The more I see and read your lovely posts the more I want to add touches of pink to my home. Elegant, simple and beautiful. Wishing you a great day.

    1. Thank you so much Barbara, I very much appreciate that you reached out with your kind comments. Have a wonderful day!

  3. These are stunning and I want to start using crocks to display flowers on my farmhouse table. Do u line the crock before adding water? Or add anything to the water? Thanks.

  4. I knew you were going to say Carnations were your new favorite flower! I love flowers, though not a gardener, and Carnations have always been my very favorite. I do not really care for roses…would rather a Carnation of any color any day. They have been unfairly maligned for years and it is about time it ended. Maybe your blog will be the beginning of the resurgence of the whole, exquisite Carnation family. Bonus is the white and some reddish varieties have the most heavenly scent.

    1. Maureen, I agree, I am now a huge fan of carnations. I swear, I think they have changed them since I was a teenager 😊 And you are right, the smell is wonderful, very nutmeggy!

  5. Leslie,
    This is such a great post. I learned so much. I plan to share a link to your post on Sunday for my Dirt Road Adventures roundup. Thanks for all your inspiration.

  6. Dear Leslie, I can’t tell you how much I look forward to you email everyday. I live in the east where it is cold and dreary in the winter. My own 130 year old house needs a pick me up about this time. Thanks for the inspiration, always lovely.

  7. Leslie,
    Thanks again for the informative information! Your flower arrangements are always so beautiful, faux or real!! I love them all…

  8. You always inspire us so much, and THANK YOU for shedding light on these gorgeous carnations. In my weddings, we use them as they are so affordable, but you forgot to mention, they seem to last FOREVER! I use and reuse them in our decor, as they come in so many colors as well. You and Martha both love my favorite flowers…thank you for highlighting these wonderful stems!

  9. I love this post, and yes your carnations remind me of peonies when arranged en masse! Beautiful!
    You suggested the scotch tape trick I have used for years. It allows you so many more options for choosing the cantainer for your arrangement! I do that often!
    One question, I loved the shot of the flowers looking across your kitchen island and showing more of the kitchen. Do you mind sharing the name of that pale green color in your kitchen? It looks like such a fresh neutral, and I am getting away from grays and whites. Thank you!

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