Spring is a time for new beginnings. Whether it’s a baby shower, a wedding, a birthday, or Easter, there is one spring flower perfect for celebrating them all: Ranunculus. Their many layers of petals are like a smaller peony, while their leaves and buds are reminiscent of the delicate poppy. This interesting structure lends them to both modern and romantic arrangements. I constantly find inspiration in the Ranunculus’ rainbow of possible colors.They are cultivated in shades ranging from the palest green to the brightest hot pink. It is this wide spectrum that influenced my two “ombre” arrangements. The first is a decidedly simple fade from light to dark, with the stems on display in a large glass box. The second is more classic and subtle in a pale pink cut-glass compote. One perfect flower, infinite possibilities.
Begin by unwrapping your flowers and stripping them of unwanted leaves and buds. I like to remove all the leaves that are attached near the base of the stem, and any that are yellow or wilted. After I’ve cleaned off the greenery, I set the flowers in a large vase so that they are in water while I work.
Step 1: For modern arrangements, look for vases that have angular corners and straight sides. Something tall will showcase the stems of the flowers as much as their petals. Cut the end of each flower one at a time, right before you put them in the arrangement. I like to keep the lengths of the stems uniform, but not exactly matching. The shortest flower and the longest flower should only vary by about 1″. Step 2: Start your placement on one one side of the vase and set the flowers in order from the lightest to the darkest. As you arrange, step away from the table from time to time to change your visual perspective on the flowers. The key here is to keep it simple and don’t overwork them.
Step 1: The romantic arrangement requires a vase that helps you tell your story. I selected a frosted glass pedestal in soft pink. Set a frog in the center of the vase. When working with a pin frog, the stems of the flowers need to be cut at a very dramatic angle. This creates more surface area for the pins to grab and hold. When pressing a stem into the pins, face the cut side up. Step 2: Begin by placing the flowers that will be in the center of the design. I started with pale yellow, and then added the darker pinks and reds around the edges. The stems vary in height from about 1″ to 3″. Continue adding flowers until the entire bowl is overflowing. Step 3: Complete the look by adding just a few sprigs of leaves and buds dripping over the edge. Use the long greenery to add motion and balance.