The zen of flower arranging

The duo behind Putnam & Putnam takes us on the journey of creating a beautiful arrangement.

Whether you’re bringing them as a Mother’s Day giftor simply using them to decorate your home, there’s a certain satisfaction in having flowers around you. “You bring flowers in [to a room], and it just changes everything,” says Michael Putnam, one half of Putnam & Putnam, an in-demand floral design company in New York City. “There’s an energy to flowers that I can’t really explain,” he says. That energy also applies to making floral arrangements. For many centuries, Japanese masters have used the art of arranging flowers as a form of meditation and as part of the process to achieve spiritual enlightenment. In the video above, you'll see Michael and Darroch from Putnam & Putnam make a beautiful centerpiece from scratch, while explaining the zen effects of floral arranging.

How to: Recreate Putnam & Putnam's Mother's Day Arrangement

For this Mother’s Day arrangement, Michael and Darroch focused on using a mix of light neutrals (think white, cream and blush) and transitioned to an emphasis on flowers with peach and orange hues. The large, main flowers are peonies and poppies. “The peonies have a soft texture, while poppies are great gestural elements with their shapely stems,” they say. To bring in other shapes, they also used daffodils with star centers and hellebores with double petals. They added texture to the arrangement by bringing in grasses and rice flower. Remember these tips when making a floral arrangement on your own:

Don’t overthink your color palette
According to the duo, when is comes to color, almost any hues can work together. “It's more about how you transition and connect them,” they say. “For example, if we were to use both pink and orange, we’d find flowers that have both colors in them to use as transitional elements.” They say this will pull everything together into one cohesive palette. FYI: Putnam & Putnam’s favorite color combinations at the moment are pink and brown, and yellow and purple.

Plan for the season
Make sure to use season-appropriate flowers for your arrangement. Ranunculus, peonies and tulips are best in spring; summer is a good time to use roses, zinnias and cosmos; fall should be all about dahlias and autumn anemones; and winter is best for amaryllis and hellebores.

Think about depth
Depth is important when making your floral arrangement. “Try not to create a two dimensional arrangement,” they say. “Have flowers both tucked into the arrangement and extending out.”