top of page





Read your schedule CAREFULLY! If you have questions, call someone on the Flower Show Committee to clarify. If there is a workshop for the show, plan to attend. Pick a class to enter.


During the months before the show, read the details of your class and start thinking about ideas for your design. Is there time to plant some bulbs or flowers, what should the container look like, what do the size requirements look like, etc. You may see design ideas during that time that will give you inspiration. Notice arrangements in magazines, catalogs, stores, etc. Browse library books for ideas.


Two – three weeks before the show, read the schedule CAREFULLY, noting any REQUIREMENTS for materials, how many sides the arrangement will be viewed from and the finished size. Choose a container and clean it carefully.


The day before the show, cut your flowers and greens, preferably early in the morning. Conditioning is very important. Remove extraneous leaves.Re-cut them in the kitchen and immerse immediately in water for at least four hours. If you add a plant food for cut flowers, prepare it exactly as the instructions say. Adding too much water can dilute the solution and encourage bacteria rather than kill it. Repeat step 3.


If you are using oasis, let the oasis sink by itself in the water – don’t push down – to insure that water is absorbed throughout without air pockets


Cut out a piece of paper the size of the finished arrangement to use as a guide. You can set this up against the wall behind the arrangement as you are working and also lay it down beside it from time to time to see that you are keeping within the boundaries.


 Helpful pointers in arranging:

  • as you arrange, cut the stem on an angle (to allow for more surface for the water) and immediately put in place. Do not pull out and replace in the same hole.

  • use uneven numbers of “similar” flowers

  • place guideline flowers to determine final general borders

  • vary flower faces and sizes in most arrangements

  • flowers should not be all the same length

  • generally larger darker flowers sit lower in arrangement; lighter smaller flowers sit higher

  • a lazy Susan is helpful for doing an arrangement viewed from all sides

  • groom your plant material as you go – blossoms or leaves with holes, discoloration, etc.

  • tidy up accessories – iron the fabric, dust teacup, etc.

  • mask your mechanics with leaves or filler flowers

  • use a mirror to spot holes or mistakes

  • measure the final arrangement


List all the flowers and greens you used in the arrangement for your entry card.


Transport your creation carefully – do not assume it will not topple over. A large flat box is more stable than a smaller one. Tuck newspaper or beach towels into the spaces.


Above all, enjoy the process, take chances, and let your creative juices flow, walk away and come back to it. Remember it’s flowers not brain surgery and with flower shows you learn by doing.

bottom of page