In the first two articles of this floral-design series, we’ve covered gathering the right tools and materials, and plant selection and conditioning. Now it’s time for the fun part – creating your design. If you’re drawn to the contemporary look, give this one a try:

Contemporary Design - Step 1

Contemporary Design - Step 1

Secure a 1/3-block of wet floral foam in a watertight container with waterproof floral tape. (I wrap the tape around the container to make sure it’s secure.)

Photo Credit: David Pippin

Contemporary Design - Step 2

Contemporary Design - Step 2

Establish your arrangement’s height with some type of line material. In this particular design, I’ve used a pineapple leaf, but you can choose whatever you’d like. Other possible choices for your line are yucca leaves, birch branches or Sansevieria.

Photo Credit: David Pippin

Contemporary Design - Step 3

Contemporary Design - Step 3

Establish your arrangement’s width with other types of foliage. I like large, glossy Fatsia leaves, which I’ve used here. Then I filled in the rest of the foam with Pittosporum. But this can also be done with a variety of other foliage types, like salal (lemon leaves), croton and ferns.

Photo Credit: David Pippin

Contemporary Design - Step 4

Contemporary Design - Step 4

Choose an interesting flower for you focal point. Lilies work well as focal flowers. Other good focal blooms are gerbera daisies, sunflowers, spider mums, Protea, and Cattleya and Cymbidium orchids.

Photo Credit: David Pippin

Contemporary Design - Step 5

Contemporary Design - Step 5

Add second filler foliage to the arrangement, like arborvitae. I like using a variety of foliage for added interest and a combination of textures. For other interesting foliage that holds up well in cut arrangements, try boxwood, euonymus and Nandina.

Photo Credit: David Pippin

Contemporary Design - Step 6

Contemporary Design - Step 6

Accentuate the foliage lines by adding some line flowers like larkspur. I’ve also filled in the arrangement with some larkspur buds. Other good line flowers include Liatris, snapdragons, Delphinium and gladiolus.

Photo Credit: David Pippin

And there you have it. Check your arrangement daily and add water as needed – then enjoy!