Arranging fresh flowers into an attractive design continues to be a popular way of displaying fresh flowers from the garden since the art of flower arranging began in ancient China. Fresh flowers in the home brighten a room and freshen the air. Fresh flowers also are given or displayed to mark or celebrate life's major transitions from birth to death. Making a floral arrangement that is appealing and will impress the recipient or casual observer can be done by following a few rules.
Find an attractive container that does not leak when filled with water. Check that the container is water-tight by filling with water and letting it sit for an hour if you are unsure. Some metal containers leak around the seams where they are welded, and some ceramic containers allow water to seep through the bottom where there is no glaze or paint.
Fill the container at least three-fourths full of clean water.
Take a variety of greenery and cut the stems long enough so the stems can be placed into the container of water and will not fall out when released. Before adding the stems into the vase or container, strip or cut all the leaves from the stems that will be below the water level. Continue adding greenery until you have created the overall shape of the design. For example, an arrangement that is to be seen from one side would have a flat back; one that would be seen from all angles, such as a centerpiece, would be more rounded.
Add flowers cut at the length that is desired for the arrangement. For example, a tall rose arrangement would have the roses cut longer than the smaller filler flowers so the roses are displayed prominently when the arrangement is finished. Be sure to remove all the leaves from the flower stems that are below the water level because the leaves will rot, discolor the water, and shorten the vase life of the cut flowers.