Floral Design 101 Vase Designs

Deborah Dolen Filming an Amazon Instant Video

Floral Design 101 [Vase Designs] with Deborah Dolen

Deborah Dolen on Long Lasting Floral Designs

Deborah Dolen on Long Lasting Floral Designs

I am super excited to be attending “Ringling In Bloom” February 23rd-26th 2012 with Master Floral Designer Remco van Vliet!  Remco van Vliet is a 38 year old very gifted master designer from Holland.  Remco will be giving demonstrations on Friday and actual classes on Sunday.  Two classes are offered on Sunday- morning and afternoon. Click here to sign up with Ringling for the event.

Long Lasting Floral Designs

In my book, there is nothing worse than creating or receiving a gorgeous floral arrangement and then having it flop within the first week.  A good floral arrangement can last 16 days.  Most commercial floral arrangements last 4-10 days but this time frame can be increased by paying attention to a few variables-the most important variable being how old the flower was when you purchased it or it was arranged?   What goes into a long lasting floral design?  Choice, condition, care on transport, cut, water condition, and as always, keeping the arrangement in a cool area.

Choice and condition of the flowers is paramount to a long lasting design and I discuss that below.  For those receiving pre-arranged flowers-the life of them can also be extend to some degree.  Please click here for short floral design clips on YouTube.


I always ask the floral vendor about the newest stock.  This means the grocer in charge of the fresh produce section, the farmers market vendor or where ever I am buying flowers.  This can give you an entire week extra of floral life if you get stock that just arrived.  When purchasing flowers I also inspect the bin that the flowers have been in. Brand new flowers cannot do well if no one watered them the night before and I see this trauma often enough to mention it.  How to make a vase design with Deborah Dolen – short YouTube Clip.

I always carry a basic floral bucket secured within a simple box (to keep it stable) in my Jeep.  This is to keep moist any flowers I buy while I may be doing a few hours worth of errands after purchase.  The goal is to never have your precious flower selections out of water at any time.   The box also work great when actually delivering flowers to a friend. 


Always use a sharp knife to cut your flowers.  Scissors, although tempting and far easier to use tend to pinch the delicate veins that absorb the water.

Always cut an inch above when receiving the flowers, at an angle and keep immersed in water as much as possible.  I score the side of some stems, when possible–to aid in water absorption.  Especially roses.  Also cut any leaves that would fall below the water line.  Failing to remove those leaves will result in faster bacteria growth.   Floral Design with Containers with Deborah Dolen Short Video YouTube.

Flowers You Received?

You can recut them if they appear to need it, clean up any leaves that fall below the water line and keep in a cool place 65 to 72 Fahrenheit.  I actually add fresh flowers to some designs that were pre-arranged and sent to me.  You do not need to be afraid if you are not a designer.  You can pull each one out and cut them and place them right back where you pulled the flower from.

Flower Choices When Designing

Carnations last forever, Asiatic Lilly’s do also, Purple Stock, Alstroemerias (just keep the high acid pollen off you when working), Daises, and my all time favorite Snapdragons (Antirrhinum Majus). 

I always incorporate roses, but just a few-knowing they may need to be replaced before the whole arrangement is exhausted.  Again, I select the freshest possible roses, cut them properly and keep an eye on them.  Below is a short clip I did on how to make a bouquet of roses using premium tissue paper.

Deborah Dolen Mabel White Productions, Film, Media and Kindle Books

Follow Deborah Dolen on Twitter for current updates and check out Deborah Dolen on Facebook for news and announcements. Search “Deborah Dolen Author” or “Deborah Dolen Books” for tons of free recipes, formulas and ideas.  Deborah Dolen’s work is available on Amazon Kindle and DPT Instant Download.  In Europe, Deborah Dolen’s work is now available on Amazon UK and Amazon France.

Statice by Deborah Dolen

Statice Flowers by Deborah Dolen

Statice [right] is just so beautiful and long lasting – it also comes in a variety of colors these days.  Deep purple, violet, vibrant pink and even white and yellow.  I love statice so much I am about to grow it.   A deep royal purple statice pairs well with white or cream colored roses, and pink statice pairs well with orange or sun set type rose colours.  Purple statice also stands out with the new “green” mums and orange carnations inspired by UK gardens. 

Statice looks a lot like lavender, and even then, it looks a lot better than lavender (which pales much faster.)  Statice can be cut long – when working with long roses, or short to just act as a back ground filler. 

Circus Statice Arrangement by Deborah DolenThis arrangement I called “Circus” because it looks like a circus and I am about to attend the Ringling Museum “Ringling in Bloom” Blossoms festival, which is based on the Ringling Circus family heritage.   

I used purple statice as the filler color and then miniature chrysanthemums [mums] in fluorescent green as my base.  The use of roses was simple and prudent, complimentary in nature – two fuchia, 2 oceania (peachy) one orange and one sunrise.  This arrangement has been gracing my dining table all week and still looks as fresh as last week.  Very striking and very lovely. 

My original work, several years ago, called “Circus” [below] became so popular floral wires picked up the design and called it “Bouquet de Mabel.”  In that construction I also used orange, but I did it with Asiatic Lilly’s (My favorite floral for movement in any arrangement) and I used purple and violet stock for the contrast in that design. 

I did not use fluorescent green miniature chrysanthemums in that design because they were largely unheard of back then.  In fact it was the Royal Wedding Of William and Kate that made almost any green flower famous. 

In my original design, you do see liberal use of yellow chrysanthemums  and the main reason was to promote longevity of the work.   Here is one Ohio floral designer still replicating it.

So your longest lasting flowers will be  statice, chrysanthemums, carnations and mini carnations, stock, Alstroemerias, daises, snap dragons and to much extent anything in the Asiatic Lilly family.

Comments are closed.

297 Responses

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  47. About says:

    About Deborah Dolen is an author who lives in Palma Sola are of Bradenton Florida, whose work is exclusively sold on Amazon’s platform. She lives in Bradenton, Florida with her dog Ringo. See Deborah Dolen Amazon and her work is also sold under the pen name Mabel White. See Mabel White on Amazon. Deborah Dolen is frequently on Twitter, for DIT updates and neat ideas follow Deborah Dolen on Twitter. Deborah Dolen’s DIY books are also now available on Amazon France and Amazon UK, please visit the authors pages. Click her for her video Demo’s on YouTube that can be purchased on Amazon’s Instant Download film program.

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