Winter flower arrangements can be made with as many different materials as summer arrangements. Take advantage of the many seasonal evergreens and dried plant materials, along with more tender flowers purchased from florists that can be used to create stunning winter flower arrangements. To brighten up the long winter nights, insert candles in among the flowers and other fresh--not dried--plant materials.
Use seasonal material such as pine boughs, branches of broad-leaf evergreens such as magnolia, or sprigs of holly. For a featured flower add red or white carnations with red or white roses. There is even a carnation variety that is white with red pinstripes, evoking the feeling of a candy cane. For accents, wire in some pine cones, small Christmas tree ornaments, or thread some Christmas tree garland through the evergreen boughs.
Bulbs Forced to Bloom Indoors
Bulbs forced for blooming indoors during winter can be used in flower arrangements. Tulips are the most popular, but other types of bulbs are available, such as narcissus, daffodil, hyacinth, crocus, snow drops or amaryllis. Keep these bulbs potted in their containers and build the arrangement around them or cut the flowers and use them in an arrangement in a vase or other container.
Branches of Flowering Shrubs or Fruit Trees
Near the end of winter, cut 18- to 30-inch long branches of flowering shrubs or fruit trees such as quince, forsythia, spirea, flowering cherry or crab apple. Immediately put them into a deep bucket of water. Leave in the water in a room that is colder than room temperature, but above freezing (an unheated basement or hallway is ideal) until the buds swell and begin to show color. This can take four to 14 days, depending on the variety. Once the buds show color, move into regular room temperatures and the flowers should open within a couple of days.
Dried Plant Materials
Use dried flowers collected from your garden, the wild or purchased from florists. Dried hydrangeas make stunning winter flower arrangements. The petals of their flowers turn dark tan and look papery. Rose hips, dried seed pods of flowers or ornamental grasses, dried flower heads of sunflowers or purple coneflowers, or branches with interesting bark are all ideal for use in dried winter arrangements.