DIY Project: Urban Floral Arrangement

DIY Project: Urban Floral Arrangement

Photos by Lisa DeCotis DuBois


Call me a sensitive flower, but I think weeds have a bad rap.

After all, there are worse things than an otherwise well-manicured lawn laced with bright yellow dandelions...right?

The dreaded and highly-misunderstood Dandelion wreaking some sort of havoc.

To my delight, my recent interest in floral design sent me to Brookline Booksmith where I purchased the book Flower Workshop by expert arranger, Ariella Chezar.

Inspired by the renowned floral designer's advice to forage one's own blooms, fruits, and branches, I decided to practice by harvesting what I could use from my own yard.

Of course — unlike Chezar who has the luxury of growing her own blooms on her farm in up-state New York — I knew walking about Allston/Brighton wouldn't exactly lead me down any primrose pathways. Instead my stroll down Commonwealth Avenue towards the Chestnut Hill Reservoir in Brighton had me noticing often-overlooked textures and pops of color (at absolutely no cost whatsoever).

Beautiful pink peonies grace the pages of a spread in Ariella Chezar's latest book, The Flower Workshop, photographed by Erin Funkel.

NOTE: Absolutely no gardens were harmed in the making of this post.

I want to stress that the purpose of this project was to be creative despite the limited selection of florals at my disposal. Broken branches and weeds growing along city sidewalks in great abundance were therefore the stars of my impromptu, urban bouquet.

*It's unlawful to steal from private properties, and I personally deem it cruel to harm any natural element that's clearly better left to flourish.

“Ariella Chezar is a true floral icon...she shows students of this book that floral arranging is a means of personal and artistic expression.”
— Debra Prinzing, author of Slow Flowers and the 50 Mile Bouquet

I used a few pieces from this fallen pine branch to add some fan-like texture and gold-brown coloring to my arrangement.

My unfinished bouquet takes five on a paved pathway steps from Cleveland Circle.

These days it’s very fashionable for floral designers to grow their own blooms, forage for material, and create arrangements in a loose, organic style. But Ariella has been a master of this style for decades.
— Kate Berry, creative director of Martha Stewart Weddings

Back at home, I cleaned up all stems by removing undesired leaves and chose a vintage glass bottle as a vase.

Unless you live near an orchard, fruit branches like the ones shown in Chezar's book will unfortunately be hard to come by. But hey, who says the contents of your fridge can't lend a hand?

They may not be a dozen long-stemmed roses, but I'm proud of my first DIY bouquet!

Sitting pretty.

 All in all, the project was an enjoyable exercise in the delicate art of floral arranging. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone with a keen eye who's looking for an artful, free way to introduce a little color and (foraged) life into their home.