A Simple Rose Arrangement


I am posting just before Valentine’s Day, as this the holiday with all its boxes of chocolate and paper hearts, has inspired me.


Wish you had the flair to assemble A Simple Rose Arrangement? I am here to share my own tips for making any bunch of store-bought flowers look elegant. And yes, I am posting just before Valentine’s Day, as this the holiday with all its boxes of chocolate and paper hearts, has inspired me. These clementine roses from Trader Joe’s were impossible for me to pass up. I spent the drive home deciding how they’d be arranged.

For me, A Simple Rose Arrangement depends on the right container, and the right container begins with what I already have on hand. I have a corner in my garage with well-worn terra cotta pots that I like to use when I force spring branches, and a small nook in a closet for glass and ceramic that I pick up at yard sales.  Ask anybody who knows me, but I rarely if ever use a conventional vase



Once the right container for the job has been determined, mastering a DIY flower arrangement is a piece of cake…


We hit a fabulous garage sale a week or so ago. And when I say fabulous, I mean to say it may have been the mother of all sales that we’ve been to in quite a while. I’ve been into colored glassware of late, after a fellow food photographer and blogger shared an inspiration photo of all of the kitchenware she picks up at tag sales and uses in her food photos. Inspired, I set out to emulate her and came home with boxes of ‘pinks.’



The lady running the sale grew up in the home. She explained to us that the house had already been sold, and the contents were being offered to raise money for a charity she recently created for homeless dogs. Bittersweet, as her childhood home was about to no longer be hers, but she was very poignant about the charity she’d begun. All in for any animal cause, we loaded up. And one of the first pieces I purchased from her was a pale pink milk glass candy dish base, perfect for a simple rose arrangement.



I consider this a wow-worthy arrangement and gifted it to myself for Valentine’s Day.



Trader Joe’s may very well have just about the best deal on unique and seasonal flowers of any grocery store I have ever shopped. In fact, Trader Joe’s florals put every other grocery who has an actual floral department to shame. For $3.99 these roses displayed with just a pinch of creativity in the pale pink milk glass dish are downright classy. I consider this a wow-worthy arrangement and gifted it to myself (haha) for Valentine’s Day.



If you have ever shopped Trader Joe’s, then I don’t need to explain the quality and uniqueness of their everyday florals.


For stiff-stemmed flowers like roses, a shallow container guarantees a graceful grouping. A few materials are needed to ensure that these stems stay put, so floral Oasis and some tape to hold it in place are required. I remove all but the top leaves using shears. I NEVER pull the leaves from the stems, rather clip the stem containing the leaf at an angle and set aside the stem with the leaf offshoot intact. It inevitably becomes required as fill-in at the end.



Place a rose in the top center of the Oasis, and additional roses at all four sides in each corner. The flower heads should overhang about an inch roughly past the edge of the container. Adding blooms to the Oasis in a linear fashion, alternate colors and the size of the blooms to form a mound. Compact arrangements are merciful, because should you cut too short, fixing the overall shape is easy due in part to the blossoms supporting one another.

Use the stems with the leaf off-shoots to fill in and define individual blooms. Just be sure to push the stem down far enough so that all you can see are the leaf off-shoots. Manipulate so that the final product appears natural and imperfect. Remember, nothing in nature is 100% balanced or without flaws, so go easy on yourself if your grouping is not perfect.



For larger arrangements in larger containers, refer to my instructions from the post A Beautiful Fall Arrangement. As for the materials used in small or large arrangements, the tools remain the same. See below for what I keep on hand atop my potting bench for when inspiration befalls!


a pair of Felco flower pruners a block of Oasis floral foam

a roll of green floral tape

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