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Flower Arranging

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, April April Spring 2007 2007


English gardens are renowned for their history, form, color, and elegance. There are two very different images of the English garden: the classical, hedged formal garden of the manor house and the wilder, free-form cottage garden. Be inspired by their design to create flower arrangements in their styles.

The Formal Garden
A formal garden is characterized by clipped hedges, lawns, and neatly maintained flower gardens. Gardens are often laid out in a symmetrical pattern and have a classical balance. Hedges and neat paths make the garden feel structured and organized, and create a clean, neat appearance.

The formal-inspired arrangement we created on the show is made with fragrant David Austin garden roses, peonies, Hosta leaf, and dark-green branches of Bridal Wreath Spirea. It has a simple, clean shape. It is dramatic yet romantic, perfect for the mantle.

The Informal "Cottage" Garden
The cottage garden is wilder, more free-flowering than the formal English garden. Flowers grow in drifts, creating a semi-wild appearance. Plants drop their seed, popping up around the garden in little surprises of color. Vegetables may be seen growing alongside flowering vines, shrubs, and annuals. There is a succession of color as different blooms reveal themselves throughout the seasons.

The cottage-garden-inspired arrangement is a casual bouquet of fresh-from-the-garden flowers. We selected flowers of different shape, size, and color, mixing pinks, purples, coral, yellow, and chartreuse. Arrange these flowers loosely with different heights.

English Flower Arranging Flowers
Serena and Martha used the following flowers in today's segment:
Alchemilla mollis - Lady's Mantle
Aquilegia hybrids - Columbine
Clematis hybrids - Clematis
Convallaria majalis - Lily of the Valley
Daucus carota - Queen Anne's Lace
Delphinium hybrids - Delphinium
Dicentra spectabilis - Bleeding Heart
Fritillaria meleagris - Checkered Lily
Hosta hybrids - Hosta
Lathyrus odoratus - Sweet Pea
Paeonia hybrids - Peony
Phlox paniculata - Phlox
Rosa hybrids - David Austin garden roses
Spirea 'Arguta' Bridal Wreath Spirea

Many of the flowers used in this segment can be purchased from

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