DIY flower arrangement, two ways

Denise Porcaro of Flower Girl ( is one of New York’s coolest florists. , and restaurants (La Bottega, Russ & Daughters Café). She showed us how to create two very different compositions with flowers from the local charcuterie: first pretty and refined. Second, playful and cheeky.

STEP ONE: Choose wisely

Porcaro scans flowers with three things in mind: what’s pretty, what’s seasonal, and what’s unique. She then selects based on color and size. She’s looking for a unified color palette – here she went all white with roses, hydrangeas, and freesias – plus a few pops of color (carnations, thistle, which also counted as unique), and some sort of foliage, greenery. or filler: in this case, a frosted eucalyptus caught his eye.

STEP TWO: Start at the basics

Porcaro follows the rule of thirds when arranging, meaning he’s two-thirds as wide as he is tall, or vice versa. Here she laid a foundation of eucalyptus.


Then she added the heavy parts of the arrangement: hydrangeas, roses and freesia, cutting them to different heights, all slightly shorter than eucalyptus. Also: she always removes the leaves from the flower stems to allow the flowers to be the focal point.

STEP FOUR: Finish with accents

Carnations and thistle were added last, scattered around the arrangement like confetti. She cut the flowers a hair higher than the rest of the stems to make them stand out.

STEP ONE, V2: Choose Wisely

To create a more playful arrangement – “this one’s for having margaritas on your roof terrace with your girlfriends,” she says – Porcaro used the same settings. Here, selection of orange roses, fuchsia carnations and a single bird of paradise stem.

STEP TWO, V2: Start at the basics

Porcaro made wreath roses and carnations are used as a base. Rather than scattering the flowers evenly in a bouquet, she favors mini-clusters of the same flowers.

STEP THREE, V2: Add Your Centerpiece

Porcaro cut the bird of paradise into three or four stems, placing the pink pieces near the carnations, the foliage around the perimeter, and the dead center of the most angular piece.

STEP FOUR, V2: Mix and Enjoy Margaritas

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Rosalie M. Dehner