Floral designer Preston Bailey is noted for his dramatic all-white centerpieces, whose silhouettes contain a range of sizes and textures. This arrangement contains a combination of full, white rose heads with the abundance of tiny blooms that form on lilac stems.

Since he doesn't like to use many leaves in his centerpieces, he adds chartreuse hydrangeas and eucalyptus berries for balance. Preston doesn't count out the flowers, but simply adds them until the arrangement looks well proportioned and filled out from every angle.

Tools and Materials

  • Large, round frosted-glass vase (about 8 inches in diameter)
  • Pliers
  • Chicken wire
  • White lilacs
  • Green snowball hydrangeas
  • Florist's clippers or a sharp knife
  • Branches of eucalyptus berries
  • White lisianthius
  • White roses
  • White sweet peas
  • White cattleya orchids

All-White Centerpiece How-To

1. Fill the vase with lukewarm water 1 to 2 inches from the top. With pliers, cut out a round piece of chicken wire two inches larger in diameter than the mouth of the vase. Insert the chicken wire into the mouth of the vase with edges folded down; the grid it creates will support the stems of the flowers in the arrangement.

2. Begin by forming the "structure" of the arrangement with white lilacs and green hydrangeas; place them throughout, with greater density at the edges. As you go, cut these flowers' woody stems at an angle with a sharp knife or florist's clippers.

3. Next, strip most of the leaves from the eucalyptus-berry branches, and incorporate them into the arrangement. Next add the white lisianthius flowers; they will echo the silhouettes of the roses. Remove most of the leaves from the white roses so that the heads are emphasized, and add them in clusters; the roses should be the most prominent elements in the arrangement. Fill in any gaps with flouncy white sweet peas. Finally, add a few cattleya orchids in the spots where you think they look best.


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