Real Simple - - Relating -

MAIN IN­GRE­DI­ENTS: We used café au lait dahlias, ra­nun­cu­lus, and astilbe. Al­ter­na­tives in­clude al­stroe­me­ria, freesia, and hy­drangea.

HOW-TO: Pick your main color and pur­chase blooms both lighter and darker in the same color fam­ily. Pre­pare a low bowl with a flower frog and net­ting, and then build your ar­range­ment in an arc, clus­ter­ing the dark­est shades on one end and the light­est on the other. As you shift be­tween shades, sprin­kle in a few stems of the ad­join­ing color to cre­ate a grad­ual tran­si­tion. Make the color sec­tions rich and in­ter­est­ing by in­clud­ing fo­cus flow­ers (like dahlias), leafy stems (like ninebark), and drapey el­e­ments (like an­dromeda shrubs) within each. Keep the shape sym­met­ri­cal by in­cor­po­rat­ing sim­i­larly sized el­e­ments in mir­ror­ing sec­tions (for ex­am­ple, scabiosa on the right and lisianthus on the left).

PRO TIP: Check out your ar­range­ment from all an­gles. If one side seems lack­ing, add in a few ex­tra blooms to make it more full.

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