Just out of college and perusing a career in dance, Amanda Vidmar took a side job at a flower farm in Santa Cruz, California. She says, “I sold my soul the second I saw my first bucket of ranunculus, and it turns out the side job just ended up being the real deal. People who fall for flowers tend to fall hard, and I am so guilty of that.” As soon as we saw Amanda’s arrangements, we fell hard and begged Amanda to show us how she creates magic.
Flowers and spring just seem to go together. What are your favorite ways to showcase flowers in your home in spring?
Lilac and flowering branches just have such a short season, so I love to enjoy them in my home as much as I can. I love adding one element arrangements to my home in the spring to really be able to enjoy their unique shapes and scents. I recommend finding a vase that you love and fill it with spring blooms that you can only enjoy for a short while. I love any vases from Jonathan Adler, I love how playful they are! I also love using local ceramicist Gerhard Ceramics‘ vases, they are simple, modern, and so versatile.
How do you create balance/harmony in an arrangement?
I have a huge appreciation for letting each unique flower’s abstract form and fragility come to the forefront. The more wonky the stem, the merrier. I feel like it heightens the appreciation of nature, allowing us to enjoy flowers and their ephemeral quality all the more.
What are the steps to creating an arrangement like you are sharing with us today?
To make a shorter centerpiece, I typically choose a vase with a wide mouth to be able to fill it with more product. I start with a little ball of chicken wire to be able to hold the stems in place, and secure the chicken wire with a couple pieces of thin floral tape. I like to start with the most shapely branch or green, so that I can start see the shape of the arrangement come to life. I used spirea in this arrangement as my first ingredient, since this specific variety has a lot of shape and texture.
Next, I filled in the arrangement with lilac. Lilac is my absolute favorite bloom, so I wanted to make the arrangement feel lush and full of it. Lilac (and most branches or flowers with woody stems) should be cut at an angle and their stems should be split with your clippers so that it optimizes their lifespan by allowing it to drink more water. I then added a stem of Tulip Magnolia, mostly for scent, but also because it’s another flower that I absolutely adore, which has a really short season as well!
Then I added hellebores throughout the arrangement. I clustered them in a few areas throughout the arrangement, and made sure that any of the stems that had a beautiful shape were given a chance to have their moment by placing the stem closer to the base of the arrangement. I wanted the arrangement to feel even more springy, so I added some of these beautiful white tulips! I typically arrange my tulips in clusters of 2 or 3 and assure that they are all on a different plane to give the arrangement a garden-like feel. I used the same concept of clustering with the white muscari as well.
Fritillaria was next on the list! The greens on the Frittilaria give a lot of shape, so I allowed them to have a moment by leaving their stems long, and floating them above the blooms already placed in the arrangement. I added ranunculus next, which are a perfect spring addition to any arrangement. Again, I clustered them in various parts of the arrangement, all on different planes. I also made sure that all sides of the arrangement were detailed, since the arrangement will be seen on all sides!
The final touches were to add a couple of big, beautiful Icelandic poppies. I placed the poppies in the arrangement anywhere that looked like it needed an extra pop. Lastly, I placed a couple stems of figs to add interest and color!
See Amanda’s centerpiece in the slideshow!