5 Tips to Take Grocery Store Flowers to the Next Level

If you're reading this, I imagine you may be looking for ways to tie up your holiday party loose ends. Or, maybe you're searching for tips on boosting your Christmas dinner table to that next level. Or, maybe the title of this post caught your eye out of curiosity.

If you're nodding your head "yes"...well, you've come to the perfect place, my friend :) Today, I want to give you 5 tips on how to take grocery store flowers to the next level. If you don't have much experience with using fresh flowers, it may seem a little daunting at first. But I'm here to help make this easier for you and maybe you'll even have a little fun!


Now, if you're already wondering, "Morgan, what in the heck is a focal flower?!" Don't worry. It's easier to spot than you may think! Look for flowers that are fairly large in size and will really stand out in your table arrangement. For example, the focal flowers I used here are some peachy orange Asiatic Lilies (see photos below). They're not too expensive and you can usually find them sold with several stems bundled together. It's ok if there are a few unopened buds on the stems. This only adds interest and new blooms will gradually open throughout the life of the arrangement.


Some florists will refer to these smaller flowers as mass flowers or filler flowers. In this example, I used peach standard carnations, burgundy mini carnations and maroon spider Gerber daisies. Although these flowers are not what your eye will initially be drawn to, they serve three important functions:

a)  Adding color contrast

b) Adding other shapes and sizes

c) Blending colors together

Let's start with color contrast. If you look closely at the photos below, you will notice that the lilies are mostly peach but have a hint of that darker burgundy color on the edges of the petals. You can also find this color on the anthers of the stamen (if you forgot everything you learned about plants and flowers in science class...those are skinny, pointy things bursting out from the center of the flower). Lastly, these lilies have little freckles on the inside of their petals that also match the burgundy color I mentioned earlier. 

Shapes and sizes. The keyword here is going to be variety. Look for medium sized flowers and smaller flowers that have different shapes too. This will add interest and captivate the viewer.

Lastly, when you are in the store deciding which flowers will be your "color blending agents", try to find something in between that "blend" the dark and light colors together. *If you're having trouble picturing what I mean here, think of it like painting. If you have some red paint and some yellow paint right next to each other, they look very bright and contrasted. However, if you blend red with yellow, you get orange. That is your transition/blending color that helps to "tone down" the stark contrast between red and yellow. Hopefully, that helps you get the idea! :)


If you're still reading, I'm glad because this is my favorite part of designing! If you can find something with a cool texture or an ingredient that is unexpected or out-of-the box, this will definitely bring your arrangement to that next level we talked about in the beginning! In my arrangement today, I used some burgundy solidago. (those are the taller, textural stems on top) And if you look very closely, you can tell that these flowers have both the burgundy shade and little, tiny hints of that peachy gold color found in the lilies and standard carnations. So in this case, the solidago actually has a dual purpose- it provides a textural element as well as a color blending agent. Some other ideas for adding texture are using any type of berry (hypericum berries are commonly displayed at grocery stores and come in red, green and peach). Curly willow is also one of my favorite unexpected elements to use and it kind of looks like a curvy stick!


In the flower world, green acts as a neutral color. I would recommend adding 3-5 types of greenery as your first step when arranging. Greenery helps to define the shape of the arrangement and also aids in creating little "pockets" where your flowers will be placed. If you have any hedges or even small tree branches with green leaves, you can clip those from your own backyard and it won't cost you a dime! It's ok if you don't have many plants in your home's landscaping. Most grocery stores will sell bundles of mixed greenery for only a few bucks!


Oftentimes, the vase of an arrangement is overlooked. Be mindful of the color of the vase or vessel you choose. For instance, in my example arrangement I used a peachy, tan colored vase. I felt like it was the perfect size for my table and the color blended well with my chosen flowers. Don't be afraid to use something unexpected as your vase- use your imagination and creativity :) 


- start with your greenery to frame the shape of your arrangement in the vase

- place focal flowers low in the arrangement and save the thinner, taller stems for last

- create depth by placing some of the filler flowers lower and others further out

- try to work in odd numbers. For example: 3 focal flowers, 5 filler flowers, 3-5 types of greenery, etc.

- keep it balanced! Try to balance out where you use each color. Make it look like a good mix of light and dark colors. And don't forget to tie it all together using those "blending" colors!

Well, that's about all I have for you today. Thank you for taking the time to read through my tips. Don't forget to scroll down to view photos of each type of ingredient I explained earlier! If you get stuck or have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below or send me a quick email. Happy arranging!

Sending lots of flower joy,

Morgan Elliott | Wellspring Floral

*all photos by Morgan Elliott

Peachy orange Asiatic lilies as the large focal flowers

Peachy orange Asiatic lilies as the large focal flowers

Burgundy spider gerbera daisy and peach standard carnations act as the "supporting cast" filler flowers

Burgundy spider gerbera daisy and peach standard carnations act as the "supporting cast" filler flowers

Textural, unexpected ingredient = solidago. This also acts as a color blending agent with its burgundy base and flecks of peachy gold on the tips

Textural, unexpected ingredient = solidago. This also acts as a color blending agent with its burgundy base and flecks of peachy gold on the tips

Seasonal greenery draping over an appropriately colored vase

Seasonal greenery draping over an appropriately colored vase

Finished centerpiece!

Finished centerpiece!

Morgan ElliottComment