Ace of vase: The right way to create seasonal flower arrangements

Ayla Gurganus shows us the rules of arrangement
Flower arrangements
Some table tips to prime your party

Photograph by Caroline C. Kilgore

Ayla Gurganus’s floral arrangements are Instagram catnip: oversized peonies, muted ocher roses, trails of greenery, and the occasional strategically placed branch. In May she launched the Flower Shop at Young Blood Boutique, offering one style of hand-tied bouquet every other week. (Hint: Her twice-monthly flower subscription service, starting at $76, makes a great gift.) Below, Gurganus shares tips for creating seasonal arrangements.

Neutrals are timeless
Holiday florals don’t always have to include red berries. “Red is not my jam,” Gurganus says. “I usually go with a muted yellow, white, or cream.”

Strip down
To effectively use branches, Gurganus advises stripping the bark for a look that’s more minimalist chic than rustic.

Go outside
Many of Gurganus’s bouquets include elements she’s foraged from her Ormewood Park yard. She looks for sturdy, waxy leaves and vines such as jasmine and ivy.

For tablescapes, favor width over height
“For a table arrangement, I’d rather go out than up. One of my peeves is arrangements at dinner parties where you have to move it because you can’t see the person across from you.”

Flower arrangements

Photograph by Caroline C. Kilgore

One last thing
Before parties, add a small bud vase to the bathroom and light a candle for a simple, elegant touch.

This article originally appeared in our November 2017 issue.