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  • Writer's pictureJulia Watson

Looking for a Downturn

mixed bouquet of flowers
A fall arrangement that includes fuchsia 'Galfrey Lye'.

No, this post isn't about the economy - it's about flower arranging, but the title refers to the fact that I'm always looking for things that hang over the edge of the vase.

To make a graceful floral arrangement, you usually want to hid the edges of the vase. Exceptions would be in the case of ikebana or for tall, vertical arrangements, but most of the arrangements I make at Tiny Footprint Flowers are mixed bouquets where the vase is not the focus. I keep a mental list of flowers and foliage that have a downturn - things that can hang over the edge in a graceful way. Here's what I've come up with so far - if you've found others please let me know in the Comments section.

Snapdragons The 'Madame Butterfly' series is especially good for the edge of the vase - the flower stems arc downward and last a week or more.

Narcissus/Daffodils The buds naturally hang downward, especially the small varieties.

Omphalodes This delicate beauty has a graceful arc of tiny blooms to hang over the edge, but it only blooms for a few weeks in spring.

Fuchsia So overlooked in floral arranging, but I've found that some varieties have a long vase life. 'Galfrey Lye' and 'Nettalia' are especially good.

Amaranth The flowers of some varieties, like 'Coral Fountain' hang down, although sometimes they go too far in that direction!

Celosia Depending on the variety, some celosia can fill this role all summer long.

Statice Although it's too stiff to hang over a vase, the florets can often be inserted in the understory layer of an arrangement and hide the edge of a container.

Mint A very useful green - beautiful color and beautiful scent. But grow it in a pot or it will take over your garden.

Ivy I grow the small, houseplant types and trim off trailing branches for small arrangements.

Basil I grow the purple Italian type and the whorls of leaves are effective at the bottom of an arrangement.

Dusty Miller The gray color won't always work, but with the right flowers it's magic!

Scented geranium Some varieties are better than others for the understory of an arrangement, so I grow several different kinds.

Bouquet with zinnias
'Madame Butterfly' snaps drape the edge of this bouquet.

Omphalodes and daffodils in a mixed bouquet
Omphalodes and daffodils in a mixed bouquet

rose bouquet
Dusty Miller at the bottom sets off the roses in the arrangement

Statice and 'Coral Fountain' amaranth combine with roses and other flowers.
Statice and 'Coral Fountain' amaranth combine with roses and other flowers.

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