The art of arranging flowers is, for me, all about letting go. I might have an idea of what I want the arrangement to look like, but it never ends up looking like what I had imagined. If I focus on the act, itself, and give up my attachment to the end result, my arrangement will take on a life of its own. Devote yourself and then surrender to the process — that is yoga.
That was the inspiration for this fall arrangement. I wandered over to the flower district and let my imagination run wild. Drawn to shades of pink, I bought some deep burgundy peonies, fluffy pink astilbe, white astrantia, and green helleborus. When I’m shopping for flowers, I like to gather all of my choices into one hand so I can get a sense of how they look together. I try to pick different textures and sizes so the arrangement has depth and movement. I also love something a little unexpected for a bit of whimsy.
Working with flowers has always been a hugely cathartic practice for me. The whole process — from picking out which flowers to buy, to arranging them, to savoring them (or, better yet, giving them away) — drops me straight into the creative zone. Arranging flowers is not hard to do! Don’t be fooled by a big beautiful bouquet. All you need is a piece of floral foam, which costs about a dollar. Soak the foam in water and place it in the base of whatever container you’d like to use. Then stab it with flowers. It’s that easy!
When I’m arranging flowers, I try to keep two things in mind. First, the proportion of flowers to container is important. You have to play with it. Be sure to keep the flower stems relatively long so that you have some wiggle room to cut them back as you experiment with the right flower to vase ratio. Second, that I have enough “filler” flower to create density. I learned this the hard way after making plenty of arrangements with some serious bald spots because I didn’t have enough flowers to work with. Choose a cheaper option (any kind of green works well) as you’ll want about twice as much filler to flowers.
Arranging flowers is just one of the many ways I practice yoga. When I tune into that creative force which is beyond judgement, perfectionism, and self-consciousness, I feel free. This pretty arrangement now sits on my table as a powerful reminder to surrender to the process.